Right now is a prime time to talk about priming! I stopped using Milk of Magnesia (MoM) as a face primer when I read about how damaging it could be to the skin over time. MoM is too acidic for daily use, and can break down your skin’s protective barrier if used too often. No thanks.
Back when I was still on the MoM train, I noticed the oiliness and acne breakouts were worse on the days when I didn’t prime my face with the MoM. It was clear the MoM threw my skin off balance, so I was excited to stumble upon a blogger chatting up calamine lotion as a safer alternative.
Calamine Lotion as an Oily Skin Primer
Yes — calamine lotion! If you were lucky enough to get chickenpox as a kid, you probably remember being covered in calamine lotion by your mom or dad. Turns out, calamine lotion is also a skin protectant known to help remedy diaper rash, sunburn, eczema, acne, and you guessed it — oily skin. Many of the commercial brands of calamine lotion are simply combinations of zinc oxide and iron oxides. My skin absolutely loves it!
How to Use Calamine Lotion as a Primer
- Cleanse and moisturize the face as you normally would.
- Allow the moisturizer to dry completely.
- With a stippling brush or clean finger, apply a less than dime-sized amount of calamine lotion to the face.
- Allow to dry down completely before applying makeup.
It will leave a white cast to your skin, so this doesn’t work so well if you’re planning to go makeup-free. Calamine lotion keeps my T-zone in check for about 8-9 hours. I no longer experience the hormonal acne that Aunt Flo usually brings every month, and most important to me, with repeated use my skin is actually improving. Calamine lotion will only cost you a few dollars, and it’s gentle enough for daily use. I can definitely live with that!
Is Calamine Lotion Safe?
As is the case with anything, people with sensitivities to the ingredients will experience skin irritation. Do a patch test if this is your first time. I scoured the internet for side effects and toxicity issues, and I’m happy to say I didn’t come up with much of anything. Zinc oxide is potentially harmful if swallowed, and poisonous if the gas is inhaled in large quantities (industrial plants, chemical industry, etc). I wouldn’t recommend using calamine lotion as a primer to anyone with dry skin, but if you have oily skin I encourage you to give it a try.
Have you ever used calamine lotion as a face primer?