It’s a sad fact of life that acne doesn’t always bugger off once you exit your teens. Sometimes it just prefers to hang around in the form of painful red lumps – which is just not a good time.
And if you’re an acne sufferer, you know that when an uninvited breakout party pops up, you’ll do almost anything to send it packing – STAT.
Curious? It’s nappy cream.
Yep, you read that correctly. But stay with us – it actually doesn’t sound like a bad idea.
A Reddit user by the name of infintesimallyok praised the ability of “diaper cream” for doing what no other acne cream/mask/spot sticker could ever do – clear her skin, fast.
Infintesimallyok said, “I had a brand new box of diaper cream in the back of my skincare cabinet…and randomly thought, "hey, why don't I throw this on my cystic acne pimples". I was at my wits end, none of my spot treatments were doing anything to these gigantic monsters and I figured, "how much worse can I make it".”
“It's the extra-strength Zincofax, the pink box with the baby on the front, and it has 40 per cent white petroleum jelly and 47 per cent zinc oxide…I left it on overnight and I woke up in the morning amazed!”
“This diaper cream had done what none of my acid-pink spot treatment-sulfur-clay mask spot treatments could do, and made all of my horrendous cystic pimples come to a head. I popped a hydrocolloid patch (I use the Cosrx) on them the next night and boom, now they're flat. I have no idea how or why this works, but its worth a shot if you've basically tried everything else like me. So happy!”
Other Reddit users were quick to back up infintesimallyok’s claim, with one Redditor noticing similar acne-clearing results after using Sudocrem. “I get Sudocrem in the UK! It’s marketed for diaper rash, but it’s great for pimples or even chub rub. I just pop a bit on before bed, and I wake up with it reduced and less red. I’ve encouraged my friends to try it and they love it too! Best part is you can get a good size tub that will last you forever for like $3.”
Another Redditor wrote, “I saw someone post about this a week or two ago so I tried it out and it’s been magical. But seriously, how DOES it work?”
Could a $10 nappy rash cream really replace all of those pricey acne treatments? Cosmetic Chemist and Founder of hop & cotton, Ee Ting Ng says zinc oxide can actually fight off acne, reduce redness and control excess oils.
“The properties that make zinc oxide great in nappy creams are also what makes it effective against acne. It is antibacterial, astringent and barrier-forming. This allows zinc oxide to reduce redness/swelling, dry out any ‘weeping’ or wet blemishes and prevent active spots from further infection by physically separating them from the environment,” she says. “It also helps that zinc oxide is white, preventing you from touching/squeezing your spots when it is on your skin!”
However, before you start smearing this DIY treatment all over your face, Ng warns that these creams can sometimes have the opposite effect and make your breakouts worse. “The high content of zinc oxide in such diaper creams can be useful against acne due to its above mentioned benefits. However, these creams may not always be enough to completely eliminate acne, or can sometimes exacerbate the situation due to the presence of various fragrance/fragrance components (which are allergens) in them.”
Ng says your best bet would be to look for a spot treatment that contains a high amount of zinc oxide with salicylic acid to help bring down the inflammation/swelling fast, as well as clear out the clogged oil debris deep within the pore. “Other than using a spot treatment, keeping your skin care routine minimal and free from any potential allergens/irritants will speed up the lifespan of your blemishes,” she adds.
If you’re looking for the best treatments to eliminate breakouts, check out these expert-approved acne-fighting products.
What do you think of this pimple hack? Would you try it? Let us know in the comment section below.
Main image credit: Getty
Erin Docherty is a Beauty Writer for BEAUTYcrew. She has a keen interest in cosmeceutical skin care and is currently working on minimising her 9-step skin care routine – because ain’t nobody got time for that. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, or applying copious amounts of serum, you can find her spending all her money in Sephora.