Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oils vs. Ancient Minerals Bath Flakes

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.