Why You Shouldn’t Use Milk Of Magnesia As A Primer (But It’s Ok As A Deodorant)

by Gio

don't use milk of magnesia as primer

Living with oily skin is a constant battle.

And when your face is so shiny it brightens up the night and your foundation has completely melted by the time you’ve finished applying your eyeshadow, you’re willing to grasp and use any weapon to beat it once and for all.

Even laxative. Yep, Milk of Magnesia, the common OTC laxative. It’s an awesome primer for oily skin that’s able to keep the shiny enemy at bay for hours.

But, like all powerful weapons, it can turn against you. Scratch that, it WILL turn against you.

MOM is a Trojan horse. What looks like the most amazing gift ever in the short term can completely wreak havoc on your skin in the long run. Here’s why:

Milk Of Magnesia Is An Effective Oil-Absorber

Milk of Magnesia is so amazingly good at getting rid of oil and shine because it contains Magnesium Hydroxide, a chemical that absorbs lipids on the skin.

Add Sodium Hypochlorite (commonly known as bleach) to the mix and you kick its oil-absorbent powers up a notch or two.

So, yeah, if you smear Milk Of Magnesia all over your oily skin, it’ll stop shining so much. Great, isn’t it?

Not so fast.

The Problem With Milk Of Magnesia

So, what makes MOM turn nasty? Its alkaline ph. It’s not good for your skin. Let me explain.

Your skin’s natural ph is slightly acidic. This allows the good bacteria that live on our skin to thrive and those nasty ones that constantly attack it to shrivel and die.

When this acidic mantle is damaged, those bacteria can get past skin’s defences and harm it. They irritate it. They cause acne. And the loss of moisture makes skin as dry as the Sahara.

That’s why good skincare products are formulated within the skin’s pH range (from 5 to 8). To avoid all that nasty stuff from happening to you.

Milk Of Magnesia has a PH of 10.5. This is way too high. If you use it regularly, it can do some serious damage to your skin.

I’m not the only one who thinks so. Skincare guru Paula Begoun, which recommended MOM before learning about its dark side, agrees with me: “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!”

Related: The Best Primers For Oily Skin

Dealing with oily skin? Whatever you do, don't use Milk of Magnesia. It can ruin your skin.Click to Tweet

Use It As A Deodorant Instead

Ok, so I’ve just finished telling you how bad MOM is for your skin, and now am recommending you use it as a deodorant? Am I nuts?

Nope. Just hear me out.

We all know how sweaty our armpits can get, especially in the summer when the weather’s so hot and humid. This moistness creates the perfect environment for bacteria and fungi to thrive in.

MOM absorbs all that excess moisture, so those bacteria have nowhere to live. 

In other words, if a high ph can increase the risk of a bacteria infection, the loss of sweat can reduce it. So, in this case, and this case only, the benefits of MOM are greater than its side effects.

The Bottom Line

Dealing with oily skin can be a slippery slope. Along the way, you’ll find Trojan horses that will promise you the solution to all your woes only to turn nasty when you least expect it. If you want to get rid of oily skin, there are better ways to deal with it. And if you’re looking for a primer that can deal with oily skin, check out these three. They’ll work a lot better, trust me!

Do you use MOM to deal with your oily skin?

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87 comments

Amanda Elisabeth April 17, 2013 - 5:54 pm

Holy crap, thanks for the info! I’m glad I only use it every once in a while. I’ve never heard of it used as a deodorant, so thanks for that tip too…I’ve been looking for something to help with that.

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beautifulwithbrains April 17, 2013 - 7:54 pm

Amanda, you’re welcome. Once in a while won’t do any harm. And do try it as a deodorant, it works really well. 🙂

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Jordyn August 20, 2016 - 9:57 pm

But what qualifies as once in a while….one a month, once a week?…because I want to start wearing makeup and I do have very oily skin but I don’t want my face to break out in the process?

