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Milk of Magnesia For Acne Treatment

Updated on January 27, 2010

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.

Milk of Magnesia For Oily Skin


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      Janet 5 years ago

      The article writer is a kid and in another article even listed lemon juice as something to remove teeth stains. Something all dentist recommend you never do. Follow the advice of you dermatologist or physician when asking about the safety of any product!!!

    • profile image

      naz 6 years ago


    • profile image

      Amy 6 years ago

      I use mom for my acne, its very good at drying up oily skin, the trick is though you have to use this everynight. i find that if i miss a day or 2,i beak out again:( i still love to use this product though, my skin does feel much better after i use it. i also use it as a spot treatment,apply to pimple before bed,i usually sleep with it on my me i see a difference. also women: mom can also be used to matte your face prior to foundation. take a cotton ball and very lightly apply to face,to much is noticeable as you try it you will figure out the right amount for you. it also fills open pores!

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      happyface 6 years ago

      I just tried this today and I am amazed at how well it worked!!! I used to have such oily skin that everything that touched my face would get foundation all over it and now my makeup stays on my face!

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      Victor 6 years ago

      Hello all, I'd like to also bring attention to colloidal silver as an acne remedy. I use self-manufactured colloidal silver (40 PPM) topically on my face and shoulders, and take about a tablespoon orally spread out over the course of the day. This has GREATLY diminished my number and severity of breakouts. It kills the bacteria that causes and sustains acne lesions in seconds, and it is the most gentle product I have used, consisting only of charged silver particles suspended in distilled water. Silver has seen over a millenium of use as a germ-fighter. Wonderful colloidal silver is an anti-bacterial/anti-pathogen/anti-microbial/anti-fungal agent with NO side effects. Mainstream Media and the Pharmaceutical Industry have taken up arms against colloidal silver not because it it unsafe (*see fake Argyria claims and parading of "blue man" on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the like,) but because it represents the largest threat to their multi-trillion dollar antibiotics market. After all, how could they compete with a gentle, safe alternative that can be self-produced for a tiny fraction of the cost? And the best part is that viruses DO NOT build resistances to colloidal silver like they do to antibiotics (which may end up being useless to us when they are needed most.)

      Back to acne: How does colloidal silver fit into your acne fighting routine? Directly after washing your face, use a cotton ball to dab some CS on your face. Done a few times daily or as needed. SIMPLE.

      Anyone who has struggled with acne can tell you that it seems like the acne-fighting industry pumps out loads of products that are hardly effective and can even worsen this skin condition. Why continue to buy into it? Forge a new path of conscious, healthy choices starting with colloidal silver, your skin will thank you.

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      Riley123 6 years ago

      If you have any trouble getting pregnant try Geritol Vitamins the red ones....I do not know why but I heard this works and I tried taking them and the next thing I knew....I now have two beautiful boys.

    • profile image

      Gina 7 years ago

      Use it with a cotton Ball.

    • profile image

      JAY 7 years ago


    • profile image

      Ames 7 years ago

      Grandma told me to use it. It itches when drying, but after it's washed off, my skin looks beautiful!

    • profile image

      Kate 7 years ago

      Does it have to be the name brand, or would generic brands work as well?

    • profile image

      Craig 8 years ago

      Not only has is cleared up my redness from rosacea is noticeably better.

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      Sam 8 years ago

      Grandma told me to use so hope it works! Thanks for the advice though

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      Jen 8 years ago

      My grandma told me to use it, andI Have for a couple of weeks and it has dried up my break outs. so far so good!

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      anastasia 8 years ago

      you are so cool! good vid. i will try it!

    • profile image

      jane 8 years ago

      thank you for this - I was recommended MOM for my 12yr old son who has developed spots. But he doesn't have particularly greasy skin, so I will avoid it


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