May 06, 2008

Product Review: Milk of Magnesia as a Mattifier

While I adore glamour and pretty packaging in beauty products, I care more about bang for your buck, and products that work. Milk of Magnesia (or Cream of magnesia) as a mattifiant is perhaps even more unglamourous than Monistat Chafing Gel as a primer, but it works!

Recommended by Paula Begoun and Tyra Banks, I've come across this product time and time again in beauty forums and on Makeup Alley, but until now I've never tried it. Mostly I've been afraid it would break me out like most mattifiers I've tried ( The Body Shop Tea-Tree Matte and Boots No 7 Shine-Free Makeup Base to name two), but also the idea of using a laxative on my face was just... ew.

But my oily skin is so frustrating to me that I at last caved in and bought a bottle of Boots Cream of Magnesia for £2.75. I've been trying it for the last week, and here's my review.

How to Use
Give the bottle a good shake. Then using your fingers, apply a light layer as evenly as possible on your skin, after toning and moisturising, before concealer and foundation. Allow it to dry, and you may notice white streaks here and there. Rub with fingers to smooth out. Dampening your fingers speeds this process along but it's not really necessary. Allow to dry completely before applying foundation over.

I have heard that MoM does not always work well with liquid foundations, but works wonderfully well with powder and mineral foundations. But you'll have to experiment to see what works for you.

A thicker layer of MoM works as an oil-absorbing mask. Spread it on, allow to dry and rinse off for tighter-feeling oil-free skin.

How it works
Milk of Magnesia, or Cream of Magnesia is essentially liquid magnesium hydroxide, a harmless, inert chemical that absorbs oil but won't irritate your skin. Some preparations contain mint or cherry flavouring. While this may be fun, I prefer the scentless flavourless generic type because it's cheaper and less additives = less irritating.

Initially, I was pleased, but not very impressed. It did stave off the oilies for perhaps an hour or two longer than not using it. This on its own isn't bad, No7's Shine-Free Base didn't seem to do anything, cost about £9, AND it added the crowning indignity of breaking me out. So, if MoM could stave off the oilies for a bit I wasn't going to complain.

However, daily use of it seems to be decreasing the amount of oil my skin is producing. Online reviews warn that some women found their oily skin becoming parched and dry with prolonged usage, so I should keep an eye on my skin, and stop just before it dries out.

Also, absolutely no breakouts whatsoever has been caused by MoM. So, I'll keep using and post an update if anything drastic occurs. But for now, I have an effective, non-irritating mattifying primer that's cheap as chips. I may find a prettier bottle for it though. *winks*

The most famous brand of MoM is Philips Milk of Magnesia (pic) retailing at Boots for £3.25 but cheaper, generic brands can be obtained.


Kimberly said...

Hi, where can I find that in Malaysia?

Anonymous said...

where can i find this cream in Malaysia..i really want it..thanks..

Kahani said...

Ask any pharmacists at Guardian or Watsons for Milk of Magnesia. I do find however that Malaysia's too humid for this to work for me. =(

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