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DIY Tallow Magnesium Lotion

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Magnesium is a critical mineral for health, yet many people are deficient. This DIY tallow magnesium lotion is a great option for boosting magnesium levels.

This post was updated on 3/12/2023 from its original recipe.

Why is Magnesium Important?

Magnesium is involved in over 500 processes in the body! To name a few, the body needs sufficient levels of magnesium for cell metabolism, producing energy, and regulating insulin. Furthermore, magnesium is the first mineral to be depleted when the body is under stress. I think we can all agree that we have stress in some way, shape, or form. So, some extra magnesium would likely be beneficial! 

homemade magnesium lotion for kids or adults

Other indications that your magnesium could be low are:

  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Sleep Issues
  • Migraines/headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Infertility
  • PMS
  • High or Low Cholesterol
  • Arrhythmia/heart palpitations
  • Numbness/Tingling
  • Nausea

Our Story Around Magnesium Lotion

We’ve been on a significant health journey for many years. This was actually the instigator for us in beginning our homesteading journey. However, even after making a lot of changes, there were still a few things that I was trying to figure out, especially around hormonal imbalances. 

I began to do a deep dive into understanding how minerals work in the body and how important they are for health. The hormone healing rd is a great resource for this. In my exploration, I realized I had several symptoms of possible magnesium deficiency and wanted to begin adding it in to our family’s routine.

applying magnesium tallow lotion

How Do You Know If You Need More Magnesium?

The way to find out your magnesium status is by a magnesium RBC blood test or a Hair Mineral Analysis. Talk to your practitioner if you want to get more testing done to find out exactly what your levels are.

Ways to Get more Magnesium

The foods with the most robust amounts of magnesium present are cooked leafy greens, bone broth, grass fed dairy, or cacao. In fact, if you often crave chocolate, this could definitely be an indication that your body is actually depleted in magnesium.

As you can see, this is a pretty short list. It is difficult to get in sufficient amounts of magnesium solely through food. Especially if you are under stress and are burning through magnesium rapidly.

do it yourself tallow magnesium lotion

Enter in, adding magnesium topically! There are three options of getting magnesium in through the skin.

  • Magnesium oil
  • Magnesium lotion
  • Epsom Salt Baths or Soaks

My preferred method is lotion. I’ve tried simply rubbing magnesium oil on my skin, which is the first step in making the lotion. However, the magnesium oil was irritating on my skin and dried it out. I really like the idea of Epsom salt baths or foot soaks, but with three young children and a homestead, my time for baths is limited. Magnesium lotion is quick and easy to apply and leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized.

What Is Tallow?

Tallow is rendered suet or beef fat. Don’t worry, if rendered in a specific way the tallow is completely odorless. This post shows exactly how to render tallow to make it odorless and ready to use for all of your skincare needs.

cows on pasture with sunrise

Why Tallow?

There are so many benefits to using tallow on the skin. In fact, after we started incorporating it, it’s all we use for our complete skin care regimen – shampoo bars, soap, lotion, moisturizer, and deodorant. Tallow has been used both internally and externally for hundreds of years and with good reason – its benefits are hard to beat! 

  • High in vitamins A, D, E, K, and B12
  • Rich in minerals
  • Contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) with natural anti-inflammatory properties
  • Palmitoleic acid is a powerful antimicrobial agent that is also a basic building block of our skin
  • Palmitic acid helps to improve the function of the skin’s protective barrier
  • Stearic acid helps to repair damaged skin and improves the skins flexibility and suppleness

FAQ About Tallow Magnesium Lotion

Who is this lotion good for? Is it safe for Kids?

If you are unsure about adding a topical magnesium to your routine, you should always consult your medical provider before implementing anything. That being said, the amount of magnesium you would get from the lotion is not a high dose. Our whole family uses it including babies and kids. It is my opinion that almost everyone could benefit from adding a bit of magnesium, especially if you are under stress or experiencing any of the above symptoms associated with magnesium deficiency.

Where do you buy tallow?