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Gio September 18, 2016 - 5:26 pm

Jordyn, that’s a very good question. There really isn’t a clear cut answer. Personally, I’d use it only in a pinch, like, I’ve run out of my primer and can’t go buy it now so I’ll put on MOM.

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Celene Ivette August 29, 2014 - 6:26 pm

Awwwww man 🙁 I really love using milk of magnesia as a primer 🙁 bummer..they should make a real primer out of it with a lower Ph

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Gio August 29, 2014 - 8:06 pm

Celene, it’s a bummer indeed. Sadly not everything that works well is good for us. 🙁

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Janessa August 27, 2013 - 10:45 pm

Hi Gio! I’m back from my trip and I have to comment!! When I heard of MOM, I was very curious as to what it was. Milk? Magnesia?..sounds like some fantastical place haha. I have read raves about how wonderful it performs to keep skin matte and after reading this, I’m shocked so many people use it daily (I read this back in April but didn’t comment so sorry)! Good for me I’ve never used this stuff since I have dry skin. I’m sure if I had really oily skin that I might have at least tried it once. Since of course, I was very intrigued by the name and its magic.

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beautifulwithbrains August 28, 2013 - 5:41 am

Janessa, hi! Welcome back hun! I hope you had a wonderful time on your trip!

MOM is such a cool name, isn’t it? Unfortunately, because it is a “great” quick fix, many people don’t realize how bad it is to use regularly until it is too late. Just because something works, it doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

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Janessa August 28, 2013 - 8:26 pm

Thanks! I had a wonderful trip! 🙂 you made me smile.

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beautifulwithbrains August 29, 2013 - 9:24 pm

You’re welcome. I’m glad I did and that you had a wonderful time. 🙂

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Norma September 12, 2013 - 9:29 pm

I’ve been using MoM for several months with great success (as a deodorant) I just use the cheapo store brand, plain. I keep it in a squirt bottle and just pour a tiny amount on my fingers and rub on, then I dry it with a hair dryer. I’m amazed out how well it works. No odor by bedtime AND even the next morning, still NO odor at all! I’m 58 years old.
My question is this. Is it aluminum free? I’ve switched to using MoM rather than antiperspirants but am now unsure about the aluminum issues after reading this link below. 🙁
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_hydroxide

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beautifulwithbrains September 13, 2013 - 9:31 pm

Norma, MoM is a very effective deodorant, isn’t it? I’m glad it is working so well for you. And you won’t have to stop using it. MOM contains only magnesium hydroxidet, water and sodium hypochlorite.

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Tina February 11, 2014 - 4:55 am

So that explains why after my first use, my face began to breakout in these little bumps almost like hives…my face was so irritated. I immediately washed it off and quit using it

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Gio February 11, 2014 - 8:45 pm

Tina, oh no! I’m sorry you reacted so badly to it. MOM is no good as a primer and people should be more careful about what they recommend online.

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manon April 14, 2014 - 10:38 pm

Hi!

Does it have the face affect, when applying it after your moisturizer, like most do?
I’m curious about that. I think it has an other effect when applying it on your skin directly or applying it after you put on your moisturizer.

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Gio April 15, 2014 - 8:16 pm

Manon, if you use it as a primer, you should be applying it after moisturizer. But it’s not really a good idea to do so.

What do you mean with “face affect”?

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manon April 16, 2014 - 6:24 pm

*Face affect had to be Same effect. LOL

Yes, that’s also the way I’ve seen it been used. I haven’t tried it yet myself. As it is with most products, if it does work for some it can be the case that it doesn’t work for others.

Have you ever heard of deodorant being used on the face?? It works apparently, BUT that’s something I wouldn’t recommend to everyone though.

😉

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Gio April 17, 2014 - 12:31 pm

Manon, I agree that there are some products that work for some people, but not others. But the problem with MOM is its ph. Even if it can, in the short term, help keep oily skin under control, in the long run, it will damage it.

