We all have our own pre-bed routines to help us get ready for sleep. Maybe you do some gentle yoga, take a warm shower, or write in a gratitude journal. Another great way to wind down, according to sleep doctor Temitayo Oyegbile-Chidi, MD, PhD, is by slathering your body with magnesium body lotion. Read on to hear what she has to say about the benefits of magnesium, as well as our picks of the best magnesium body lotions.
Best magnesium body lotions at a glance:
- Best scented magnesium body lotion: Neom, Perfect Night's Sleep Magnesium Body Butter, $41
- Best magnesium lotion for restless leg: Asutra, Melt Body Butter with Lavender & Magnesium, $26
- Best magnesium lotion for muscles: Lush, Magnesium Massage Bar Deep Sleep, $14
- Best magnesium spray: The Nue Co., Magnesium Ease, $38
- Best magnesium cream for sleep: Dr. Teal's, Melatonin Sleep Lotion, $8
- Best high-potency magnesium lotion: Mo’ Maggie, Magnesium Lotion, $19
- Best magnesium lotion for pregnancy: 8 Sheep Organics, Sleepy Body Lotion, $29 to $39
- Temitayo Oyegbile-Chidi, MD, PhD, sleep doctor and associate professor at UC Davis Health
What is magnesium lotion used for?
"Magnesium lotion is wonderful for a bedtime routine," Dr. Oyegbile-Chidi says. Not only can the ritual of applying lotion help you unwind, but magnesium can enter your system topically and soothe your muscles, physically relaxing your body and helping you drift off to sleep.
"If your muscles are extra tense as you're trying to fall asleep, you can't get good sleep," she explains. Also, we know that when you're very anxious and stressed about things, and you are all tensed up in your back, your neck, et cetera, even if you do fall asleep, you're more likely to wake up because of all that muscle tension. So having a way to relax the tension in your muscles can really improve sleep overall."
Does magnesium lotion work?
Dr. Oyegbile-Chidi says there's limited research1 that shows magnesium supplementation can help improve sleep, and even less to show the impact of topical magnesium. But, based on anecdotal evidence, sleep doctors often recommend magnesium to help their patients. "It makes sense that magnesium will help," she says. Because magnesium lotion can relax muscles, Dr. Oyegbile-Chidi says it can be especially helpful for those managing restless leg syndrome (RLS).
And, in addition to being helpful for your sleep hygiene, magnesium body lotion is also great for your skin. "Magnesium has the benefit of preventing dry, flaky skin, which can be caused by an increase in the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline," Susanna Saiu, former International Trainer and Technical Education Manager of Ren Skincare, previously told Well+Good.
If you're on the hunt for something to help your body relax before bed or are just looking for something nice to fold into your sleep routine, keep scrolling to browse the seven magnesium body lotion options below.
7 of the best magnesium body lotions
Size: 6.76 oz.
Scent: Lavender, sweet basil, jasmine
Applying this magnesium body lotion from Neom is a true luxury experience. The scent alone—an exquisite blend of lavender, jasmine, and sweet basil—can help lull you to sleep, and the added magnesium makes it even better. Plus, it’s made with soothing shea butter and coconut oil for added moisture.
- Soothing essential oils
- Made with 59% organic ingredients
- Moisturizing shea butter and coconut oil
- Not for the scent-averse
- Pricier pick
Size: 7 oz.
Co-owned by tennis superstar Venus Williams, Asutra makes products to support every aspect of your wellness routine. This pre-bed body butter pairs magnesium with vitamins A and E, as well as shea butter and almond oil for added moisture. It’s highly-rated and a hit with folks who struggle to fall asleep with restless leg syndrome (RLS).
- Includes vitamins A & E
- Positive feedback from people with RLS
- Reports of flimsy packaging
Size: 2.2 oz.
Scent: Lavender, chamomile, neroli
Give yourself a wind-down rub with this massage bar from Lush. It’s made with magnesium, a triple dose of lavender, calming chamomile, and blissful neroli. The bumps and ridges are there to help you get deep into your muscles and rub out any knots and tension while infusing your skin with dream-inducing goodness. Plus, there’s no plastic packaging to worry about when the bar has fully dissolved.