In order to get the maximum nutrients and health benefits in tallow for your skin, you will want to find tallow from grass fed and finished cows. Contact your local farmer or if you are unaware of a regenerative farm in your area, you can check out localharvest.org for some options in your area.

ingredients for diy tallow magnesium lotion

What type of magnesium?

My favorite magnesium for this is the magnesium flakes from Ancient Minerals. As far as I am aware, this is the most reputable product for high quality magnesium available.

Can you Substitute Beeswax for the Candelilla Wax?

I used to use beeswax instead of candelilla wax in this recipe but found that overtime, the emulsion separated and the magnesium water would separate from the oils. Although beeswax can often act as an emulsifier in skin care products, it isn’t a true emulsifier when emulsifying water in oils. While we still used this lotion, the consistency significantly improved when we made the switch from beeswax to candelilla wax. 

thick creamy homemade magnesium lotion

How frequently and where do you apply it?

Our routine is to apply it to our kids and ourselves as part of our bedtime routines. You will want to avoid applying it to any areas with a cut or open wound as it may burn. Besides that, we just lather it on. I like to put it on areas under clothing like feet or belly that won’t get the sheets potentially stained from the oils in the lotion. If I remember, I try to use it in the morning as well.

Tallow Magnesium Lotion

Yield: 1.5 Cups

Ingredients:

½ cup water
½ cup magnesium flakes
3 tbsp olive oil (or avocado oil)
1/2 cup tallow
2 tbsp cocoa butter (or shea butter)
2 tbsp candelilla wax
10 or more drops of essential oils (optional)

Directions:

1. Heat ½ cup of water to just before boiling.
2. Stir ½ cup of magnesium flakes into the hot water until the magnesium flakes are completely dissolved.
3. Add tallow, oil, cocoa butter, and candelilla wax to a heat safe glass container
4. Add water to a pot and heat on stove. Place a rag or towel at the bottom of the pot and add your container of tallow and other ingredients on top of the rag.
5. Heat up the water on medium heat on stove to heat up tallow mixture until everything is completely melted.
6. Once melted, remove from heat.
7. Using an immersion blender*, blend the tallow mixture while slowly pouring the magnesium water into the tallow mixture.
8. Blend until the magnesium solution is completely blended in, a lotion is formed, and desired consistency is reached.
9. Pour into jars.

*A blender on a low speed or food processor will work if you don’t have an immersion blender.

Have you tried adding magnesium topically? We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below!

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simple diy tallow magnesium lotion recipe

DIY Tallow Magnesium Lotion

Yield: 1.5 cups

Magnesium is a critical mineral for health, yet many people are deficient. This simple DIY tallow magnesium lotion is a great option for boosting magnesium levels.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup magnesium flakes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (or avocado oil)
  • 1/2 cup tallow
  • 2 tbsp cocoa butter (or shea butter)
  • 2 tbsp candelilla wax
  • 10 or more drops of essential oils (optional)

Instructions

    1. Heat ½ cup of water to just before boiling.

    2. Stir ½ cup of magnesium flakes into the hot water until the magnesium flakes are completely dissolved.

    3. Add tallow, oil, cocoa butter, and beeswax to a heat safe glass container

    4. Add water to a pot and heat on stove. Place a rag or towel at the bottom of the pot and add your container of tallow and other ingredients on top of the rag.
    5. Heat up the water on medium heat on stove to heat up tallow mixture until everything is completely melted.

    6. Once melted, remove from heat.
    7. Using an immersion blender*, blend the tallow mixture while slowly pouring the magnesium water into the tallow mixture.
    8. Blend until the magnesium solution is completely blended in, a lotion is formed, and desired consistency is reached.
9. Pour into jars.

    *A blender on a low speed or food processor will work if you don’t have an immersion blender.

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38 Comments

  1. Hi there! I made this lotion and the magnesium water keeps separating from my lotion. Did I not blend it long enough? I used an immersion blender — when I first finished the lotion it was like a very thick, heavy lotion. Would blending longer make it lighter as well?

    Love your blog and YouTube!

