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Magnesium and skin health in kids

Written by Mothers Mylk Paediatric Nutritionist - Chrissy Smith

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In the picturesque landscapes of Australia, where sun-kissed days and outdoor adventures are woven into the fabric of childhood, maintaining optimal skin health for our little ones becomes paramount.

As a paediatric nutritionist working closely with parents who are committed to providing the best for their little ones, I often find myself emphasising the significance of a holistic approach to child health. Let's dive into the often-overlooked yet essential element for skin health in kids - magnesium.

We will explore this theme over a series of four blog posts including 1) In depth look at the role of magnesium in supporting child skin health, 2) dietary sources of magnesium suitable for children, 3) practical tips of integrating magnesium-rich foods into meals, and 4) how magnesium can contribute to a healthy skincare routine.


Part I: An in depth look at the role of magnesium in supporting child skin health.

Magnesium, a vital mineral involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions within the body, extends its influence to the health and resilience of the skin. Scientific studies consistently highlight magnesium's contribution to cellular integrity, emphasising its role in maintaining the structural foundation of skin tissues.

1. Collagen Synthesis: 
Collagen, the structural protein responsible for skin elasticity, is intricately linked to magnesium. Evidence suggests that magnesium actively participates in collagen synthesis, promoting the formation of a robust and flexible skin structure. This is especially crucial in the early stages of life when a child's skin is developing and adapting to external influences. As children grow, their skin undergoes constant changes, and optimal collagen synthesis is essential for ensuring the skin adapts to these changes with resilience. Magnesium, acting as a behind-the-scenes supporter, facilitates this process and lays the foundation for a healthy and vibrant complexion.

2. Antioxidant Defence: Magnesium acts as a cofactor for antioxidant enzymes, helping to neutralise free radicals that can cause oxidative stress to the skin. By reinforcing the body's antioxidant defence mechanisms, magnesium contributes to shielding the skin from environmental aggressors, promoting a healthy and radiant complexion.

3. Inflammation Regulation: Chronic inflammation is often implicated in various skin conditions. Magnesium showcases anti-inflammatory properties, potentially alleviating skin irritations and conditions commonly experienced by children ranging from eczema to diaper rash. Scientific studies have indicated that magnesium may play a role in modulating inflammatory responses, fostering a calm and balanced skin environment.

4. Skin Barrier Enhancement:
 The skin barrier is the frontline defence against external threats. Magnesium supports the skin barrier function by influencing lipid production and promoting hydration. This helps in maintaining a protective shield, preventing moisture loss, and ensuring the skin remains resilient and supple.

As we navigate the evidence supporting magnesium's role in protecting our children's skin against the unique challenges posed by the Australian environment, stay tuned for the upcoming parts of this series. We will explore dietary tips, practical insights, and skincare routines that embrace the marvels of magnesium, ensuring your child's skin flourishes.

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