Who can forget the classic clip from Animal House--the one where the late John Belushi fills his cheeks with mashed potatoes and proceeds to simulate the popping of an enormous pimple? As hilarious as that scene is, the laughter is bittersweet, as we all know the shame and pain that is acne. Anyone who has been afflicted with zits, blackheads, whiteheads, or plooks knows that getting rid of them is both frustrating and costly. Here are seven inexpensive remedies for spots, lurkers, blemishes, and…well, acne.
(image credit: Al Natanagara)
- An ounce of prevention. For some folks, pimples are just going to happen. But even the most pimple-prone can reduce the frequency of skin gland or hair follicle inflammations (the more sophisticated term for "zit") by reducing the amount of oil applied to the skin. Use only lotions, sunscreens, and hair products that are labeled "oil-free." "Non-comedogenic" is a good thing, too; it means "this stuff won't clog your pores."
- Cleanliness. It may be next to godliness, but only when done properly. Clean your face, but don't clean it too often. Use a cleanser, but don't use anything too strong. Scrub, but don't scrub too hard. A few times daily or when needed with a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil applied with hands or a soft cloth and rinsed with warm (not hot) water is enough to keep the dirt out of your pores but not too much that the skin's necessary oils are not washed away.
- Salad face. No, this is not a vegan horror film that will scare the pimples off your face--it's a reference to the many home acne remedies that involve produce. Rub your face with cucumbers or grapes, mint leaves, lemon juice, strawberry leaves, garlic, or orange peels. Do not add dressing, and make sure you compost your ingredients to reduce your carbon footprint!
- Masque of the red plook. Facial masks from any of the following have been claimed to successfully combat acne: honey, yogurt, egg whites, egg yolks, oatmeal and honey, or oatmeal and onion. None of these methods are recommended during plague or zombie apocalypse.
- Is there anything it can't do? We are talking about that wondrous household multi-tasker: baking soda. It can power a science fair volcano, scour away bathtub scum, and now it can even help get rid of those pesky blemishes. Mix it with enough water or lemon juice to make a paste, then gently rub on problem areas. Trivia: The one thing baking soda can't do is rid your fridge of odors while in the box--it only does its thing when it is in actual contact with the source of stink.
- Urine. You read that right: Peepee, weewee--down South they call it teetee. For hundreds of years, there have been those who swear that dabbing a little bit of urine on problem acne will make it go away within a day or two. You cannot buy urine at the Duane Reed, though. You'll have to use your own. Use only fresh urine. Some fans of this method claim that the first urine of the day is best. Whether that applies to effectiveness, consistency, or bouquet has yet to be clarified.
(image credit: Al Natanagara)
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