Can milk of magnesia treat acne?

Beauty bloggers and internet makeup gurus are touting the benefits of milk of magnesia for acne. But what is milk of magnesia? Does it really work for acne?

Before you head out and in the bottle, let’s take a look at the research.

What is milk of magnesia?

Milk of magnesia is an over-the-counter remedy for constipation. Yes, it is a laxative. It is also used to relieve gas and indigestion.

The active ingredient in milk of magnesia is magnesium hydroxide. It also contains water and sodium hypochlorite.

Can milk of magnesia treat acne?

In a word, no. It does not clear acne. In fact, studies show it does nothing for the skin.

The idea that milk of magnesia can clear acne may come from Dermatology Archives Back in the 1970s. The letter’s author said he prescribed a topical milk of magnesia and 250 mg of oral tetracycline to his acne patients, which worked well.

As funny as this letter is, it’s just a dermatologist’s experience. This is not formal research of any kind.

It is possible that the antibiotic alone caused the improvement in acne, not the milk of magnesia. Oral antibiotics have been used as a staple in acne treatment for decades.

There are no formal studies on milk of magnesia and its effects on acne. Any source claiming that milk of magnesia has been shown to clear acne is inaccurate.

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Can milk of magnesia reduce oily skin?

A (rather old) study published in the 80’s showed that magnesium hydroxide is a very good degreaser. So, let’s say it breaks down oils on the skin’s surface, making your skin look matte.

However, milk of magnesia does not reduce sebum production. Meaning, it doesn’t make your oil glands produce less oil. It just removes oil from the surface of the skin.

But since acne isn’t caused by the oil on the skin’s surface, that alone isn’t enough to clear acne. Acne is actually caused by many different factors.

try these alternatives

Are you harming your skin if you use a milk of magnesia mask? Probably not (although it can cause contact dermatitis in some people). It’s just not a great acne treatment. If so, dermatologists hand out bottles of these things in person.

However, there are many other options that provide better results.

For treating acne, there are many over-the-counter medications that can provide better results than using milk of magnesia. Look for acne treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These have a long track record of clearing minor breakouts and blemishes.

For more severe or stubborn cases of acne, prescription acne medications are a better option. So if you’re not getting results from an over-the-counter product, try asking your healthcare provider for a stronger prescription acne treatment.

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To reduce shine, astringents are a simple but effective option. Foaming cleansers are also great for removing excess oil. If face masks are more your thing, look for products that contain clay; clay is good at removing surface oil.

If you’re a dedicated DIYer, you can use milk of magnesia as a face mask. Just use a small amount on a small area of ​​skin first, making sure it doesn’t irritate your skin. Do not use this product on your skin if you notice any redness, irritation, itching or burning.

While some people claim that milk of magnesia is a great oil-free makeup primer, leaving milk of magnesia on your face all day while applying makeup may not be the best idea. Some products are specially designed for this purpose because they are designed for the delicate skin of your face and they are much less likely to cause irritation.

VigorTip words

So, milk of magnesia is not the magic acne cure some claim. Don’t despair, glad you didn’t waste time waiting for ineffective acne treatments. Instead, you can start using a proven acne medication and start seeing improvement as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can you put milk of magnesia on your face?

    Yes, there is a caveat. Milk of magnesia can cause contact dermatitis in some people. Before using it on your delicate facial skin, do a spot test to check for reaction. Gently apply to a small patch of skin on the inside of the arm and leave for 24 hours to check for redness or inflammation. If a visible reaction occurs within 24 hours, wash it off and avoid using milk of magnesia on the skin.

  • Can you use milk of magnesia as a face primer?

    Beauty bloggers sometimes recommend milk of magnesia as a makeup primer. It’s not known if this works, or if it’s safe to leave milk of magnesia on the skin all day.

    The theory is that milk of magnesia absorbs excess oil and helps set makeup, so it can last for hours. This may help people with oily skin tones, but if you have dry to normal skin, it can cause problems.

    If you want to try milk of magnesia as a primer, try it when you don’t need to look your best, in case it doesn’t work for you. You should also test the product on a patch of skin to check for reactions before applying it to the face.

  • Does milk of magnesia shrink pores?

    Possibly, depending on your skin type. Milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) absorbs excess oil from the skin. If you have oily skin, this may help pores appear smaller.