Why Is Magnesium Gluconate In My Skincare? - The Dermatology Review

Why Is Magnesium Gluconate In My Skincare?

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08.31.20 AD DISCLOSURE

What Is Magnesium Gluconate?

Magnesium gluconate is an ingredient that is often used in body washes, moisturizers, foundations, and serums. It is mainly used to help deliver magnesium to the skin. Magnesium is recognized as a cofactor or helper molecule in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. Yet, the majority of people are deficient in magnesium as the amount of greens that would be required for sufficient digested magnesium is above what most of us consume. While it is essential to make sure you’re eating enough greens each day, supplementation through skincare may be a great way to improve the health of your skin and general health. 

Magnesium gluconate is the magnesium salt of gluconic acid, a carboxylic acid that is produced by the fermentation of carbohydrates. Gluconic acid occurs naturally in fruit, honey, and wine. Magnesium gluconate shows the highest level of bioavailability of any magnesium salt. It is available as an oral supplement used to prevent and treat low amounts of magnesium in the blood.

Magnesium has several vital roles in the human body. It is crucial for adenosine triphosphate or ATP metabolism. In addition, magnesium is required for DNA and RNA synthesis, reproduction, and protein synthesis. Magnesium also regulates muscular contraction, blood pressure, insulin metabolism, cardiac excitability, and nerve transmission. It’s an integral part of the healthy functioning of the body. 

In terms of skincare, magnesium gluconate is often used to help prevent cramps, muscle strain, and there are a few studies that suggest that it may help with relaxing the muscles and reducing the tension held by muscles that produce wrinkles. While these studies are not numerous enough to provide a causational link, many skincare brands have included them in their formulations for this reason. You may be thinking, ‘why put it on the skin if you can take it?’. Well, transdermal absorption or absorption through the skin has been considered to be the most effective way to absorb magnesium as much is lost in the digestion process when taken orally. 

Magnesium Gluconate

the good:Magnesium gluconate is involved in over 300 processes in the body and is involved in healthy muscle functioning. Supplementing magnesium through transdermal absorption may help to relax muscles and reduce the tension associated with fine lines and wrinkles.

the not so good:The mechanisms of actions for magnesium gluconate are not well studied. While the theoretical underpinnings of its use make sense, the use is not yet substantiated in scientific research.

Who is it for? All skin types except those that have an identified allergy to it.

Synergetic ingredients:Works well with most ingredients

Keep an eye on: Keep an eye out for more research in this area.

What Are The Benefits of Magnesium Gluconate?

In cosmetics and personal care products, magnesium gluconate provides several benefits, such as helping to relax tension in muscles that produce wrinkles and fine lines, contribute to the health of muscles, and potentially inhibit the overproduction of sebum in congested skin types. 

Sebum
Magnesium gluconate can be found in skincare products intended to prevent and treat acne because magnesium can inhibit the overproduction of sebum.  This is why magnesium gluconate is often used in foundation formulations. Sebum is a naturally occurring oily substance that moisturizes, lubricates, and protects the skin and hair. Even though sebum production is normal, when it is produced in excess, it can clog the skin’s pores. Clogged pores then lead to acne breakouts. Numerous factors can increase the skin’s sebum production, including cosmetics, smoking, stress, foods and drink with high sugar content, and many more. Research indicates that magnesium can break apart different fats and oils, thus reducing the oiliness of the skin. For this reason, magnesium gluconate is an effective ingredient for prevention or breakouts.

Muscle tension
The tension that we hold in our facial muscles is a significant factor in the creation of fine lines and wrinkles. If you think about the primary treatment of wrinkles, Botox, it works because it can reduce the tension in the muscles that cause wrinkles. In the same theoretical vein, magnesium may help to reduce tension in these muscles also. Research suggests that transdermal absorption of magnesium is just and effective, if not more effective, at alleviating sore or cramped muscles as oral formulations. For this to have prolonged effects, magnesium needs to break the stress cycle. Often when you are stressed, you tense up, this sends signals to the body that you are stressed, and you tense up more. If you can relax the muscles, you are able, in theory, to reduce the effects of stress on the body and hence reduce the appearance of the wrinkles and fine lines associated with stress. 

General health
Topical magnesium gluconate is also used to replenish magnesium levels in the body. Replenishing magnesium levels has several health benefits, including promoting relaxation, relieving muscle aches and pains, supporting the healing small cuts and scrapes, and improving the normal functioning of the body and muscles. Low levels of magnesium also affect receptors and neurotransmitters that cause migraine headaches. There have been several studies that have focused on topical magnesium to help to reduce migraines. These are in their preliminary stages. 

Anti-aging
Magnesium gluconate may also have an anti-aging effect on the skin due to its role in protein synthesis. Although magnesium does not directly produce collagen, it does play a role in the synthesis of proteins that ultimately become collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is the major component of connective tissues that make up several body parts, including tendons, ligaments, muscles, and skin. Collagen plays a role in strengthening skin, plus may benefit elasticity and hydration. After the age of 20, a person produces about 1 percent less collagen in the skin each year. Moreover, environmental free radicals can degrade collagen proteins. Ingredients that help support the body’s ability to replenish collagen, such as magnesium gluconate, can help maintain the skin’s strength and firmness.

Is Magnesium Gluconate Safe?

The safety of magnesium gluconate has been evaluated by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel and determined to be safe for its indicated uses.  The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel is a group that reviews the safety of skincare and cosmetic ingredients, independently of the US Food and Drug Administration. Any skincare ingredient can produce sensitivity or allergy in some people, but the irritation issues that have been reported are mostly due to application on broken or irritated skin. If you have open cuts or wounds on the skin or if your skin is already irritated, it may be best to avoid using magnesium gluconate products until this has resolved. 

References:
Gröber, U, Werner, T, Vormann, J, & Kisters, K, 2017. ‘Myth or Reality-Transdermal Magnesium?’, Nutrients, vol. 9, is. 8, pp. 813.
Schwalfenberg, G, & Genuis, S, 2017. ‘The Importance of Magnesium in Clinical Healthcare’, Scientifica.
Trivedi, M, Dixit, N, Panda, P, Kumar, K & Jana, S, 2017. ‘In-depth investigation on physicochemical and thermal properties of magnesium (II) gluconate using spectroscopic and thermoanalytical techniques’, Journal of Pharmaceutical Analysis, vol. 7, is. 5

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