Milk of Magnesia for Face – Uses and Benefits


Wondering if it is safe to use milk of magnesia for face oil and problems reduction? Then continue reading to not only get insight into common benefits and uses of this home remedy for skin improvement but also learn how to use it. We have also briefly discussed Phillips MoM.

Milk of Magnesia on Face

Milk of magnesia uses have broadened significantly ever since it was patented by john Callen in 1818 for alleviation of digestive disorders such as constipation and acid indigestion. One unlikely use is topical application which left me wondering, “Why use milk of magnesia on face” the first time I read about it in one of the online beauty and health forums that I visit often. Whether to use or not to use milk of magnesia on face is subject to varying opinions depending on the use to which it is intended for.

A good DIY face mask for oily face
A good DIY face mask for oily face.

Proponents of facial use of milk of magnesia on one hand tout its benefit in improving oily skin and creating a smooth matte texture that is ready to hold makeup for a longer time. They also claim that the antibacterial properties of milk of magnesia work in conjunction with the oil-reducing abilities to reduce the appearance of acne pimples and blemishes.

Opponents of facial use of milk of magnesia on the other hand disagree with this view saying that the alkaline nature of magnesium hydroxide can damage the acid mantle on the face when used for a long period or too frequently.

The acid mantle is a thin acidic film on the face that maintains a slightly acidic pH that is unsuitable for survival of harmful bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms yet perfectly suited for the activity of beneficial bacteria that thrive on human skin.

According to the Future Derm website, when acid mantel gets damaged, a proliferation of harmful bacteria may prevail in the long run leading to a whole lot of dermal problems including acne breakouts.

The site also links long term use of milk of magnesia for face improvement purposes to a score of other side effects ranging from contact dermatitis to poor extracellular lipid processing, and poor skin exfoliation potential among others. Using milk of magnesia on face can also cause tightens, dryness and flakiness among people with naturally dry skin.

While using milk of magnesia for face improvement goes a long way in not only reducing facial oiliness but also prolonging the makeup wear time while improving acne pimples caused by excessive oil, it is only recommended for the short term. It is also not an ideal option for people with very dry skin and magnesium allergy.

Milk of Magnesia Uses for Face and Benefits

The face is the hallmark of beauty and our point of contact with the rest of the world. As such people will go to any lengths to make it smooth, supple, and beautiful looking. Among the thousands home remedies for facial skin improvement, you might not suspect to find milk of magnesia which is actually a laxative, but it is now widely used in that context. We sought to find out the benefits of milk of magnesia on face and the common milk of magnesia uses for face and here is the list we compiled:

Skin oil reduction: This is arguably the most common facial use of milk of magnesia. Milk of magnesia for face is is mainly hydroxide suspended in purified water. Magnesium hydroxide is known to help with the breakdown of wax esters and steryl esters which also happens to be the most significant components of human skin oil.

How to get rid of oily skin with milk of magnesia
How to get rid of oily skin with milk of magnesia

When applied topically on the skin, milk of magnesia helps to reduce the oil and shine and give a matte texture. Most people use milk of magnesia for face oil reduction during special occasions.

Increase makeup wear time: Also ranking prominently among MoM benefits is its ability to help makeup to stay on for monger when used as a primer. This is especially helpful for people with oily skin who finds themselves with the need to spend a whole day looking matte e.g. for a wedding or photo shoot.

Acne treatment: While milk of magnesia cannot prevent the occurrence of acne pimples and blemishes, it can help to reduce the redness and inflammation of the pimples and help fade away the scars caused by cystic acne.

The oil-blotting and antiseptic properties of milk of magnesia work seamlessly together to fight the two most common underlying factors for acne breakouts, namely, bacteria and excess oil. Doctors also think that healing properties of the zinc found in MoM also helps with wound and acne breakout healing.

Milk of Magnesia Face Mask

According to the Acne Helper website, milk of magnesia is most effective for treatment of acne when used as a mask. A mask is also helpful if applying this laxative as a primer leaves your face feeling too dry or tight.

Here is how to apply a milk of magnesia face mask:

  • Start by cleaning your face as you normally do (you can as well wait until right after a bath or shower). You may want to use a cleanser specifically formulated for use on oily skin for the purpose.
  • Pour a small amount of milk of magnesia into the lid of the bottle and then apply a thin layer of it onto your face using a clean cotton ball
  • Allow the milk of magnesia between 10 and 15 minutes to dry. Your skin might feel a bit tight.
  • Rinse it off with warm water.

Keep in mind that milk of magnesia is not recommended for people with dry skin. As for people with a mixture of dry and normal skin, e.g. those who get oily patches during summers, it is advisable to apply milk of magnesia on the oily parts of the skin rather than use the above milk of magnesia face mask.

Some people have reported getting a more reddened and flaky look after applying a milk of magnesia facial mask. This is thought to be an initial response to restoration of skin balance.

How to Use Milk of Magnesia on Face

Look around in the boards of health and beauty websites and you are bound to come across quite a number of users looking for information on how to use milk of magnesia on face. Different people have reported success with different approaches to using this remedy.

Some use milk of magnesia as a makeup primer whereby they apply a thin film of it before applying their usual makeup. This helps to reduce oiliness and provide a smooth canvas that can hold on the makeup products for longer.

If you have face pimples, MoM can help you clear them
If you have face pimples, MoM can help you clear them

Even as a primer, there are those who prefer to use the MoM as the first product and those who apply it after applying their facial moisturizers and then finish with their makeup cosmetics. It is up to you to decide which option you prefer and/or gives the best results.

There are as well other people who use milk of magnesia for face as a spot treatment for acne pimples. This entails dabbing a small amount of the product on the pimples and leaving it on overnight before washing it off in the morning.

The last option in using milk of magnesia for face oil reduction and skin improvement is to apply a facial mask. Simply apply a generous amount of MoM on the face and wash it off with warm water after 10 minutes or so as outlined previously in this article.

Phillips Milk of Magnesia on Face

While there are many milk of magnesia products out there, Phillips is the most commonly used and doctor recommended product. As one of the reviewers on Amazon puts it, Phillips is “…the granddad of oral suspension laxatives” and most guides specify applying Phillips milk of magnesia on face. Any other drugstore milk of magnesia product will however do just fine. What really matters is the ingredients.

Just make ensure to read the list of ingredients and ensure that the product you are considering has no mineral oil. If in doubt, stay on the safe side by sticking to the old, proven Phillips brand. Phillips milk of magnesia also comes in a variety of flavors nowadays including cherry and mint flavors but your best bet is the classic non-flavored variety.