What Is Magnesium Aluminum?
Magnesium aluminum silicate is a complex silicate refined from naturally occurring minerals. It is used in a variety of cosmetics and skincare products to improve the texture and function of the formulation.
Magnesium aluminum silicate is a naturally occurring mineral derived from silicate ores of smectite clay. It is refined to a powdery, white solid for use in cosmetics and pharmaceutical applications. Due to the large size of its molecules, magnesium aluminum silicate is unable to be absorbed into the skin, making it ideal for make up products. Magnesium aluminum silicate is often used in products that have a high pH level.
the good:Magnesium aluminum is primarily used to improve the texture and stability of skincare, cosmetic and hair care formulations.
the not so good:It provides no specific benefits to the skin. This is not necessarily a bad thing but means that it isn’t used as a key ingredient.
Who is it for?All skin types except those that have an identified allergy to it.
Synergetic ingredients:Works well with most ingredients
Keep an eye on:Don’t get it confused with magnesium and magnesium salts.
Why Is Magnesium Aluminum Used?
In cosmetics and skincare products, magnesium aluminum silicate is used to improve the texture and stability of the product.
A primary function of magnesium aluminum silicate is as a viscosity-increasing agent or thickener. Therefore, magnesium aluminum silicate is used in order to make a product less runny and easier to spread. This property is especially useful in deodorants, shaving creams, and thick lotions. Additionally, magnesium aluminum silicate works together with other common thickeners like xanthan gum and HE cellulose.
Magnesium aluminum silicate is classified as an absorbent because it has the ability to absorb or soak up liquids. Due to this property, magnesium aluminum silicate can also be used as an anticaking agent or to prevent clumping. By absorbing liquids, it prevents powder products from clumping together and helps other ingredients to apply more smoothly.
Furthermore, as an opacifying agent, magnesium aluminum silicate can be added to clear or transparent cosmetic formulations to render them more resistant to visible light.
Lastly, magnesium aluminum silicate functions as an emulsion stabilizer. An emulsion is a mixture of liquid that doesn’t usually mix together, like oil and water. In order to prevent separation of the two ingredient types, magnesium aluminum silicate is used. Magnesium aluminum silicate can stabilize both oil-in-water and water-in-oil emulsions at low concentrations.
Is Magnesium Aluminum Safe?
The safety of magnesium aluminum silicate has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel, a group responsible for evaluating the safety of skincare and cosmetic ingredients. Because of its solid particle form, some studies have shown that this ingredient could be irritating if contact is made with the eyes. Topical application of magnesium aluminum silicate to human skin daily for one week produced no adverse effects. It was not found to be irritating or sensitizing to the skin. Since magnesium aluminum silicate is made up of large particles, this ingredient cannot be absorbed by the skin. Therefore, it cannot cause sensitization reactions because it cannot react with cells of the immune system. After evaluating the scientific data, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that magnesium aluminum silicate was safe as used in cosmetics and personal care products.