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What Mineral Firms, Detoxifies and Brightens the Skin?

Magnesium is one of the most essential minerals for the human body, it’s also the fourth most abundant in the body and the seventh most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. This wonder mineral is necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including normal muscle and nerve function, steady heart rhythm, and a healthy immune system.

In aesthetics, a variety of magnesium compounds are used. At a glance, magnesium aids in protein synthesis and energy regulation at the cellular level. It also softens, tones, activates enzymes, and facilitates detoxification.

What It Is

Magnesium (Mg) is a chemical element and its ions are essential to all living cells. Enzymes in the body require magnesium to function. It also regulates proper cell function. In skin care, some of the most commonly used magnesium compounds include magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP), magnesium chloride, magnesium carbonate, sodium magnesium silicate, and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt).

Many of us are familiar with magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt), as it has been long used to soothe aches and reduce inflammation. It earned its name from the town Epsom in Surrey, England, which incidentally was known as a “spa town” for the springs from which the salts were distilled.

MAP, one of the most commonly used forms of magnesium in topical applications, is a non-irritating, stable derivative of vitamin C that works to increase the activity of the vitamin’s benefits. Magnesium carbonate is an absorbent drying agent. It works as an astringent, providing toning, smoothing and skin-softening properties.

How It Works

Each of the commonly used magnesium compounds serves a different purpose in aesthetics.

Magnesium chloride contributes to the manufacturing of cellular energy, activates enzymes and facilitates detoxification.

Though the aforementioned magnesium compounds can be found in topical applications, MAP is one of the most frequently used compounds and one of the most powerful. The water-soluble vitamin C derivative, stimulates collagen production, inhibits melanin production and provides antioxidant support.

It is equally as effective as L-ascorbic acid in regulating collagen biosynthesis, and has the ability to suppress melanin formation by inhibiting tyrosinase. As a form of vitamin C it also improves skin elasticity, boosts the skin’s immune system, and repairs damages caused by external elements. Since it is a stable, non-irritating form of vitamin C it is also wonderful for sensitive skin types.

Where to Find It

In food sources, magnesium is most commonly found in dark green, leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli, as well as bananas, avocados, almonds and cashews, seeds, legumes, soy, and whole grains like brown rice and millet.

MAP may be commonly found in nourishing vitamin and antioxidant complexes and serums, such as the C Peptide Complex, since it is a form of vitamin C. It is also commonly used for UV protection and repair, as well as in skin lightening and brightening formulas for its melanin inhibiting properties.

Magnesium carbonate is typically used as clay in masks because of its smoothing and skin-softening properties. Sodium magnesium silicate, an opacifying agent, may be found in bronzing topicals, like the Bronzed, to give skin a sun-kissed glow. Of course, magnesium sulfate is most commonly found in Epsom salts, which has a variety of uses.

While magnesium is an important part of maintaining healthy skin, like anything, it requires a healthy balance, knowledge of the ingredient and how it affects the skin. Some magnesium compounds, particularly magnesium chloride, can irritate certain skin types and sensitive areas should be avoided. When used properly, and in the right formulas, magnesium will support healthy, radiant, youthful looking skin.

Question: Which magnesium containing products do you like to work with?