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Magnesium Bath Flakes vs Magnesium Oil

5 October 2012 - Posted by Ashley under ,

Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil

A Response to “How to Make Your Own Magnesium Oil”

As this does not appear on our website, I thought it might be prudent to explain the difference between our Ancient Minerals magnesium oil and our bath flakes – especially since it pertains to purity. We’ve recently seen a rise in the amount of posts regarding utilizing our bath flakes to “create” a magnesium oil, and for reasons we will explain, this is not something that we recommend or endorse.

So, here is the question that was posed to us:

Are your magnesium bath flakes the same purity as your magnesium oil?

In short, no, our magnesium bath flakes are not going to be of the same purity or composition as the original magnesium oil, despite the fact that they are created using that very same magnesium oil.

Now, why is this?

To explain this, we’ll have to delve into a bit of chemistry.

Firstly, magnesium chloride (MgCl2) is hygroscopic, which means that it readily retains and attracts moisture. You may have noticed this if you’ve used our bath flakes – if you leave them exposed to the air they will actually begin to melt as they draw molecules of water to them. Because of this quality, the production of the flakes requires an evaporating process using high heat.

To produce our bath flakes, the magnesium oil is heated up to roughly around 320 Degrees Fahrenheit (160 Celcius) and the water is evaporated until a concentration of 47% of magnesium chloride is reached. Due to the heating process needed for this amount of evaporation to occur, a small amount of MgCl2 will decompose to MgOHCl (magnesium hydroxide chloride), MgCO3 (magnesium carbonate) and HCl (hydrochloric acid). These resulting compounds are responsible for the cloudiness and tint that can be seen after dissolving the flakes. They are not hazardous, but are by-products of the necessary steps to get the magnesium chloride crystals.

Furthermore, the magnesium oil that we supply goes through an additional filtration process which removes superfluous elements such as iron (which causes an orange tinge) so that the finished product is of the highest purity possible and of crystal-like clarity.

For usage requiring lower magnesium concentrations using large amounts of water, such as body baths, foot baths or flotation tanks, the flakes are perfectly suitable and certainly simplify the process. The higher dilution in these applications also means that those by-products are diluted as well, making their presence inconsequential.

For those who wish to use the magnesium at its highest topical concentration, we recommend the undiluted purity that can only be achieved by using the magnesium oil – straight from the source without any heat treatment or additional resulting compounds. In other words, we do not recommend that our bath flakes be utilized to “create” an oil, as that would significantly increase the concentration of those by-products, and therefore increase your direct exposure to them.

I hope that answers that inquiry sufficiently, and remember to always feel free to contact us with additional questions and comments.

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The above article should also sufficiently answer the following questions posed from those utilizing the bath flakes to create an “oil”:

Why is the magnesium oil that I made cloudy?

Why does the magnesium oil that I made look slightly orange/brown/yellow?

Why doesn’t my bath flake magnesium oil look the same as the oil I purchased?

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  • d

    My guess would be supply, demand, and marketing.

  • Emily

    Are the flakes safe for human consumption in a solution? Assuming that any byproducts of carbonate and HCl will neutralise in solution…?

  • Ashley

    Hi Emily,

    Due to the fact that we manufacture the Ancient Minerals line for topical use only, we cannot recommend the oral consumption of the product.

    Please let us know if you have any other questions or comments.

  • http://live-dreams.com Bill Herr

    I have the same question, and this 10 month old original question needs a response please!

  • Thomas Humphreys

    Ashley, I appreciate your response but looking at the explanation that your company gives to illustrate why there is a difference in your magnesium oil and magnesium oil made at home, the answer does not truly address the reason for a difference in the two oils. You indicate that you heat your magnesium oil and then filter it to remove harmful substances, but you don’t say explicitly that filtering can remove the MgOHCl, the MgCO3 and the HCl. Would you address this, please

  • silasozzie

    epsom salt is nowhere NEAR as good as magnesium flakes

  • samlebon23

    Hi,
    How was your experiment with your homemade magnesium oil?
    Thank you.

  • Christine

    Does your magnesium oil contain any hydrochloric acid

  • Mark

    Would there be any undesirable reaction if I took a magnesium-flake foot-bath in an aluminum pan?

  • Karen

    The flakes yield 15m (150,000mg) not 15mg per cup.

  • Susu 4

    Hi there your are absolutely right I make my own magnesium oil, 1/2 cup warm distilled water; for longer shelf life. Plus 1/2 cup of magnesium chloride flakes melt and put in ( glass preferably )spray bottles but can use plastic. I also add around 10 drops of lavender essence oil. The lavender not only makes it smell nice but it is an antibacterial anti fungal oil. I especially add it when using it as a deodorant .
    Hope that is helpful

  • STARSTERN

    had anyone used both oil and flakes ,and got better results for his application by one over the other ?

  • Clarity

    Hi Ashley,
    I would like some clarification to make sure I understand what you are saying the difference is between your magnesium oil and homemade.
    I believe what you are saying is your heating process removes the by products which are not hazardous, but that cause the oil to be cloudy. Then your filtration process removes iron, which causes an orange tint. Are either of these processes removing hazardous materials, or are they just making the product more pure (crystal clear)? In other words, I understand that your processes produce a very clear product without the non hazardous materials that would prevent the clarity, but is your product healthier assuming homemade is made with boiled distilled water with your magnesium flakes. Thank you!

  • ArkhamAngel

    You posted that:

    “To produce our bath flakes, the magnesium oil is heated up to roughly around 320 Degrees Fahrenheit (160 Celcius) and the water is evaporated until a concentration of 47% of magnesium chloride is reached. Due to the heating process needed for this amount of evaporation to occur, a small amount of MgCl2 will decompose to MgOHCl (magnesium hydroxide chloride), MgCO3 (magnesium carbonate) and HCl (hydrochloric acid). These resulting compounds are responsible for the cloudiness and tint that can be seen after dissolving the flakes. They are not hazardous, but are by-products of the necessary steps to get the magnesium chloride crystals.”

    My question is: How is the magnesium oil made in the first place?

  • Victoria Candiotti

    Does Magnesium oil go bad

  • Ashley (AJ)

    Hi Thomas,

    My apologies for any miscommunication – our bath flakes are not created with the final magnesium oil product (which goes through the additional phase of filtration). The flakes are created using magnesium oil which is one step below and still contains those aforementioned superfluous elements such as iron – elements which are insignificant in a largely dilute setting such as a bath.

    I hope that helps to rectify the miscommunication, but please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have further questions.