Can magnesium be absorbed through skin?

In 2016, a ground breaking scientific study published by Dr. Navin Chandrasekaran conducted at the University of Queensland, Australia proved that magnesium ions can permeate through human skin. This study received an accolade as one of the most consulted research articles in magnesium research, which on its own merits forms the strong foundation for the products developed at Mg2plus.

Backed by credible science, Mg2plus establishes itself as the trusted transdermal magnesium supplement brand in Australia.

Effect of magnesium deficiency - more than skin deep

Magnesium as a micronutrient is critical for normal functioning and homeostasis of the human body. Even though diet and oral supplementations are the most common sources of magnesium, topical magnesium is gaining importance as an effective form of supplementation and treatment for various skin and systemic disorders. Magnesium's importance as a micronutrient and the consequences of its deficiency or imbalance have been established through a number of scientific studies. Several claims relating to potential health benefits endowed by topical magnesium were mostly anecdotal, and debatable mainly due to ambiguity surrounding the skin’s permeability to magnesium ions. Transdermal route of administration of mineral ions were vaguely understood owing to their permeability characteristics through the stratum corneum (SC), otherwise called the skin barrier. In order for topically applied magnesium to effectively involve in biological processes, transport of its ions across the skin barrier is a critical precondition. 



Permeation of topically applied magnesium ions through human skin is facilitated by hair follicles

Extensive studies have been conducted over the last few decades to understand the ability of mineral ions to permeate through skin leading to systemic effects.  Among all the ions of interest, the efficacy of magnesium ions to permeate through human skin was highly debated. Even though several studies showed increased magnesium levels in serum after topical application, its ability to permeate the stratum corneum was still contentious.

As an effort to understand further, Dr. Navin Chandrasekaran, the founder of Mg2plus, pioneered and initiated research on transdermal magnesium permeability through human skin. The research was conducted at the University of Queensland, Australia and supervised by Prof. Ross Barnard and Prof. Michael Roberts. Based on empirical data, this study scientifically proved and visually demonstrated that magnesium ions can permeate the skin barrier (Figure 1). It was also found that magnesium permeation was dependant on time of exposure and salt concentration in aqueous solution (Figure 2), additionally a significant contribution from hair follicles was also observed (Figure 3)

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Figure 1: Demonstrating magnesium's ability to permeate through the protective barrier of human skin.

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Figure 2: Magnesium's permeability is dosage and exposure dependant.
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Figure 3: Magnesium permeability is facilitated via hair follicles, as indicated by higher permeation when hair follicles were unplugged.