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Did You Know: Not All Magnesium is the Same?

24 March 2016 - Posted by Kathryn Kos

The Difference between Magnesium Chloride and Magnesium Sulfate

Winding down at the end of the day with a magnesium soak is an amazing way to calm the body and ease into restful sleep. Magnesium baths are great for stress relief, muscle soreness after working out, improving circulation, relieving headaches, joint pain, skin conditions, and much more. Did you know that not all magnesium soaks are equal? There is actually a big difference between magnesium bath flakes and epsom salts.

Magnesium bath flakes are made from magnesium chloride. Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate. Although both contain a form of magnesium, magnesium chloride is much better suited for topical application.

According to Dr. Sircus, magnesium chloride is a most important and vital mineral required for life. Without magnesium chloride, the human body would be unable to maintain fluids in blood vessels, conduct nerve transmissions, move muscles, or maintain proper kidney function. Magnesium chloride is a highly soluble, potent form of magnesium for fast-acting topical uses.1

Magnesium chloride is more easily absorbed and utilized by the body.

Magnesium chloride is the best choice because of its clinical and pharmacological effects, and its lower tissue toxicity as compared to magnesium sulfate. Magnesium chloride is more easily assimilated, and therefore more bioavailable or absorbed and utilized by the body. Whereas magnesium sulfate is not as easily absorbed and utilized in the body. Magnesium sulfate is also more rapidly excreted through the kidneys than magnesium chloride, which explains why results don’t last long, and more amounts are needed for desired effects.2

While it may be tempting to just run out to the drugstore and buy epsom salts for your nightly relaxation soak, magnesium bath flakes and topical magnesium oil (both made from magnesium chloride) are your best bet for when looking to soak away the stress of the day, and wind down for a good night’s sleep!


  1. Sircus, Dr. Mark (2012) Magnesium Chloride Benefits.
  2. Durlach, J., Guiet-Bara, A., Pages, N., Bac, P., and Bara, M. (2005). Magnesium chloride or magnesium sulfate: a genuine question. Magnesium Resarch 18 (3) 187-92.

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