This Laxative Ingredient Is Apparently A Skin-Care Essential

Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
There's nothing inherently alluring about magnesium. The ingredient wasn't even on our minds until we spotted Jordyn Woods (Kylie Jenner's BFF and model) getting an A-list facial boasting magnesium as a hero ingredient. Turns out, it may just be the trendy new ingredient you should be adding to your skin-care routine, especially if you're looking to balance combination skin.
Any doctor will tell you that magnesium is more popular as an oral treatment to rebalance your digestive system than a topical spot treatment. You can find the laxative milk of magnesia in any grocery store or drugstore. Still, that doesn't mean there isn't potential for it to help your skin. "The best way to absorb it is internally, rather than externally," explains Ido Magal, herbalist and founder of Lavido. "When you use magnesium internally, it helps with almost 300 different processes in the body." But, even then, Magal agrees that in a non-direct way, it could also have an effect on the skin. "Use magnesium topically and a very small amount of it absorbs through the body without going through the digestive system," he tell us. The effect: reduced inflammation.
Advertisement
"Magnesium protects the skin from free radical damage, inflammation, and it's necessary for the enzymes that regulate cell turnover and repair," Patricia Wexler, MD, a New York-based dermatologist explains. "A lot of people end up using it topically for the treatment of acne and acne rosacea." Wexler says it can help with skin that is red, severely dry, and itchy.
Still, not every thrilling new skin-care launch features the anti-inflammatory hero just yet. And esthetician Renée Rouleau tells us that there are a few different forms of magnesium to keep an eye out for: magnesium hydroxide (found in milk of magnesia), magnesium PCA, and magnesium carbonate. Rouleau says magnesium PCA acts as a humectant so it can help attract more moisture to the skin as it works. Right now you can find the ingredient in products like Glossier's Super Glow and REN's Atlantic Kelp Wash. And magnesium carbonate is a mineral salt and best used for its absorbent qualities and talent for balancing the pH in your skin. In fact, Rouleau includes it in her Night Time Spot Lotion to dry out pustular blemishes.
Only in 2018 could the same ingredient that makes you run for the bathroom also get your skin in its best shape yet...
Advertisement

More from Skin Care

Watch

R29 Original Series