Oh dear, I had never heard of that. What are those people thinking?!

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manon April 29, 2014 - 12:00 pm

Everything to keep your makeup from smudging:-D

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Gio April 29, 2014 - 9:12 pm

Manon, how true, sadly!

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George June 30, 2014 - 9:07 pm

Hi. What happens if my skin is really oily? Is it ok if I use MoM twice a week? if not, what’s best for an oily skin?

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Gio July 1, 2014 - 9:04 pm

George, it’s best to avoid MOM if at all possible. If you aren’t already, I’d recommend you start using a leave-in exfoliant with Salicylic Acid. If your skin is really oily, using a retinol serum in the evening can help too. These products help regulate oil production and keep the pores unclogged. Hope this helps.

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k8 July 23, 2014 - 2:14 pm

Read carefully the contradiction in the section about using MoM as a DEODORANT.
It is NOT an ANTITRANSPIRANT and it will not reduce the amount of sweat in your armpit only ODOR. I use it and have used it for years. It functions as a DEODORANT not as an ANTITRANSPIRANT.
In fact, I was told to use it by an acupunturist who diagnized the PH in my armpit area as beng too low and needed to be alkalized to get rid of irritation and a rash.
This section doesn’t clearly explain how MoM works as a deodorant so can we trust other statements made in this article as well?
I think the high Ph is the reason MoM works as a deodorant as it raises the PH sufficiently creating an environment in which odor causing bacteria and irritation causing fungii can’t thrive

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Gio July 24, 2014 - 9:11 pm

K8, I have never said that MOM is an antiperspirant, although, rereading the post, I can see why you thought so. I guess that, in my effort to simplify things, I went too far. As I stated at the beginning, MOM can absorb lipids on the surface of the skin. The reduced amount of perspiration could help you sweat less, which would in turn reduce the amount of odour-causing bacteria. I hope this clarifies things.

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Amber August 28, 2014 - 12:25 pm

I’ve used MOM as a primer for almost 4 years, NEARLY EVERY DAY. I just stopped using it a few days ago after a friend informed on why it’s not good for your skin. Should I be worried? I hope there’s no major damage to my skin I can’t see 🙁

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Gio August 28, 2014 - 12:55 pm

Amber, MOM can damage the skin’s acid mantle, leaving it more prone to irritations, and interfere with its ability to naturally exfoliate itself. Hopefully you shouldn’t have caused any permanent damage and soon your skin should go back to normal, but you could give it a helping hand by using exfoliants with AHAs and moisturizers or serums with antioxidants.

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manon November 18, 2014 - 9:37 pm

But if you have been using it all these years why would you only stop because if you have not had any bad experiences with the product?

@GIO I have tried a variant of MoM for sometimes now, just so now and then trying out things. My take on it is that even when using it as a primer it’s better you always moisturize your skin either before applying it or after. Having an oily skin doesn’t mean that moisturizing should be excluded from a daily routine. 🙂

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Gio November 19, 2014 - 4:02 pm

Manon, some ingredients can irritate skin but the damage doesn’t show up straight away. The ph of MOM really isn’t good for skin.

I agree, oily skin benefits from a moisturizer too.

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Dishon September 15, 2014 - 3:45 am

I don’t agree with this post at all. I have used MOM for two years with no problem. It works great for me. No breakouts at all and I have very sensitive skin. If it is safe enough to ingest it is safe enough to use on the skin.

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Gio September 15, 2014 - 6:50 pm

Dishon, I’m glad you haven’t experienced any problems so far, but MOM is not formulated to be used on the skin. The ph is too high and can cause problems. I hope you won’t experience them in the future.

Products should be used for the reason they were formulated. Applying them on the skin may not kill, but that doesn’t mean they are beneficial for the skin.

