Originally featured on Glamour
By By Susan Yara
Confession: My friends and I love talking about our digestive issues. Listen in on our conversations and you’re bound to hear one, if not all of us, discuss our problems. Is it IBS? Gluten? Lactose-intolerance? While we can blame everything from diet to stress, lack of sleep, and men, guess what: There might be a simple solution to help ease common tummy troubles (though, unfortunately, it won’t fix men)—and it comes in the form of magnesium spray.
I first learned about it after a routine check-up. My blood tests looked good, but, “Oh, you’re a little deficient in magnesium,” my doctor told me. “Most people are.”
According to a study at the Medical University of South Carolina, 68 percent of Americans consume less magnesium than the recommended daily allowance (RDA). That means most of us miss out on a mineral that plays a crucial role in more than 300 different biochemical reactions in our bodies each day.
Here’s what your body needs magnesium for: energy production, calcium absorption, hormonal health, muscle function, sleep, blood pressure regulation, and detoxification and weight loss.
Which means that making sure you get enough magnesium in your diet translates to a more relaxed, highly efficient, healthy body that can handle just about any challenge—in the boardroom or in the bathroom.
I had to get in on this magic mineral, so I started using magnesium spray, also known as magnesium oil, after I got a recommendation from New York City dermatologist Dendy E. Engelman, M.D. Sure, you can take an oral supplement, but she touts the benefits of transdermal absorption.
“The reality is that we absorb magnesium at a much higher and much faster rate through the skin,” says Dr. Engelman. “It’s quick, easy, and effective.”
And if you need another reason to hop on the magnesium train, she says it can also help treat skin disorders like acne, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, and just about every reason I visit my dermatologist each year.
“The promise that magnesium oil holds for safely and effectively aiding in cutaneous ailments is exciting and is a world that has yet to be fully discovered,” she says.
Of course, with any type of supplement, don’t overdo it. Check with your doctor if you’re unsure how much you need, and start with about eight to 10 pumps on your skin per day. I’ve been using a magnesium spray by Ancient Minerals, while Dr. Engelman recommends BetterYou to her patients. It feels a little tingly and itchy as it absorbs, but that goes away over time. Eventually, you can work your way up to about 20 pumps on your body. I’ve used it for a couple of weeks now, so it’s still too early to know whether it really works, but just for the promise of a good night’s sleep, this mini experiment is worth it.