Six Topical Uses for Milk of Magnesia
You may be familiar with milk of magnesia as a tummy soother or mild laxative, but did you know there are many other alternative uses for it? Below are some home remedies that use milk of magnesia. Here's a sneak peek.
- Substitute for deodorant
- Makeup primer
- Treat acne
- Get rid of dandruff
- Treat rashes
- Ease the pain of sunburns
Note: If you try any of the home remedies below, be sure to purchase the original formula milk of magnesia. The flavored varieties won't work the same way and have added ingredients that may be undesirable for these purposes.
1. Use Milk of Magnesia as a Substitute for Deodorant
That's right, just wet your fingertips with a little milk of magnesia and slather it onto your underarms for a natural deodorant alternative. It sounds a little odd, but I've tested it out myself. It takes a tad longer to dry than store-bought deodorant, but it works so much better! I'm talking 24-hour odor protection.
It's not an antiperspirant though, so to address any possible underarm moisture, you can rub a thin layer of baking soda or baby powder onto your pits as an extra precaution. But you may find this isn't necessary if you don't sweat much. If you still prefer a roll-on deodorant to a liquid, People's Pharmacy has developed a stick of deodorant made out of milk of magnesia.
2. Makeup Primer
Women with oily skin find their makeup lasts longer if a makeup or foundation primer is applied to the skin first. It creates a barrier that is more difficult for oil to penetrate, so the foundation doesn't do a disappearing act. Even if you don't wear makeup, wearing primer on your face will have a mattifying effect, reducing shine in the "T zone."
Milk of magnesia can be used for this purpose and is a nice alternative to expensive name-brand makeup primers. Just apply a thin layer to your face with your fingers, a sponge or a foundation brush and allow to dry for five minutes (avoid any areas of skin that tend to be dry). If there is any chalky residue, just wipe it off with a finger, and apply your foundation normally. Full strength milk of magnesia may not be necessary for this application. Try diluting with water in a smaller container if full strength is too drying.
3. Treat Acne
It doesn't prevent it, but milk of magnesia can treat acne breakouts. It reduces the redness and inflammation of pimples and helps fade the scars of cystic acne. With use, milk of magnesia will reduce pores, even out skin tone and eliminate oil.
If you find that daily use is too drying, milk of magnesia can be used as a facial mask instead. Apply it once or twice per week in a thick layer. Allow to dry and leave on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing.
4. Get Rid of Dandruff
Dandruff can be treated with milk of magnesia much in the same way you would treat acne. Simply massage into the scalp at the beginning of a shower and leave it on until you are almost finished. Then rinse and shampoo normally. This works for flaky skin on the face, too (facial hair dandruff).
5. Treat Rashes
The disinfectant properties of milk of magnesia are useful for treating a variety of skin rash conditions, such as eczema, diaper rash, and even poison ivy. It works because milk of magnesia is alkalizing and soothing to the skin while keeping the skin dry.
6. Ease the Pain of a Sunburn
Carefully apply a thin layer of milk of magnesia to the sunburned area and allow it to dry completely. Wait 30-60 minutes and rinse off in the shower. You can also apply before bed and just shower in the morning. This will help prevent blistering and your sunburn should feel less painful afterward.
Are There Any Risks Associated with Milk of Magnesia?
While it is unlikely that milk of magnesia will cause any negative health effects from topical application, it would be best to consult a physician before putting it to any sort of long-term use. The form of magnesium found in this product (magnesium hydroxide) poses very little risk of being absorbed by the body through the skin because it is a poorly soluble form of magnesium. However, when taken internally, milk of magnesia will cause a reaction when taken with certain antibiotics, blood pressure medicines, and muscle relaxants; so use with caution.
Do you know of any other uses for milk of magnesia?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Can you use Milk of Magnesia for dry skin?
I don't think I would use it for this, because it will leave a white residue.Helpful 1
© 2013 Kat McAdams