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Using milk of magnesia as a primer has been pretty popular for years now. When I was still new to makeup artistry years ago, I was on set of a fashion show and saw quite a few artists who had it in their kit. Back then, I wasn’t as informed on skincare as I am now and thus didn’t think much of it. Looking back, I’m not quite sure how professional artists who SHOULD know about skincare would use something like MOM (milk of magnesia) on clients because if you are going to ruin skin you should only ruin yours. What I did know, was that I didn’t intend on using it ever.
I actually recently saw a makeup artist use it on a client during a Snapchat takeover. I was tempted to say something but I knew it wouldn’t come out as intended, so I minded my business.
If you currently use milk of magnesia to prime, before reading any further, I need you to promise you will never put it on your face again. There’s really only one reason why milk of magnesia doesn’t belong on your face, and it’s the only reason you need.
You Are Throwing Off Your Skin’s pH.
The pH scale ranges from 0-14, anything below 7 is acidic and above 7 is alkaline. Where does your skin fall on the pH scale? 4-5. When you use a product that throws your pH off in either direction, this destroys your acid mantle. Without your acid mantle, your skin is extremely vulnerable. It no longer has a barrier. You experience increased sensitivity to the sun, you expose yourself to acne-causing bacteria, and your ability to retain moisture is compromised.
Regardless of how healthy you believe your skin is, a compromised acid mantle will prove otherwise. Within the first few minutes of stripping your skin of its barrier, it will be uncomfortably tight. In the following days, you’ll experience excessive dryness and more breakouts than usual. Your forehead and chin will be oddly shiny and if you have oily skin, it will become even more oily.
So what does all of this have to do with the milk of magnesia? MOM has a pH of around 10.5 because it’s meant to neutralize the acidity in your stomach. Unlike your face, your stomach is not supposed to be acidic as this destroys the lining. Your face IS meant to be acidic, so why would you use something that neutralizes your face when it doesn’t need to be neutralized?
Your attempts to mattify your face by using milk of magnesia are making it oilier in the long run.
By drying the hell out of your skin, it causes it to produce more oils to overcompensate.
After reading this, I hope you begin to care about your skin’s health and stop using milk of magnesia. If you are looking for a great primer for oily skin, check out this post: I’ve Tried Every Primer – Nothing Works!