I'm not quite sure that these are the natural cures for acne that anyone's grandmother had in mind. And perhaps the term ‘cure’ should be used very loosely. . . However, home acne remedies remain very popular - perhaps out of a sense of frustration from those suffering from the dreaded zit. Whether toothpaste, urine therapy, or apple cider vinegar actually work, is debatable. This article will look at the premise behind each of these options, and whether they are truly worth your time.
There are several variations to the toothpaste acne remedy. Some people swear that it alone, dabbed onto the offending zits, will clear them up. Others prefer mixing toothpaste in with several other ingredients, forming mixtures that range from simple to complex. For example, one teenager washed her face with salty water, left it on, added more salt to her face until it was entirely covered, then washed all of that off. Finally, toothpaste was applied to the pimples, and left on for a few hours, but preferably overnight.
Most of these remedies were multi-step processes, and even when other ingredients were used, they were not mixed in with the toothpaste. Like in the example above, the other steps often cleansed the face, perhaps rinsed with cold water to close the pores. Then toothpaste was added as a final step.
There were even instructions on which types of toothpaste to use. According to some, gels don't work as well, and whitening toothpastes were either unnecessary, or should be avoided. Given that baking soda also features in some other remedies, perhaps a toothpaste containing that could be used?
Will it work? Well, some of the reports from satisfied acne sufferers seem to indicate it may be worth a try, provided it isn't too harsh and irritating to your skin. It certainly isn't expensive. Some people saw results overnight, some took a few days, others longer. So, it may not be a once-off solution. One thing to be aware of is that any type of hard scrubbing of the skin can make acne worse.
Urine therapy is one that can elicit such revulsion (in me!), that it is almost hard to write about it. The theory is that one's own urine is packed with antibodies, hormones, and other goodies that are beneficial for our health. This includes vitamins and minerals that the body has excreted, because it didn't need. One article I read made the very good point that if they weren't needed the first time, they will likely be excreted again the second time. That same article points out that just because urine is not toxic, does not mean it is beneficial.
Urine therapy had its’ origins amongst some Indian mystics, and seems to be particularly associated with the tantric philosophy. As an acne remedy, it is suggested that one massages one's urine over the affected areas. Some people leave it on overnight, assuming their partners and family can stand the smell.
The problem with urine therapy is that a lot of the justification is very unscientific and poorly supported. It is bolstered by conspiracy theories as to why this supposedly wonderful substance is ignored by the medical profession, except where scientists have extracted and tested certain elements of urine for therapeutic purposes. This does not mean, however, that therapeutic concentrations are to be found in one's own urine.
Bottom line for urine therapy with acne? There are a lot of other good alternatives out there, that don't smell, and don't have waste products mixed in with them. And people on any medications should not try urine therapy.
Apple cider vinegar is usually diluted with water, and sometimes mixed with other things, including honey and jojoba oil. There are very mixed reviews about it. Some people love it, others say that at first it seemed to make their acne worse, but then it really helped to turn it around. And others, quite a few others, say it made their skin, dry, very irritated, painful, and flakey. Those with sensitive skin seem to fare the worst, so if you do have sensitive skin, avoid apple cider vinegar at all costs.
One important point is that apple cider vinegar should be diluted. And be prepared for a rather off smell. It's probably not as noxious as urine however!
One feature of acne home remedies is that they do not work for everyone. This is true of medicine and over the counter treatments as well though. Those with sensitive skin should be the most careful, as many of these home-made treatments can be very harsh. This includes both toothpaste and apple cider vinegar. Urine therapy may work best with those who have a strong belief in it, although there are many other effective options to explore. It's worth keeping in mind that although some people report success with certain things, those successes have not been compared to other treatments in a controlled trial. It may be that other remedies may have been more effective after all.
1. Nexus Online
Discover more about why some natural acne treatments work , and which ones are more effective. Rebecca writes on pimples, pustules, and zits here.