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Should You Use Milk of Magnesia on Your Skin?: The Internet Rumor, Researched

Ever hear that Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia can control oily skin? Find out if that has any merit!


Let me know what you think please!

About John

The Triple Helixian is an unbiased science and research-based site that attempts to clarify and elucidate questions about skin care, while aspiring to be the most thorough and complete source of information.


10 thoughts on “Should You Use Milk of Magnesia on Your Skin?: The Internet Rumor, Researched

  1. I have no idea where to ask this … so here it is (since it’s in the “ingredients” series) 🙂

    I have an Usnea Barbata CO2 extract… is there any study about its usage in cosmetics, does it have any side effects or risks associated in topical use?

    Just in case you know something about it, I am interested to know if I can apply it on my face knowing that this is not a “known irritant” 🙂 Thanks!

    p.s. no, in my country one can’t find MoM and I find it too alkaline to use it 🙂

    Posted by Simona | October 30, 2012, 2:30 pm
    • Hey,

      As with most things, there is a risk of having a (contanct) allergic reaction. One of usnea’s components is usnic acid, which has some studies documenting its antimicrobial properties. It can be used as a preservative and even a fragrance component. One other study suggests that it may help reduce prostaglandin synthesis, which is a marker for UVB-induced damage: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17766140

      I’m not quite sure why this was brought up, since there are so many other beneficial well-documented ingredients. Why would you use this?

      Finally, instead of commenting on a random post (which you certainly can do) you can always email me if you have a question. All of my contact information can be found by pressing the “Contact” button next to the search bar: https://thetriplehelixian.com/2011/10/10/welcome/ 🙂

      Posted by John | October 30, 2012, 5:34 pm
      • Hi John!

        This was one of the ingredients I have bought when I first started to make my own cosmetics – I have bought it as the seller recommended it as a deodorant ingredient, which sounded awesome to me at that point in time :). I haven’t used it yet, I almost forgot about it until a friend of mine told me that she used a face moisturizer from dr. Kadir (if I remember corectly) with usnic acid… I have not found too many info about this ingredient, and it made me curious if I could use it for the face as well. I live in the EU and the choice of active ingredients for small hobbyists is not as good as in the US 🙂

        For instance, I could not find a supplier of Ferulic Acid in EU, at least not one that is willing to sell 5 or 15 grams 🙂

        Thanks for letting me know about the contact page – being fairly new to this blog I did not manage to find my way until there 🙂 Next time I will have an off-topic (or off-posts) question, I will use the form. And I am telling you that I will use that form for sure 🙂


        Back to Milk of Magnesia – so, it is an alkaline product. If used as a leave on product, it changes the skin’s pH (‘[…]since a basic pH interferes with regular desquamation and allows for bacteria proliferation […]’). How long does it take to the skin to normalize its pH, after using an acidic or an alkaline product? Even tap water (here its pH is 7.2) can increase the pH, of course with a lower impact (I guess that this and the fact that I have hard water make my oily skin “tight”), correct? So… how long does it take to recover from water contact (pH 7) and MoM contact (pH 11, or 10,5, I forgot the exact value)?

        Posted by Simona (Sânziene şi Mătrăgună) | October 31, 2012, 12:59 am
        • Thanks for taking the time to explore the blog a bit. Feel free to comment any way you want, though. Don’t feel like you HAVE to use a certain form of communication!

          I actually don’t know how quickly the skin returns to its normal pH value, and I don’t think anyone can give you an exact number, or perhaps even an accurate estimation. I’ve searched far and wide and there are no studies examining this issue! 😦 And that may be because this supposed number probably varies widely depending on skin type, age, gender, product, and other factors! I wish I could tell you an accurate answer. But alas, I can’t. That’s why these recommendations that I give to wait “x” amount of minutes are all just estimations.

          So yeah. Just do the best that you can.

          Happy Halloween!

          Posted by John | October 31, 2012, 11:14 am
  2. I love the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer too…I don’t wear foundation, but I love the way it feels and I wish it wasn’t so expensive, because I want to use it as my everyday sunscreen!
    I tested out Paula’s Choice Essential Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 15, RESIST Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25 & Antioxidants, and Pure Mineral Sunscreen SPF 15 last week…and none were quite as nice…The Pure Mineral Sunscreen was probably the closest but the texture just wasn’t as nice.

    Posted by ladyisla | July 12, 2012, 6:53 pm
    • Agreed. The texture is sublime, and it lasts like iron. Combined with my Shiseido SPF, it really is quite difficult to wash everything off my face at nighttime. 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!

      Posted by John | July 12, 2012, 10:19 pm
      • Heh, sorry for commenting over here instead of on FutureDerm but I sort of like to support your site specifically instead of going to FutureDerm. :-p
        And I’m very glad to know that I haven’t been missing out by not using MoM on my skin. :-p

        Posted by ladyisla | July 12, 2012, 10:24 pm
        • Hey now, do whichever way is easier for you! But I appreciate the support as always!

          THe only reason why I would prefer people to comment on here, at least after the article has been posted for a while, is because I’ll always be able to see any additional comments. As the site moderator, I have to approve every comment on every article, past and present. But if a comment is posted on the FutureDerm article after say a few weeks, the comment may go unanswere because I don’t receive a notification every time someone comments on a FD post I authored. I have to manually check each one.

          And as the weeks go by and the number of FD posts by me increases, revisiting each (past) post to check for comments just isn’t efficient or practical. I hope that makes sense. 🙂

          Posted by John | July 12, 2012, 10:56 pm

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