There are a few well-known hacks to make your medicine cabinet really go the extra mile in the beauty department. Perhaps you dab Preparation H under your eyes to help fight puffiness, or use toothpaste to help dry out a blemish in a pinch (we suggest using these acne products instead). But we have a sneaking suspicion you're probably not in the habit of slathering laxative on your face....Until now?
YouTube beauty vloggers and celeb makeup artists alike swear by using Phillips' Milk of Magnesia laxative (yes, that kind of laxative) as a face primer to even out skin texture and control oil with its high concentration of magnesium hydroxide. We've gotta admit, 'Milk of Magnesia' sounds like it could be the name of a fancy skincare product.
"A lot of water-based primers just feel like another moisturizer, and the silicone-based primers feel waxy or they still don't stick," celeb makeup artist Julianne Kaye told the Daily Mail. "When you put Milk of Magnesia on your face, you can actually feel that veil over the skin."
According to Kaye, it's been a secret among makeup artists for years, and she's used the laxative as a primer on most of her clients (who reportedly include ScarJo, Britney Spears, and Kate Hudson) to keep makeup in place even during hot summer photoshoots.
While there isn't a ton of data out there supporting its use, the active ingredient magnesium hydroxide has been shown in the lab to break apart fats and oils, which explains how it can help absorb excess oil, says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., dermatologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. Plus, Milk of Magnesia also contains sodium hypochlorite (a derivative of bleach), which can help reduce skin inflammation and kill acne-causing bacteria on the skin, Zeichner explains. Who knew?! Just be sure to apply a very thin layer to the skin and let it dry before applying makeup, he says.
Hey, it may sound wacky, but if it's good enough for A-listers, we're certainly willing to at least consider the $5 remedy. (Not quite ready to take the laxative plunge? Try these 11 Makeup Primers With a Purpose.)