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SimNore June 21, 2018 - 11:50 pm

D chemical makeup of acid in d stomach cant b compared 2 chemical make up of face secretion
I mean that acid can burn through wood
So saying if u can ingest u can appy 2 d face is frivolous.

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Gio June 29, 2018 - 8:50 am

Simnore, better use products only for the purpose they’re created for, isn’t it?

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Dishon September 15, 2014 - 3:47 am

Also, the ingredients in regular primers have more harmful effects that MOM

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Gio September 15, 2014 - 6:52 pm

Dishon, regular primers are formulated with ingredients that have been approved for the face and have been found not to be toxic, and are usually the right ph. MOM instead is not formulated to be used as a primer. The ph is just wrong and could cause serious harm.

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Vabelle July 6, 2015 - 12:24 am

You say USUALLY the right PH but to be honest, she’s right. There are way more harmful ingredients in those primers. To be quite frank, its all quite bad for your skin, none of this is natural. The best thing to do is minimise your frequent use of all these chemicals and to give your skin regular breaks.

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Gio July 6, 2015 - 8:12 am

Vabelle, there’s nothing harmful in primers. Not all chemicals are bad for you. In fact, everything is a chemical, including water. Plants are made of chemicals. Everything natural is made of chemicals. And may natural things are bad. You wouldn’t use poison ivy on your skin and yet that’s natural. Crude oil is natural, but again, not something you’d use. It is illegal to put toxic stuff in cosmetics. Using MOM, which is not approved for the face, in this way, is much more harmful imo.

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Vabelle July 7, 2015 - 10:59 am

No offence but just because your told that the chemicals are not harmful doesn’t mean it’s true. Science is forever evolving and they are continually finding that certain ingredients are harmful for your skin. Wasn’t long ago that they thought parabens were safe.
I’m not stupid, common sense tells me of cause water is safe etc. It’s MAN MADE chemicals we have to worry about.

Gio July 7, 2015 - 11:13 am

Vabelle, actually parabens are still safe. Science never proved otherwise. A study found traces of parabens in carcinogenic breast tissue, but the scientists never took a sample from healthy breast tissue. If parabens were found there too, then obviously they aren’t the cause of cancer. The scientists who did the study didn’t find any proof that parabens are bad. Their findings were, unfortunately, misinterpreted by people who had good intentions but no scientific background to understand what they were reading. Scientific studies are written in their own language!

In any case, parabens leave the body after 36 hours so they never accumulate enough to cause problems. And they naturally occur in blueberries and other plants so you could say they are indeed natural.
Mercury, lead, and heavy metals are natural, yet they aren’t good for you.

On the other hand, a lot of man made chemicals have allowed us to live longer and fight illnesses. Not all man made chemicals are good, it’s true. But to say that all man made chemicals are bad is wrong.

Meiewyn September 27, 2014 - 11:44 pm

Thanks for this information. I have really oily skin and have been told repeatedly by several different sources to use MOM. I was always hesitant and skeptical so I never did. Then today I started doing some google searches and I am glad I came across this. No MOM for me…. 🙂

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Gio September 29, 2014 - 3:06 pm

Meiewyn, you’re welcome. MOM can help reduce shine, but the cons far outweigh the pros. Well done for choosing not to use it. 🙂

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andrea February 23, 2015 - 1:44 am

I am using a buffered vitamin c powder with 175 mg of magnesium homemade serum every night after i wash my face .Is this ok to use or is the magnesium ph still too high?

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Gio February 28, 2015 - 9:21 pm

Andrea, it’s hard to tell. You should measure its ph to know for sure. But, to be on the safe side, I’d recommend you buy a professionally formulated vitamin c serum. Even if the ph should be right with the one you made, vitamin c serums are very tricky to make at home. Add too little vitamin c, and it doesn’t do anything. Too much and it irritates skin. And you need to store it in an opaque, air-tight container or it’ll spoil soon.

