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12 Strange Acne Remedies: Some You Might Not Want To Know About

Throughout the years and even today, there have been some pretty weird and wacky ways to address the appearance of acne. From baking soda to dryer sheets, people have tried some pretty odd things. Some of these treatments might seem gross but remember, it worked for someone, somewhere! By no means is this a DIY instruction sheet. It is informational only and if it strikes your fancy to try one of these, please consult with your physician before trying any of these at home. Yes, even the banana peel.

Shocking Acne Treatments
Could these odd acne treatments work?

Coal Tar

Coal is known to belong to a class of drugs called keratoplastics. When used as an exfoliant it’s shown to effectively cause the skin to shed dead cells away, as well as slow the growth of new cells. Slowing the growth of skin cells might possibly prevent trapping the bacteria that cause acne beneath the skin. It’s very often used for those suffering from psoriasis, too.

Urine Therapy

Yes, this is just what it sounds like. Catching the urine and applying it to pimples or the entire face has been shown to be quite effective for a FEW people. Using it as a mask for 10-20 minutes and then rinsing away leaves behind a more conditioned skin due to the substance called Urea that is found in urine. It can also be used with compresses or spread on with a washcloth soaked in urine.


That’s right. Windex. Somehow, Windex made it on to the acne treatment scene soon after its introduction as a cleaning product. This treatment is GREATLY discouraged though, as Windex contains many volatile chemicals and the pH of Windex is highly alkaline. Our recommendation? Don’t try this one at home! Thanks a lot “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”!

Banana Peel

Banana peel contains a chemical called lutein. It also contains Vitamins A, B and C as well as potassium, magnesium and many other great vitamins and minerals. Using a banana peel on your face should help to curb inflammation and may even help clear pimples.


The potassium, sulfur, phosphorus, and chloride in potatoes are rumored to help clear breakouts. Simply cutting off a piece of potato and using the white meat of this root is the method for application. Remember to wash it away though. Potatoes are very “starchy” and when they start to dry they leave behind a gritty powder that will flake. Not pretty.

Athlete’s Foot Powder

In the summer it’s not uncommon to experience a rash and breakout under the bra, that’s a two-fold issue. More than likely it’s both a bacterial and fungal infection. Simply powdering with Athlete’s foot powder is believed to help clear all of this rash and return the skin back to normal. The powder wicks away moisture while also providing a fungal fighting medication.


Many acne patients would love to go to their esthetician and get the strongest, deepest chemical peel possible. Most estheticians just aren’t going to do that. Salicylic acid is the closest thing to a chemical peel that the average acne sufferer is going to receive. That being said, aspirin is made from acetylsalicylic acid and can provide those anti-inflammatory benefits as well as dry the blemishes for faster healing. All of that right at home from the medicine cabinet.

Dryer Sheets

Here is a strange one. After a dryer sheet has been used, SAVE IT! Some say rubbing the sheet on the face will remove oils and gently exfoliate it as well. It is probably best to use dryer sheets that are already only slightly scented as the fragrance could cause further irritation, but these sheets can be washed, rinsed and dried again for use and re-use.

Bird Poop For Geishas

Bird poop? It is said that geishas would use the droppings of Nightingales each night as a facial mask to keep their skin clear and smooth. The poo was probably part of a concoction of other ingredients, but who thought this was a good idea in the first place? But again, this worked for someone, somewhere. Supposedly it worked pretty well for Claudia Connell of Daily Mail.

Snail Slime

Oh yeah! Snail slime! It’s actually quite a beneficial elixir. Even some dermatologists have said that the regenerative power of this slime is quite renowned. South African farmers who regularly handled escargot reported younger, smoother looking skin on their hands. The beauty market in Korea picked up on it and it finally made its way into the US around five years ago. Apparently, the ability of the slime to restore damaged tissue and replenish moisture in the same has proven quite useful in the healing process of those with acne.

Pepto-Bismol And Listerine

Please don’t mix these together. It’s been said that you can use Pepto-Bismol for a mask, as it seems the salicylates it contains help to treat the skin all over. After the PB mask, spot treat with Listerine. Listerine was first introduced to the medical industry as an antiseptic to be used during surgeries! Some have reportedly found that the herbal oils and alcohols found in this mouthwash are very antibacterial and work well for acne as well.


Some people have actually reported this as a remedy. Of all the junk science out there though, this may be in the Top 5 of junkiest. One woman was reported to have said that she had a breakout and then was abstinent for 2 weeks after that. Those 2 weeks her acne cleared completely and returned at the same time her lover did. It worked for someone, somewhere. Maybe.

If you have acne, chances are that you have tried many, many different methods trying hard to get your skin clear and healthy. The moral of the story is this, keep trying but try things that make sense. Some of the “remedies” found here probably work at least for a short while. Some may even clear acne just as good as a Proactive solution, but without a healthy lifestyle and diet, any remedy will likely be short-lived.

Bird poop? Consider the fact that geishas also ate a very natural, organic and whole food diet. There were a lot of Omega-3’s in their diet and virtually no sugars or dairy. Maybe that was actually the real cause of their near perfect skin. Not Nightingale droppings.

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