Milk of Magnesia For Acne Treatment
Laxative Acne Treatment?
Milk of Magnesia for Acne
People have come to find some rather astonishing solutions for problems such as acne. Milk of Magnesia is a more recent acne remedy that is starting to rise into prominence. This store-purchased laxative can help control oily skin, and thus reduce acne breakouts - or so people claim. But, is milk of magnesia a safe substance to apply topically to the skin?Those that have experimented with it say yes, however, a bit of research indicates a different story altogether. In this hub, we will explore the chemical makeup of milk of magnesia. the skin disorder known as acne, and finally whether or not acne sufferers can garner relief from this inexpensive remedy.
What is Milk of Magnesia?
As we mentioned above, milk of magnesia is most often used as a laxative. For those of you chemistry fans, its formula is Mg(OH)2. This substance is highly alkaline, rocking a 10.5 on the pH scale. The main problem with milk of magnesia (or MOM as it is called on popular acne-oriented online establishments) is that it tampers with the acidic conditions that the skin requires to function effectively. The outer layer of the skin consists of what is known as the acid mantle. This mantle keeps outside intruders such as bacteria from invading the body. The mantle needs to maintain a pH between 4 and 5 in order to function at its full potential. When we use cleansers, soaps, and even milk of magnesia, the acidity of the mantle is disturbed. This leaves us vulnerable to things such as acne bacteria, which can more easily duplicate in such conditions.
Although it is true that the acid mantle regenerates every 14 hours, most of us fail to give it a sufficient timetable to do so. We apply our harsh cleansers and topicals to the skin day and night. How is the acid mantle supposed to provide us the protection needed if we continue undermining it? Without a healthy acid mantle, it is very difficult to recuperate from acne.
Another major concern with the milk of magnesia acne treatment is that it is extremely drying. MOM constantly absorbs oil from your face throughout the day. While this may seem like a godsend to those of you with oily, acne-prone skin, it is anything but a blessing. Dry skin and irritated skin come hand and hand. Acne thrives when you strip moisture from your skin because the skin us no longer able to fend for itself. Extreme dryness is also said to increase oil production. This phenomenon is known as reactive seborrhoea and has been confirmed by many who suffer from oily skin.
A Word on Acne
Acne develops when the hair follicle (its opening is known as a pore) becomes blocked with dead skin cells. The sabaceous glands in this follicle continue producing sebum despite the blockage. One this sebum begins to gather, the p. acnes bacteria become overactive. They rely on sebum for food, and with such a large amount, they begin to duplicate in large numbers. One all these events perspire, you are left with an inflamed lesion on your skin, most often a white head or pustule.
What many fail to understand is that acne is not caused by oil alone. As long as it moves to the top of the skin undisturbed, acne lesions will never form. When the oil finally becomes trapped in a pore, there is little any medication can do. Milk of Magnesia controls oil the rises to the surface of the skin. This oil does not contribute to breakouts. MOM does not penetrate clogged pores to absorb the trapped oil, leaving the p. acnes bacteria to strave. Thus, its effectiveness as an acne treatment is questionable at best. It could very well be more damaging than beneficial as indicated by the facts presented above.
If You Want to Experiment Anyway
Some people like to experiment before they give in to advice. If you want to try Milk of Magnesia out for yourself, that is perfectly fine. Don't let me deter you by any means. If you're going to experiment, at least start with small quantities and a spread out your application frequency. This substance can be immensely drying.
You can apply it to your skin using a clean cotton ball. Again, be sure not to overdo it. If you begin to notice consistent breakouts as a result of use, you are asked to stop using MOM. Also, if the drying becomes very uncomfortable, consider using a bit of moisturizer prior to application.
Most have reported success with brand-name Milk of Magnesia, such as Phillips. Be sure to purchase the unflavored product, as others have reported problems with such variants of the original.