What Exactly is Milk of Magnesia?
Milk of Magnesia(MoM) is magnesium hydroxide suspended in water with a bit of sodium hypochlorite. Magnesium hydroxide is an inorganic compound patented in 1818 for digestive issues. It is formed by a simple salt metathesis reaction in which magnesium salt is added to ammonium hydroxide.
It is most commonly used as an antacid or as a laxative. When used as an antacid, the OH– groups will pop on off the molecule and bind to the extra H+s you have in your painful, acidic belly, leaving you with water. This prevents your stomach’s hydrochloric acid from reaching your gastrointestinal nerves, meaning that you won’t be in horrible pain. So I’m sure you’re wondering when this amazing “milk” became a face primer.
Why it is bad for your skin?
MoM is bad for your face because in order to ward of particularly unpleasant bacteria, your skin needs to maintain a mildly acidic pH. Your skin evolves to maintain this balance very effectively. Your sebaceous glands secrete a thin layer of acidic film called the acid mantle, which protects you from viruses, bacteria, and other potential threats. Milk of Magnesia was formulated to neutralize stomach acid. It’s going to do exactly that, but on your face. This totally destroys your acid mantle, leaving your skin unprotected. Using Milk of Magnesia as a primer sounds like the perfect way to turn your face into a free zone for bacteria.
Interfering with the acid mantle may also cause contact dermatitis, interfere with the activation of enzymes involved in extracellular lipid processing, impede your skin’s ability to shed its dead layers, and damage overall skin integrity.
When you use Milk of Magnesia as an everyday primer, you are coating your whole face in this chemical on a daily basis. This has the potential to be quite damaging. Milk of Magnesia may be effective for oil control, but there are also a truckload of primers that can help control oil and they are actually supposed to go on your skin. I would recommend buying one of those, instead.