What are some of the milk of magnesia uses? If that question gets your attention, then you have come to the right place. We will look at some of the recommended and not-so-conventional if not weird uses that are to be found online while giving you a health perspective to each one of them.
What Is Milk of Magnesia Used for?
Milk of magnesia is mainly magnesium hydroxide and has both antacid and laxative action. Here is a closer look at these two common milk of magnesia uses:
Reducing stomach acid
Magnesium hydroxide, the main ingredient in milk of magnesia, is an organic compound comprising of Magnesium (Mg2+) and hydroxyl ions (OH–). When used as an antacid (to reduce stomach acidity), the OH– ions in the milk combine with the hydrogen ions (H+)from the acid to form water. This effectively neutralizes the excess hydrochloric acid available in your stomach before it reaches the gastrointestinal nerves. That way it helps to reduce symptoms of excessive acidity in the stomach including heartburn, indigestion, and flatulence.
To help with bowel movements (treat constipation and gas)
Milk of magnesia uses similar to those of laxatives have been around for a long time. When used as a laxative, milk of magnesia helps to aid drawing of water into the intestines. This in turn helps to cause bowel movement hence relieving you from the symptoms of constipation. The Magnesium ions in the milk of magnesia solution are absorbed by the intestinal tract but the hydroxyl ions are not.
The high concentration of magnesium ions helps in absorption of water from the blood into the intestine through osmosis. As a result, the water content of the undigested food increases facilitating a flushing action on the stool. That causes a temporary relief from the symptoms of constipation, which has become an integral part of milk of magnesia uses.
Milk of magnesia is sold over the counter under numerous brand names including Phillips, Dulcolax, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Pedia-Lax, Good Sense, Rite Aid, Quality Choice and The Medicine Shoppe. Milk of magnesia is available in liquid as well as chewable tablets. For the liquid form, it is advisable to shake the bottle thoroughly before using it. As for the tablet forms, it is advisable to chew it thoroughly before swallowing.
As with any medication, it is important to take proper milk of magnesia dosage. Keep in mind also that prolonged uses can also cause bowel dependence in addition to a whole lot of other undesirable side-effects.
Milk of Magnesia Uses for Face
As the search for home remedies continue, people continue to come up with a whole range of creative and sometimes weird uses for household and chemical substances, and the milk of magnesia uses come in. For example, milk of magnesia is touted to reduce the oiliness and shine that it typical of oily skin if used as a topical solution. Some people apply it on the T-zone of their face while others use it as a primer before applying their makeup.
Milk of magnesia works by breaking down the esters and steryl esters in facial oils and is indeed effective in reduction of face oiliness. Long term usage is however advised against by most skin care and health professionals.
Naturally, the skin has a slightly acidic pH due to presence of a thin acidic film called acidic mantle. This creates optimum pH for growth of beneficial skin bacteria while discouraging the growth of harmful bacteria and other microorganisms.
Now, milk of magnesia is a pH of 10.5, which is way too high (alkaline) given the fact that skin care products should ideally have a pH of between 5 and 8. With consistent application of milk of magnesia, the pH balance of the skin is disturbed (made too alkaline) and the protective acidic mantle is destroyed.
This makes the skin more dry and susceptible to irritations and might ultimately lead to a proliferation of harmful bacteria on the skin. This can in turn wreak havoc on your skin with time; you don’t want to end up with a terrible acne outbreak a few weeks or months down the line, do you?
Using it momentarily e.g. while preparing for a photo shoot or a ceremony, say a wedding, is however okay. Paula Begoun, the author of “Don’t Go to the cosmetics counter without me” shares this view saying, “Milk of Magnesia has a very high pH, which, over time, is not ideal for skin to use frequently. Using once in a while, however, is ok!”
Phillips Milk of Magnesia Beauty Uses
“What are some of the Phillips milk of magnesia uses for beauty?” Christiana. Phillips is one of the most popular commercial milk of magnesia products. Its beauty related uses include sunburn and diaper rash relief. While some people also use it to reduce the shine on their face, this is not generally recommended (in the long-term) as it can cause a proliferation of microorganisms in the skin when used for long periods.
Is Milk of Magnesia a Laxative?
“This is somewhat embarrassing to talk about here but I am a bit stopped following a full day of travelling. A friend suggests taking a large dose of milk of magnesia to induce the action. I personally have always used it for heartburn. I nevertheless just took a few tablespoons and am now waiting to see. Anyway even as I wait, is it true that milk of magnesia is a laxative and how long does it take to relieve constipation?”
Well, stomach upsets are pretty common after a trip or vacation and there is absolutelty no need to be embarrassed about it. As for milk of magnesia, it is both an antacid and a laxative. As a laxative milk of magnesia is gentle than most tablets such as Ex-Lax. Depending on how bad our situation is, you can expect a “turnaround” of between 8 and 10 hours. In the meanwhile, it helps to take lots of fluids and salads.
Medline advises against using any laxative for more than 7 days unless under the directive of your doctor saying that laxatives can be habit forming and can have negative effects on your bowels if used for too long or very often.
You should also not use milk of magnesia as a laxative if you have nausea, vomiting, or have abdominal pain. It is as well advisable to talk to your doctor before using MoM if you have kidney disease. Keep in mind also that rectal bleeding after using MoM as a laxative may be a sign of a more serious medical problem and warrant medical attention. In addition to milk of magnesia, some people have also reported success by taking prunes and corns.
Milk of Magnesia Used as Deodorant for Sweating
Some people also use milk of magnesia as a deodorant to mask sweat odor and there are rave reviews galore about this home remedy that new commercial products with milk of magnesia as the main ingredient are now popping up every day to serve the growing demand.
The last time we read around in review sections of online shopping sites like amazon, users seem to unanimously agree that MoM based deodorants don’t irritate the skin. But that sounds controversial don’t you agree? If what we just said about is anything to go by. Well, let me explain. The underarms tend to get very sweaty and moist through the day which can create a perfect environment for growth of bacteria and fungi.
Applying MoM helps to reduce sweating. While increase in pH can increase the risk of bacterial proliferation, the accompanying loss of sweat not only makes up for it but also supersedes the effects of pH alteration. In other words, the benefits of applying Milk of magnesia outweighs the side effects.
The easiest way to use milk of magnesia is to apply a nickel-sized amount of Phillips milk of magnesia (or any other liquid product) under your arms and then allowing it time to dry before putting on your shirt.
You can as well go for a commercial MoM deodorant product. We took the time to check out some of the commercial products available online and amongst the most outstanding ones was The People’s Pharmacy Milk of Magnesia Roll-on Deodorant.
How to Use Milk of Magnesia for Sunburn and Diaper Rash
Summer comes with its whole lots of range of fun activities but prolonged exposure to sun’s ultraviolet radiation during this time often causes terrible sunburn. Milk of magnesia has a soothing effect on sunburned skin.
Further on milk of magnesia uses, here’s how to use milk of magnesia for sunburn:
- Pour some milk of magnesia on a small cotton ball
- Wipe it over the face or any other part of the skin affected by sunburn such that it forms a thin film
- Allow the skin time to dry and wash it off after a couple hours or so. You can as well apply it while going to bed and wash rinse it off in the morning for best results consider.
Applying milk of magnesia to a sunburned skin helps to cool it down and reduce the soreness that is typical of most sunburns.
As for diaper rash, milk of magnesia also helps to relieve the discomfort and aid in healing. Some people apply milk of magnesia to the baby’s bottom alone while others mix it with talcum powder to form a paste first or even lotions such as aquaphor.