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Cathy November 15, 2014 - 3:25 pm

I wish I would have known this! A friend of mine uses it so she gave it to me as a beauty tip. I used it ONE time last monday and my skin has been extremely dry, sensitive and very wrinkled ever since! I am so upset. I do not want to look like this. Moisturizer isn’t even helping bring it back the way it should be. What does someone like me do? Its not like I can afford to just run to the dermatologist office. I need help fast!

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Gio November 15, 2014 - 8:22 pm

Cathy, I’m so sorry to hear that. I think your skin just needs time to get back to normal. In the meantime, the best thing you can do it is touch it as least as possible, use a gentle cleanser that doesn’t irritate it further and a richer moisturizer.

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Nicole December 2, 2014 - 4:48 pm

Considering that you wont recommend MOM, what primers dobyou recommend that will be just as effective on super oily skin.

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Gio December 2, 2014 - 7:17 pm

Nicole, I’ve written a post about my favourite primers for oily skin. You can find it here: http://beautifulwithbrains.com/2014/05/28/best-face-primers-oily-skin/

If you aren’t already, I also recommend you use an exfoliant with salicylic acid regularly, as that will help keep oil production under control.

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johanna May 24, 2015 - 8:45 pm

Hello!
I have always being intrigued by the use of MOM as a primer, I follow a YouTube guru who said in a video that we should use this to get virtually no visible pores and help with excess oils in the face, and because I love makeup and I have large pores I wanted to use it, I never did it though, although I was very curious but something inside me told me not to use it.

Thank you so much Gio for this article, I think before applying something on our faces we should do a complete research of the products and we shoukd ask to professionals what are the best things we should be using. Sometimes for trying to save some dollars we can end up spending more because of the damage we can do to ourselves.

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Gio May 25, 2015 - 2:08 pm

Johanna, well said! Products should be used for the purpose for which they were created. Otherwise you risk doing more harm than good.

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Alma June 22, 2015 - 3:45 am

Is it true that one of the negative side effects is being more receptive to sun damage? Or is it just the issue with exfoliation?

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Gio June 22, 2015 - 2:41 pm

Alma, MOM can damage the skins acid mantle. When that happens, skin becomes both drier and more susceptible to sun damage.

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SUGA June 29, 2015 - 1:56 pm

i do not think MOM do have a negative effect on the skin.i know someone who have been using it for a while and nothing has happened to her skin.she recommended it for me and i think i will give it a try.

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Gio June 29, 2015 - 3:49 pm

Suga, I’m glad to hear your friend’s skin wasn’t harmed. But using something with such a high ph is always a risk. Hope you both won’t regret it later on.

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Vabelle July 6, 2015 - 12:21 am

Im 26, I have particularly sensitive skin with a tendency for eczema and allergic skin reactions. I also have type 2 diabetes and when not well controlled can cause skin irritation and infection to the skin and I’ve been using MOM for a few years now daily! No obvious irritation aside from the normal (occasional pimple). I appreciate being alerted to this info but if its not causing serious harm such as skin cancer, I dont see the problem if it works for you 🙂

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Gio July 6, 2015 - 8:07 am

Vabelle, I’m glad that MOM hasn’t caused any problems for your skin yet, especially considering how sensitive it is . But, with so many safe products on the market, I can’t recommend the use of something with a ph that’s way too high for skin. It just doesn’t help it.

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farfl July 19, 2015 - 10:45 pm

Although I don’t know the ph of it, there are milk of magnesia brands that have no sodium hypochlorite in them, the one I use for deodorant includes only magnesium hydroxide and purified water.

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Gio July 20, 2015 - 8:07 pm

Farfl, I believe the ph of Magnesium Hydroxide alone is still too high for skin. I’d use a regular primer. Works better and doesn’t have any side effects.

