Magnesium is an essential mineral that's responsible for keeping hundreds of processes in the human body running smoothly.* We all have magnesium running through our bodies at all times (assuming we're consuming it, of course), but our levels tend to decline with age. Soaking in a hot tub certainly sounds like an appealing way to get more of the mineral, but there is very limited evidence that the magnesium in Epsom salts can actually cross the skin barrier. While they may help support a healthy, hydrated complexion, the benefits of the salts likely stop at the skin.
Instead, the research on how healthy magnesium levels can support muscle relaxation and comfort and a steady mood has focused on oral application of this mineral.* This means the most surefire way to get the recommended daily intake of magnesium—420 mg for men and 320 mg for women—is to eat magnesium-rich foods (and oftentimes) take a magnesium supplement.
Let's start with food: Leafy greens, legumes, and a number of nuts and seeds are all healthy sources of this essential macromineral. However, in an age when industrial agriculture is affecting the nutrient density of many foods, around 45% of people in the U.S. don't get the recommended daily amount of magnesium through food alone. That's a massive nutrient gap for our nation and where a well-formulated magnesium supplement can come in. Here are mbg's top picks that are pure, gentle, and safe for most people to take daily, though you'll want to consult your doctor before starting with any new supplement.