How to Use Milk of Magnesia for Oily Skin


Want to know how to use milk of magnesia for oily skin? Here’s not only to show you how to use milk of magnesia for oily skin improvement and makeup preparation, but also highlight some of the side effects associated with facial use of milk of magnesia and give tips and best practices that will minimize the risks.   

How to Use Milk of Magnesia for Oily Skin

Used topically, milk of magnesia can help to combat the shine that is typical of oily skin and make the skin smooth while reduce the appearance of related problems such as acne and blemishes. Applying milk of magnesia is a fantastic choice for people looking to keep their makeup wear intact all day, for example, brides, but not a good long-term oily skin remedy for reasons highlighted in a subsequent section of this guide.

With that in mind, here is how to use milk of magnesia for oily skin improvement:

Face mask using milk of magnesia
Face mask using milk of magnesia.
  • Start by cleansing your face. Alternatively, wait until after you just take your shower in the morning. Ensure that your face is dry; pat it dry with a towel.
  • Next grab a small cotton ball (or a disposable cosmetic sponge) and pour a thin layer of milk of magnesia. An easy way to do that with the disposable cosmetic sponge is to press it slightly against the mouth of the MoM bottle before tipping it over a bit.
  • Dab the wet cotton ball gently all over your face to apply a thin layer of milk of magnesia paying close attention to the forehead, cheeks, nose, chin, and jaw areas.
  • Allow the MoM time to dry. This takes only a few minutes. Once dry, it is normal to see some chalky white streaks on your face. Simply rub them off gently using a dry cotton ball or cosmetic sponge.
  • Finally, apply your regular makeup as you normally do and you are good to go. You will have a whole day of a matte look and het best part, you will most likely have a longer makeup wear time. It doesn’t hurt to apply moisturizer as well. Some people start with the moisturizer before moving on to MoM and then winding up with their facial makeup.

Phillips Milk of Magnesia for Oily Skin

Phillips milk of magnesia is not meant to be a skin care product but the use of Phillips milk of magnesia for oily skin improvement seems like it is here to stay especially given the rave reviews and ratings that this product enjoys in online beauty and health sites such as and

When used as a topical DIY beauty remedy, Phillip’s milk of magnesia helps to soak up excess oil and reduce acne. As a doctor’s favorite for many years, it is available in small blue bottles in most local drugstores.

You may as well order your bottle online on the manufacturer’s website or on their official amazon stores. There are as well many online shopping sites and pharmacies that feature Phillips milk of magnesia – e.g., and Walgreens among many others – but should you decide to follow that route, take care not to fall prey to unscrupulous dealers who are out to steal your hard earned money.

If you have blackheads and large pores, you can use milk of magnesia on your face as a primer
If you have blackheads and large pores, you can use milk of magnesia on your face as a primer.

It is also a good idea to compare prices and ensure you get the best value for your money. In additional to the classic non-flavored variety, there are also cherry and mint flavored nowadays. These flavored alternatives make for good choices if you are like one user I came across on amazon who feels that the traditional flavor is too medicinal.

Phillips milk of magnesia has nice consistency and a thin layer will goes a long way. Consequently your small bottle will last you quite a while. But that doesn’t justify long term use. In fact you should before using Phillips milk of magnesia for oily skin improvement keep in mind that safe use lies in occasional and/or short term application. You don’t want to end up with a proliferation of bacteria and viruses and possibly have a whole lots of dermal problems to show for it.

Milk of Magnesia Primer for Oily Skin

Milk of magnesia is mainly a magnesium hydroxide suspension in purified water, with sodium hypochlorite typically added to act as a buffering agent. For a long time, milk of magnesia (MoM) has been used as an antacid for relief of hyperacidity related problems such as acid indigestion and flatulence among others, and as a laxative to relieve symptoms of constipation.

The use of milk of magnesia primer for oily skin improvement only emerged and gained popularity a few years ago. This is anchored on a scientific study conducted by Stewart and Downing in 1981.

The study found magnesium hydroxide, the active ingredient in milk of magnesia, to effectively break down wax esters and steryl esters obtained from human skin. This was a significant finding as these constitute the two major components of the oil on human face. Applying MoM on the face thus helps to de-grease it by breaking down the wax esters and steryl esters responsible for the excess oil.

Using a milk of magnesia primer for oily skin prior to makeup application helps to create a smooth canvas on which they can then apply their makeup. This not only help to give their face a matte feel, but also helps their makeup to stay on for longer. This is especially useful for women who experience an increased skin oil production during the hot summer months.

Concern is however raised about using milk of magnesia for oily skin improvement over the long term. Milk of magnesia has a pH of 10.5 which makes it a very strong alkaline. This does not auger well with the natural pH of the skin.

Naturally the skin maintains a slightly acidic pH through the presence of a thin film of acidic secretion from the sebaceous gland. The film is called acid mantle and helps to maintain a pH that is suitable for thriving of beneficial bacteria while keeping harmful bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms at bay. Just as it neutralizes the acidity in your stomach (using the hydroxyl groups from magnesium hydroxide), milk of magnesia will neutralize the useful acid mantle on your face when applied topically.

If you have an oily skin, stay matte all day with MoM.
If you have an oily skin, stay matte all day with MoM.

By doing that, MoM destroys the protective cushion and leave your facial skin prone to attacks from harmful bacteria and viruses. Over time this could lead to a proliferation of harmful pathogens and expose your skin to numerous dermal problems.

Among the problems associated with are contact dermatitis, poor intercellular lipid processing as a result of damaged enzyme activation action, reduced ability of the skin to exfoliate dead skin layers, poor overall skin integrity.

Using milk of magnesia primer for oily skin improvement every once in a while is however okay and can indeed help you to strike that matte texture ready for a photo session or a bridal event. For long term oily skin improvement, you are safest using one of the many primers out there that are specifically formulated for oily skin.

Milk of Magnesia Face Mask for Blackheads

Blackheads usually occurs on the skin as a result of clogging of hair follicles. They are a sign of mild acne and derive their name from the darkened look of the skin. They most commonly appear on the face but can appear anywhere else on the body including the back, chest, neck, arms, shoulders, and abdomen.

Some people have reported success reducing the appearance of blackheads by applying a milk of magnesia face mask and then leaving it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it out with lukewarm water.

Others have reported success by dabbing a little MoM directly on the blackheads especially when they are just starting to form and yet others have succeeded with using a few MoM drops as a toner.

Milk of Magnesia for Oily Skin Side Effects

The use of milk of magnesia for oily skin is associated with numerous side effects. To start with, people with normal skin and combination skin might feel dry and tight on the face. If you have normal skin, there is absolutely no reason to use milk of magnesia. As for people with a combination skin, for example those who get oily areas of skin during summers, usage should be limited to only the oily areas of skin.

Long term use of milk of magnesia for oily skin enhancement could also cause a myriad of side effects such as contact dermatitis, reduced exfoliation abilities of the skin, and reduced extra cellular lipid processing, with all these leading to poor overall skin integrity.

There is also the inherent risk of bacterial proliferation owing to destruction of the protective acid mantle typically found on the skin with long tern use of MoM.

Use of milk of magnesia for facial oil reduction should be spared to special occasions e.g. when having a photo shoot or attending a special occasion such as a wedding. This can in turn cause various dermal problems as side effects, including acne outbreak.