Other than improving your muscle function and energy levels (and avoiding all of the negative side effects mentioned above), magnesium keeps your skin looking glowy, says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “Magnesium is necessary for maintenance of a healthy skin barrier, and has been shown to help fight off dry, damaged skin.”
That’s why Julia Tzu, M.D., founder and medical director of Wall Street Dermatology, suggests using it in a topical application, too. “Topical magnesium is thought to be anti-inflammatory, and it helps in synthesizing the necessary oils that our skin produces for protection,” she says. Facial powders and mineral makeup usually contain various magnesium compounds, she adds, but don’t rely on it as a main source. Cullen says there’s not a lot of science proving the benefits of topical application, so it’s better to actually ingest it.
How to Get More Magnesium
Since 30 to 40 percent of dietary magnesium you consume gets absorbed into your body, the best way top get your fill of the skin-and workout-boosting nutrient is through green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and Swiss chard, says Cullen. Nuts, legumes, seeds, and whole grains are also good sources, and the NIH says that, in general, if a food has a lot of fiber, it likely has a decent amount of magnesium in it too. Lastly, Cullen says dark chocolate and avocado are solid sources.