    1. Hi Megan! When does the magnesium water separate and how much? Overtime, I will notice some droplets separate to the top but it’s not much and I usually just mix it in with my finger when I’m applying the lotion. It is a pretty thick lotion but blending it more should incorporate more air making it lighter and a bit more whipped. But with the beeswax in there to hold it together it is a thicker lotion. Hopefully this is helpful. Let me know if you are able to get it!! Thanks so much for reading/watching!!

  2. Hi! As the above comment, my magnesium brine seeped out of the rest of the lotion as soon as it cooled, while I was using the immersion blender. So weird!

    1. Thanks for letting me know! That is weird. I’ve never had that problem. It has seeped out a little over time but not right away and not significantly. I’m going to dig into this more and see what I can do to improve this recipe so that doesn’t happen.

      1. I wonder if it has to do with water quality? I’m going to make this recipe for a holiday gift, I can share if it turns out well with using filtered water

      2. My advice is to pour the magnesium brine into your bowl of melted oils/butters as slowly as possible with the mixer on. Then put the blended mixture into the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Then whip it.
        Like she said, you may see some droplets on the top of the finished product but nothing substantial enough to render it ineffective.

    1. I’m sorry that happened! That’s so strange because mine has never separated once the lotion has cooled. However, over time the magnesium brine will separate some from the lotion. It’s on my list to look into this recipe and figure out a way to make it emulsify so that the magnesium oil doesn’t separate. I’ll update the recipe as soon as I do.

    1. I haven’t for this recipe specifically because magnesium acts as a preservative. When we used to use beeswax in this recipe we had issues with it separating but since switching to candelilla wax, it has worked very well as an emulsifier.

  3. Do you know what the breakdown is for how much magnesium there is per “dose”? Say you use a tsp, how much would that be?

    1. This is a great question! Honestly, I don’t have the ability to test this to know exactly. It’s not a huge amount of magnesium and taking it orally will be a higher dosage. But this is a great place to start and we’ve especially noticed its calming effects and benefits on sleep using it before before bed.

  4. I made this and it didn’t separate. However my lotion seems to have hardened. It was so silky smooth when I made it. I put it in jars and when I opened it the next day to use it it’s kind of hard. How can I fix this?

    1. Hi there! I’d adjust the amount of cocoa/shea butter and wax that you use. I would think slightly less wax would make it less firm. But, I’ve only made it as stated on the recipe so I don’t know exact amounts.

  5. Hi thanks a lot for this one… Just one question….

    cant the magnesium not just be add to the warm oil….?

    best of all from denmark

    Karina

    1. Hi! Great question! I actually recently had a friend ask me the same thing. She experimented with adding the magnesium to the oil and it didn’t work. You have to dissolve the magnesium in water first. I’m not completely sure about the science behind why that doesn’t work but it doesn’t seem to! All the best!

  6. Why not just use magnesium oil instead of magnesium flakes+water? Wouldn’t this solve the separation issue?

    1. Hi! Good question. You could definitely use already made magnesium oil but from my understanding mixing your own is the same thing and more cost effective. Thanks for asking!

  7. Just FYI, any product made with water absolutely needs a preservative to prevent growth of bacteria and mold. The type of preservative and how it is incorporated is specific, so research is in order. Many people get antioxidants confused with preservatives also. You can make a softer butter without using water by adjusting the oil/butter percentages.

    1. Thanks for sharing! In this recipe, the magnesium chloride brine acts as a preservative similarly to salt. We’ve stored it for several months with no issue!

  8. I am so excited to make the Magnesium cream. I followed your excellent advice on rendering the suet. You may have mentioned this and i may just have missed it. When measuring the 1/2 cup of tallow is it measured at room temp or is it melted first then 1/2 cup measured before adding other ingredients? I apologize if you did say and I probably had a senior moment and missed it. Also can the recipe be doubled or is the small amount better?. Thank you for sharing your skills and knowledge with others it is a real blessing

    1. Good question! 1/2 cup melted but it doesn’t need to be exact. I usually eyeball it when I’m scooping out the hard tallow and come pretty close :).

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