How to apply milk of magnesia as a primer

Updated February 21, 2017

Milk of magnesia is a traditional remedy for upset stomach, constipation and stomach ulcers but has gained popularity as an oil control method for oily skin. People with oily skin often suffer from sliding make-up. However, milk of magnesia can be used as a primer under foundation to help control oil breakouts, absorbing the oil and protecting the make-up so it will remain in place all day.

Cleanse and tone your face as normal before applying your regular facial moisturiser. Let the moisturiser absorb for about five minutes.

Shake the milk of magnesia bottle well, then apply about a 1/4-inch dollop to a cotton bud.

Dab the cotton bud over your face, then gently rub the milk of magnesia into your skin with clean hands. You only need a very small amount. You will know if you have applied too much, as a chalk residue will appear on your skin. Simply wipe off the excess with a clean cotton bud. Wait a couple of minutes before applying your foundation as usual.


Experiment with the amount you use when you first buy the product so you reach an amount suited to your skin. Too much can leave skin feeling stretched and dried out; too little will let oil shine through your foundation.


Only people with oily skin should use milk of magnesia for a primer, as the product can be overly drying on normal and delicate skin types. Purchase original milk of magnesia formulas that contain no flavourings. Cherry or mint flavours, for example, are for internal use and will irritate skin if applied as a primer. Keep the product out of the reach of children.

Things You'll Need

  • Facial moisturiser
  • Cotton buds
  • Foundation
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About the Author

B.T. Alo is media director, chief writer and editor for a U.S.-based marketing and consulting firm. He holds a bachelor's degree in business and communications. Alo's interests include business, investments, electronics, personal finance, health, communication, popular trends and travel.