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Georgia April 15, 2016 - 3:09 pm

I been suffering from sweaty face forever. If I use Mom will it be harmful. If yes what do you recommend. My sweat is so embarrassing to me that I can’t associate with my friends family etc

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Gio April 16, 2016 - 6:17 pm

Georgia, if your sweating is really that bad, you should consult a doctor. I’m just a beauty blogger, and can tell you what primer to use to reduce excess oil and shine. But, if we’re talking about sweat, it seems more of a medical question to me, and I can’t help with that, sorry. But, don’t use MOM. It could harm your skin.

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Sabrina Cane May 16, 2016 - 1:41 am

What fo i use instead? I have tried, Skindanavia Setting Spray and Primer, Becca Matte Poreless Primer , i have tried these 2 together. The Chafing Gel powder works a lil, but my oil breaks through everything eapecially.on my nose.

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Gio May 16, 2016 - 9:15 pm

Sabrina, sorry to hear about your problem. Here are my fave primers for oily skin: http://beautifulwithbrains.com/2014/05/28/best-face-primers-oily-skin/

Have you tried any of these?

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julina July 26, 2016 - 11:14 am

In my younger days I had very oily skin, prone to break outs and wore alot of make up. In those days I wasn’t aware of primers, we just had oil blotting paper or cake more powder on top. When I was young I didn’t like my oily face but my family members have reasonable skin tones into their older years, so all that oil must have a good side effect .. so in the end I just embraced my oily face hoping it will be the same. I’m older now and only the tip of my nose is oily. I read this article and think, if I knew this trick of MOM way back when, would I have tried it too? hmmm

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Gio July 31, 2016 - 5:49 pm

Julina, using MOM when you have oily skin is very tempting, but be glad you escaped it. It really is no good for the skin. Glad your skin is behaving better now. And yes, all that oil does help keep wrinkles away. 🙂

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Olorunnishola August 17, 2016 - 7:28 am

Hi.
I’m α Nigerian. Α family friend introduced MOM to me and I have been using it.
Reading this article sends questions to my head…
Is that why I have reactions on my face? Its so bad to the extent that after like 5hrs, its as if my makeup are separating, making my face look somehow and I grew very very dark.
Α friend adviced not to use any other thing(primer, foundation, concealer, etc) on my face apart from powder.
I did that for α while nd face was better but on Sundays, I go on with my full make up with MOM… I didn’t know it is harmful cos it actually holds the oil for α while on my face.
Reading this is an eye opener cos I get to use for clients too. Please, what kind of primer can u suggest I use?? I’m already accustomed to MOM.
Thank you.

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Gio August 17, 2016 - 9:09 pm

Olorunnishola, hi. MOM may very well be to blame. It’s not supposed to be used on the face or with makeup so it could cause that effect. I’d recommend you stop using it immediately. For the best primers to use for oily skin, check out this post: http://beautifulwithbrains.com/2014/05/28/best-face-primers-oily-skin/

Hope this helps.

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Cole August 31, 2016 - 7:52 am

Hi, I have started using the Phillips brand of milk of magnesia as a deodorant.
Before using it I shaved my armpits to allow the liquid to be able to touch my skin. After the first use it worked really well.
I noticed the milk of magnesia was hard to take off during showers so I started to scrub my armpits really hard. After that, when I applied milk of magnesia to my armpits it slightly started to sting (not a lot though)
I’ve only been using it for just over a week and my armpits began to get really sore. Yesterday I noticed a lump in my left armpit which hurts and is quite big. My right armpit is also sore and a lump is also starting to show there.
Have you heard of anything like this before? Do you think it was the shaving or the hard scrubbing or the milk of magnesia which has caused this problem.

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Cole August 31, 2016 - 9:59 am

Just to add that I saw a doctor that said the scrubbing caused some damage to a hair or something which caused my armpits to become infected. As a result the infection caused a cyst lump. The antibiotics I was given should clear it up and they ruled out milk of magnesia being the cause.
As a Nigerian we’re brought up to use a netted sponge to bath with. Some people call it an exfoliating scrub so if others use it then use only gently to avoid this happening to you.

