So, if you have oily skin and wear makeup, you've probably had to deal with foundation just melting off your face throughout the day (unless you stopped wearing foundation, like I did - outlined here) and feeling as gross as it looked.
While I still feel like I'm happy to go foundationless (and makeupless! I work at home, fools), there are times where I've wanted to even up my tone and be able to experiment with contouring and different colors of blush - which really do require a foundation. Not only that, but what about Halloween makeup? I don't want to worry about whether it's staying on my face in the middle of a party, yo.
So, a few internet searches on the best primers and foundations for oily skin turned up something really interesting.
Milk of Magnesia - that gross, thin, white liquid you may have had to gulp if you couldn't poop (not me. I can't take liquid medicines because they make me vomit) supposedly keeps greasy skin matte when used as a primer.
On multiple sites - Makeup Alley alone being a source of hundreds of testimonials - reported this, and there's real science to back it up.
"A medical journal was published in which the authors performed tests with different forms of magnesium on their ability to separate wax esters and steryl esters (basically oil) and they found that magnesium hydroxide (the form found in MOM) performed best. They furthered their study and tested it on wax esters and steryl esters (again oil) from the skin surface lipids of humans, rats and monkeys and they found the oils were separated completely. Also the other ingredient, le bleach, is a strong oxidizer and can cause chemical dissolution of surface lipids resulting in less oil on the skin."
However, there were also a few people out there who began suffering from cystic acne and dermatitis after integrating it into their makeup routine. Here's the science behind that.
"Because it was originally intended to neutralize the pH of our gastric environment, Milk of Magnesia is quite basic with an overall pH of 10.5. Furthermore, the bleach found in MOM produces Sodium Hydroxide when it reacts with water. And Sodium Hydroxide has a pH of 14 making it even more basic. The estimated natural skin pH is below 5 making it acidic. When this pH is followed, the normal flora (resident bacteria) on our skin stays attached to the skin. Now don't go "eewww" and "yucky" on me. We actually need these resident bacteria on our skin. They're not freeloaders on your face, they actually serve a purpose. First off, the normal flora on our skin are good bacteria much like the lactobacillus shirota strain in your yakult. They don't cause pimples or harm your skin, that's why they're called NORMAL flora. Also, they serve as guardians and protectors of our skin. When the normal flora on your skin is present it fights off other forms of bacteria that can be potentially harmful. It competes for space on your face. Now when the pH levels of our skin rise (above 5) we actually disperse the normal flora on our skin lighting up the "vacancy" sign and making it a playground for other harmful bacteria. In using MOM, which is a very basic product, we actually increase our pH level making our skin more basic and warding off our friendly, protector bacteria."
So - my dilemma (really? This is my life's dilemma?) was whether I wanted to risk skin problems where I'd always had pretty healthy skin with just the greasiness factor or deal with never being able to wear foundation for longer than an hour or so.
However, let's go back to science (or what my pinky-gray mass behind my face says it science).
As you all know because you read every stupid word I write on here, I use apple cider vinegar as a toner. Acids cancel out bases - right?
Also, I work at home. How often am I going to realistically going to wear foundation just to talk on the phone with my agents?
This week? Apparently, every damn day.
That's right - I have been making up my face every day in an attempt to see the result of Milk of Magnesia. So that makeup doesn't go to waste, I've been forcing all of my employees to look at my mug on webcam instead of just talking to me like a normal person over the phone.
Saturday was the first day, and it didn't really work. I still got greasy after a couple of hours. I think I didn't wait long enough between toner/moisture/MoM/foundation.
Sunday was less greasy.
Monday and today have been AH-mazing! Like, really. You'd never know I was a greasy gal! I don't know if it's continued use or what, but my skin has been like someone else's. If I wanted a truly matte finish, I could probably maintain it with a little powder or blotting papers (or Starbuck's napkins).
Here's my face with MoM, foundation, sans any form of powder, 8 hours after applying makeup.
Compare that to my face about two hours after washing it, without foundation, a couple of weeks ago.
Using it is sort of self-explanatory. Clean face (baby shampoo is a super gentle cleanser!), use apple cider diluted with water as a toner (1/2 and 1/2), and moisturize (seriously, anything - I use Jergens). Let your moisturizer sink in while you do your hair or something.
Basically, wet a cotton ball or cosmetic sponge with the MoM and put it on your face, making sure to hit everywhere - even the crevices next to your nostrils. Let it dry completely. If there are white spots, just rub them out with your finger or a dry cotton ball. Then, apply foundation. I've been using E.L.F Studio Flawless Finish Foundation, so it's not like it has to be amazing or high-end (though this product is great, considering the price point!).
Then, just do your thing. That's it. For reals.
Alright - so will I be using it daily? Nah bra. However, when I want to wear makeup, fersher. I don't think I'm risking my skin health because of my apple cider routine, and I haven't found anything nearly as effective in controlling my oil as this $6 bottle of Milk of Magnesia.
Also, is anyone tired of my big ole hipster glasses? Ready for a new look? I'm really digging on a pair of brow-liners.