MSM, or Methylsulfonylmethane, is best known as a sports nutrition. MSM is an organic sulphur compound that occurs naturally in our bodies. I usually prefer as natural and minimally processed ingredients as possible in cosmetics. However, MSM is an exception. MSM is a safe and gentle compound that has tremendous positive effects on skin condition. How does MSM affect the skin, who is it suitable for and how can it be used in cosmetics? Keep on reading…
What is MSM powder and how is it made?
MSM is a synthetic product that is manufactured by chemical industry. Although it is of natural origin it does not exist as such anywhere so it must be specially prepared. Of course, the compound MSM is commonly found in pines, for example. Unfortunately, it is present in the wood in such small quantities that several trees should be felled down to get a pouch of MSM powder. Although many manufacturers claim their own MSM compound is made from plants, this is not true. MSM powder is made synthetically and is therefore not approved as an ingredient in natural cosmetics.
All commercially available MSM powder is currently prepared by the chemical reaction of DMSO and hydrogen peroxide. DMSO is dimethyl sulfoxide which is a by-product of the cellulose industry. By the way, did you know that vanillin is also a by-product of the pulp industry?
DMSO is an organosulfur compound used to improve the absorption of substances through the skin. DMSO has once been sold for external use for joint problems but has not been found to be safe. The researchers found that many of the healing effects of DMSO were due to the MSM it contained.
Initially, the MSM compound was used only externally in cosmetics. MSM only received marketing authorization as a dietary supplement much later in the 1990s. Thus, MSM is actually an active ingredient in cosmetics.
When choosing MSM powder, you should pay special attention to quality and purity
Because MSM powder is made from by-products of the cellulose industry, its purity is important. MSM powder is produced in countries where legislation does not control the industry (China and India). The product may contain harmful residues that will contaminate the product. The MSM powder is purified by a multiple distillation process. If the process is carried out carelessly, the risk of contamination increases.
In China and India, MSM is often only dissolved in water, dried and purified. Such a cleaning process does not guarantee a quality product. Mycelium and bacteria may also be present in the low quality MSM powder. Low quality MSM is not pure white but brown or reddish in colour.
When the MSM powder is distilled, it is heated up to 238 degrees, when the substance evaporates. The steam is cooled down to grains and redistilled several times. This removes all heavy metals from the product. MSM powders commonly sold in Finland are all purified in this way.
Benefits of MSM for the skin
MSM is a very versatile skin care active ingredient. It is useful for many skin problems. Although MSM is a fully synthetic ingredient, it is still very safe to use. There are only few cases when someone has been sensitized to MSM. Even then, it may be because of a contaminated product.
Here are a few reasons to use MSM powder in skin care
MSM allows the permeability of cell walls, allowing nutrients to enter and toxins to escape. MSM is able to easily penetrate the skin and pass through the skin throughout the body. For this reason, use only high quality MSM powder.
MSM affects collagen synthesis. Subcutaneous collagen takes care of the elasticity of the skin. MSM works best in conjunction with vitamin C. MSM reduces the disintegration of collagen under the skin.
MSM is an organic sulphur compound. Sulphur-containing compounds are useful in the treatment of skin inflammation. For acne, for example, MSM is particularly well suited. You should also try MSM cream for rosacea. There are really many creams available that contain MSM to treat acne and rosacea.
MSM helps scarred skin heal normally. If you have acne scars, pregnancy scars or surgical scars, try MSM ointment. MSM penetrates deep into the skin and promotes the formation of normal skin cells. If the scar tissue is still irritated and red, MSM soothes the inflammation. If the skin is still broken, do not use m MSM products on the skin.
MSM reduces itching of the skin. Itching is an embarrassing symptom in patients with eczema. However, do not use MSM creams on broken skin.
MSM has been found in some studies to increase hair growth and reduce hair loss. However, there is not enough evidence on this issue. In hair cosmetics, MSM compounds are used in combination with vitamin C. Hair loss can be caused by many different reasons. In almost all cases, MSM compounds do not bring relief. If the hair loss is profuse, you should consult a dermatologist.
How do I use MSM powder in homemade cosmetics?
The MSM compound is sold either as finished capsules or in a pouch as a powder. The finished capsules are convenient as they always contain the same amount. Dosing is easier and you do not need to weigh the powder. You can dissolve the powder in the finished products.
Here are some examples of where you can add MSM powder as an active ingredient.
- MSM is very soluble in warm water. It is at its best in all water-based products such as toners. For toners you can use MSM powder 1-2gr / 100ml of liquid.
- MSM is not the easiest cream ingredient. MSM is a solvent that easily degrades the structure of the cream. Therefore, always add MSM powder only to a single dose, about 0.05gr / dose. The number is really small. If you do not have such an accurate scale, drop a few crumbs of powder on your hand for one dose.
- MSM powder should be added to face masks, exfoliators and also to cleansing clay masks. MSM helps remove toxins deep from the skin.
- MSM is suitable for foot baths. It is sulphur-containing and disinfectant. Add about 3-5 grams (1 teaspoon) of MSM powder to the foot bath.
- Try MSM powder for powder deodorants. MSM acts as a sulphur-containing bacterium and reduces odour. Mix 3 grams of powdered MSM powder to whole set of powder deodorant.
- MSM is good for hair, scalp as well as nails and cuticles. Try mixing a little MSM powder with a single dose of conditioner. Leave on as instructed and rinse.
MSM is an active ingredient worth trying
There are few effective and safe active ingredients. Although MSM is a synthetic compound, it is a fairly safe and well-tolerated preparation. There are few such ingredients. You can see the effect of MSM almost immediately. I myself have found it to soothe the skin. I always use vitamin C powder along with MSM powder. The two compounds fit together seamlessly.
MSM is a fairly inexpensive product with many uses other than cosmetics. Personally, I also use MSM powder in smoothies and recovery drinks every day. You should start with small doses to get your body used to it.
Have you used MSM powder in skin care?