I’m based in London, can I still get the roll-on deodorant here?

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Gio August 31, 2016 - 6:45 pm

Cole, thanks for sharing your experience. I’m sure other people will find it useful. I’m sorry to hear you’ve got an infection, it’s so awful! I hope it will clear up soon. Just be very gentle with your skin from now on.

I’m not sure what roll-on deodorant you mean? There are many brands that make one, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one in London.

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Cole August 31, 2016 - 7:00 pm

Ok thought there was one brand, I clicked a link and saw one on your website. But I’ll have a little search around

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Gio September 2, 2016 - 12:16 pm

No worries. There are many brands so I’m sure you won’t have a problem finding one you like. 🙂

Lisa B. September 1, 2016 - 12:07 am

While not good for facial primer, MoM is very good for many things, including deodorant. It’s anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.

When I had a gash on my foot that wouldn’t stay stitched, my doctor left it open to heal from the bottom up. After not great success with antibiotic ointments, he asked me to put milk of magnesia on it. He said it “binds with protein.” Whatever washed off in the shower was fine, but I was not to try to get it all off, and to reapply daily. I was worried because I tend towards hypertrophic scars and thought I would have a tremendous scar from leaving it open, but you can barely see a faint line.

Are you familiar with The People’s Pharmacy? They accidentally became a clearinghouse for people’s home remedies—many of them whacked, yet seem to work. They have tons on MoM, and even came up with their own MoM based roll on deodorant. I hope it’s ok to share this: http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/#addsearch=milk%20of%20magnesia

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Gio September 2, 2016 - 11:54 am

Lisa. thank you for sharing your experience. MOM has many good uses and it’s great it helped you out so much. But, yeah, it’s not something you want to put on your face.

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waymire November 15, 2016 - 1:21 am

I’ve been using it for over seven years and my skin is not only fine.. it’s improved dramatically. I seldom ever break out anymore, I haven’t had a cystic breakout since I started using it. It is literally the only thing that keeps me within a normal oil production.. and I’ve tried product from all price ranges over a twenty year period. It changed my life. Hundreds if not thousands of us have been swearing by it while being attacked for using it by those who read an article online somewhere. I’ve had people actually tell me my skin is horribly damaged and I just can’t tell lol. While on paper this theory sounds great.. you are assuming everyone has “normal” skin. Those with excessively oily, acne prone, and inflamed skin are often too acidic. The MOM actually balances in these cases. If you have normal skin you have no need for it.. but please don’t assume that is the case for all of us and just quit already with the condemnation.

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Gio November 15, 2016 - 11:31 am

Waymire, it was never my intention to attack anyone and i’m sorry if you felt attacked. I just wanted to inform people that MOM isn’t the best thing to put on the skin. Maybe in extreme case, when everything else has failed, it may help. But there are much better treatments to try first that reduce oil production and breakaouts and don’t have the nasty potential side effects MOM has.

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Waymire November 15, 2016 - 5:34 pm

it may not be the best thing to put on your skin, that doesn’t mean it’s not the best thing to put on mine . Those Alternatives that you suggested do absolutely nothing on my face, some of them make the situation worse the last thing you want to do is put silicone on my skin. you obviously have never experienced the kind of excessive oil production and acne that those who benefit from Mom have experienced. you keep talking about potential harm …. do you have any actual laboratory evidence of this harm occurring on an actual person? because I’ve never seen it . In fact I’ve never seen someone with truly oily skin have any adverse reaction to it even just via Word of Mouth. have you done any research into overly acidic skin ? I bet you didn’t even know it exists . you probably swear by the use of AHA and BHA is on everyone as well ….and you don’t want to know what they do to my face, because I’m already too acidic . Yes Mom has the potential to dry out or irritate someone who already has a neutral or higher pH …but these people wouldn’t have any reason to use it anyway. You act like it’s going to kill every cell on their face and their skin is going to fall off or something. Shall we discuss the pH of a lot of typical cleansers included in most skin care? Nobody is demonizing them and their recommended on a daily basis by dermatologists.