- No plastic packaging
- Massaging bumps and ridges
- May be a little messy
Size: 2 oz.
If you already have a body lotion that you love, keep using it and top it off with this magnesium spray from The Nue Co. It mixes high-quality magnesium chloride with lavender and anti-inflammatory arnica oil to aid relaxation and reduce muscle tension. And, because you can also spray this mist directly on your skin, it’s also a good pick for those times when you don’t want to get sticky with lotion.
- Combines magnesium and arnica
- Can be used on top of lotion or alone
- Subscription discount available
- Smaller bottle size
Size: 8 oz.
Scent: Lavender & chamomile
Melatonin is a sleep-inducing favorite for many. This Dr. Teal’s lotion pairs melatonin with magnesium, delivering a one-two punch to help you hit the pillow with ease. It also includes soothing vitamin E, as well as lavender and chamomile essential oils to help encourage relaxation. Customers say the scents are noticeable, but aren’t overpowering.
- Pairs melatonin and magnesium
- Highly rated for sleep
- Lightly scented for those sensitive to smells
- Some people wish the scent was stronger
Size: 8 oz.
If you really want to get your magnesium, grab this lotion from Mo’ Maggie that delivers a high-potency dose of the stuff. Plus, it also contains shea butter, argan seed, prickly pear seed, and hemp seed (all organic) to leave your skin moisturized and your body relaxed. This unscented lotion is highly-rated, but several folks warn that it’s thick and does take a while to rub in completely.
- Unscented option
- Uses organic ingredients
- Highly rated
- May take a while to soak in
Size: 4 oz. or 8 oz.
Scent: Lavender, vanilla, sweet orange, eucalyptus, or unscented
If you’re looking for a magnesium lotion in pregnancy, look no further. The founder of 8 Sheep Organics created this brand after making her own magnesium lotion to help her sleep during her second pregnancy. It eased her leg cramps, restless legs, aching hips, and tired back, allowing her to get some much-needed rest. Word about her lotion spread and now it’s a hit among expecting moms, people with RLS, and more.
- Minimal (pregnancy-safe) ingredients
- Multiple scent and size options
- Pricier option
Things to consider before buying
Scent: Most of the picks on this list include scents like lavender, which is known for its calming properties. Still, some people are sensitive to scents and would prefer an unscented lotion. If that’s true for you, check out the 8 Sheep and Mo’ Maggie lotions on our list!
Your skin sensitivities: Beyond smell, magnesium topicals (like magnesium spray or magnesium oil) can create adverse skin reactions in some people. It’s always best to try out a dime-sized amount of any new skincare product on your wrist to see how your skin responds. And always read the full ingredient list for any possible allergens you may want to avoid.
Other ingredients: How much do you know about the ingredients in your skin-care products? While most of our list includes products with relatively short ingredient lists, if you prefer a label with minimal words (that you can easily pronounce), do your due diligence and check out the formulas.
Frequently asked questions
Does magnesium lotion have side effects?
Current research2 suggests that topical magnesium is safe for general use, but more research is needed to fully understand the benefits and possible downsides. Always follow the brand’s directions when using a magnesium lotion and, if you do feel any adverse effects on your skin, stop using it.
Where do you rub magnesium lotion?
You can rub magnesium lotion just about anywhere on your skin, especially in areas that are prone to aches and pains. Some folks prefer to rub it into their hands, while others focus on their legs and feet.
Can I use magnesium lotion daily?
You can use magnesium lotion daily, so long as you’re not experiencing any adverse effects on your skin. Again, be sure to follow the brand’s recommendations for use. If you’re interested in more magnesium supplementation, there are other forms (such as magnesium powders) to explore.
- Arab, Arman et al. “The Role of Magnesium in Sleep Health: a Systematic Review of Available Literature.” Biological trace element research vol. 201,1 (2023): 121-128. doi:10.1007/s12011-022-03162-1
- Gröber, Uwe et al. “Myth or Reality-Transdermal Magnesium?.” Nutrients vol. 9,8 813. 28 Jul. 2017, doi:10.3390/nu9080813
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