It's gonna get sappy up in here.
I love reading about unconventional beauty hacks on the Internet. A lot of them are pretty bogus but every once in a while a little nugget of genius comes you way making all the bizarre trials you’ve done over the years worth it.
The latest craze? Spot-treating acne with diaper rash cream.
I had my first major breakout the year I turned 30. It was the same year I went off the birth control pill -- something I first started taking when I was 16 years old. Though I’m sure a lot of people would consider me lucky for going so long (mostly) zit-free, after living with clear skin and being blissfully unaware that the hormones in my birth control pill were faking my complexion it was quite a shock to suddenly be covered—and I mean covered—in painful red spots.
The bulk of the problem was on my chest and back but a decent cluster of red dots also lined the sides of my face and neck. I’d share pictures but I avoided being anywhere near a camera (or people) for the months when it was the worst.
After visiting my family doctor, a derm and a gyno, I walked away with a bunch of expensive creams that bleached all of my sheets and towels and the suggestion to go back on the pill, which I adamantly refused. The most reassuring thing I was told was it would eventually regulate and work itself out. A year later and I’m still dealing with regular breakouts.
Dealing with acne sucks no matter how old you are but as an adult there’s this expectation that you should have your shit figured out when it comes to your skin. Before this happened, I had a pretty minimal skincare regime opting for natural products whenever I could. One of the biggest struggles I had was trying to find natural ways to deal with my problem and avoid the strong acids and harsh chemicals like bleach, which are found in so many acne treatments.
A couple blogs suggested taking Evening Primrose pills and drinking daily green shakes with Maca powder. Another blog suggested showering with Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Shampoo & Wash and swapping out my body lotion for zinc—a very messy suggestion I might add. Quite a few friends suggested I cut dairy from my diet—but like seriously, who can live without cheese?
None of these options produced results for me or at least, not as quickly as I needed them to so eventually I went back to my prescription creams, which did work despite destroying all of my linens.
A few months ago I read an article on a popular beauty blog suggesting diaper rash cream as a spot treatment. Say, what? A quick Google search later and apparently this is a thing.
Though most baby products are pretty chemical-free, I decided to try out one of my favourite natural brands, Weleda to see if there was any truth to this—Weleda also makes a Gentle Cleansing Milk face cleanser, which is awesome.
First off, there’s something truly amazing about reading the ingredient list on the back of a product and being able to pronounce everything.
Check out what’s in the Weleda Baby & Child Calendula Diaper Rash Cream:
zinc oxide, beeswax, benzyl benzoate, benzyl salicylate, calendula flower extract, chamomile flower extract, geraniol, glyceryl linoleate, hectorite, lanolin, limonene, linalool, sweet almond oil, sesame seed oil, water
The main ingredient is zinc, which I mentioned I had tried before with little success but maybe mixing the zinc with the calendula extract (an anti-inflammatory) would give a better result? The cream also contains sweet almond and sesame seed oils, which are rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids so I figured this was at least a step up from bleach.
This cream is still a little messy to use—though way less than the straight up zinc! When you squeeze it out of the tube you’ll notice a bit of the oil comes out as well. You’ll want to mix that together before you apply so I put a blob on the top of my hand and then mixed it all up so that it was in a smooth consistency. Instead of slathering it on, I spot treated just the zits but others have told me that you can just apply it all over the affected area in the same way you would treat diaper rash. Once it’s soaked in, you’ll notice the swelling start to go down and the redness will decrease.
Here’s a snap of a patch of pretty gross skin on my back—sorry in advance:
And a snap after spot treating with the diaper rash cream for a week:
You’ll notice there are still some visible zits but my skin is definitely showing some signs of improvement.
I won’t lie; this is not a quick fix for a breakout. Over the course of a week and a bit the cream did eventually clear my skin up but I still messed up my sheets (albeit, not permanently like with the bleach) and were I treating a more visible part of my body like my face, I’m not sure I would have had the patience to wait for this to start working. I don’t know, what do you guys think?
Has anyone else tried the whole diaper rash acne treatment hack? Any other natural products you have found effective for dealing with adult acne? Please share your secrets with me!