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Gio November 20, 2016 - 11:36 am

You complain that you feel under attack when people talk badly about MOM, but now I am starting to feel under attack too. This is a science based blog and the science says that MOM isn’t the best thing to put on your skin. Maybe it can work for some people, but all those articles that claim MOM is the best thing ever for oily skin don’t take into consideration the acidity of your skin either. They tell anyone with oily skin to do it and that could harm someone. I’m just trying to inform people of the dangers. Have you seen a dermatologist for your over acidic skin?

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Oona Chestnut April 26, 2017 - 9:38 am

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them think! (That’s how we say it in my family). You try to help people out and they get very offended and nasty.

Gio April 29, 2017 - 1:08 pm

Oona, I guess skincare is a very touchy topic for people. But I hope this article has helped others to take better care of their skin.

Cat April 8, 2017 - 4:09 pm

Hi, Gio! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and it’s been really educational. I was wondering… Is it ok to elevate the ph in your armpits? Doesn’t it have the same effect of unprotection against bacteria that MOM has in the face? (Btw, English isn’t my mother language. Sorry about that)

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Gio April 9, 2017 - 1:52 pm

Cat, that’s a good question. It’s all a matter of trade off. Bacteria feed off sweat so with MOM, you’re starving them. But that could indeed result in the same problems you would experience on the face. So, you have to weight the pros and cons in your situation and decide what you’re willing to sacrifice to get your desired result.

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Carrie July 8, 2017 - 7:43 am

I’ve seen a few posts on this subject, and the one thing that everyone is getting wrong, is that excessively oily skin is already unbalanced, and not at that ideal 5.5 pH. MoM is not a good ideal for someone with dry or balanced skin, as it will cause the skin to be alkaline. However, if your skin is an oil field, you are already dealing with a likely pH of around 1. So adding an alkaline is the actual definition of balancing a pH that is that low.
My face was so oily from ages 12-30, I could use an entire package of blotting paper in one go. Seriously. I was wiping grease off of my face several times a day. I’ve been using MoM on my face for 3 years now and it’s the first time I’ve felt like a normal person. If I had balanced skin to begin with, this would be a terrible primer that would dry me out and probably cause a rash. But it’s a balancing primer for someone with skin like mine.

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Gio July 15, 2017 - 10:03 am

Carrie, thanks for sharing your experience. I doubt your skin was ever near ph1 as that would have made it severely red and irritated. But it seems to have been suffering from some kind of imbalance. You seem to be the exception that proves the rule. I’d still look into other ways to rebalance your skin, though.

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Franca November 15, 2017 - 8:01 pm

After reading dis I am furious as I was introduce to mom since October and I av been using it visually every morning b4 I leave my home… my face started glowing people were like which nice facial treatment do I use on ur face. But since after i read this I became pissed off….. but wait why is it still sold in d market?????? Why do people drink ???? Please respond

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Gio November 26, 2017 - 2:46 pm

Franca, MOM is a laxative. It’s not mean to be applied on the skin. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be used for its intended use.

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Idyllic5670 January 11, 2018 - 11:59 am

wow this is some serious heads up. thank alot

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Gio January 19, 2018 - 2:49 pm

Idyllic5670, you’re welcome.

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grasi February 23, 2018 - 11:36 pm

I thought about this before using MOM specially because I use salicylic acid and it wouldn’t do nothing to my skin with the MOM on it. So, what if you just leave it on your skin for a few seconds, wash with soap and use a toner after? I’ve done this and it helped with the oil. My skin is very oily, it gets oily in minutes after washing, even if I use oil free products.

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Gio March 2, 2018 - 5:51 pm

Grasi, I’d say this would minimise potential damage but I still wouldn’t recommend it.

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