You have two hours before a big night and you notice a huge pimple on your face. What do you do? If your first instinct is to rummage through your medicine cabinet in search of a quick fix, you’re not alone. According to Dr. Gervaise Gerstner, consulting dermatologist for L’Oreal Paris, the DIY response to a skin state-of-emergency is quite common.
“Late at night, patients may Google ‘What to do with a pimple,’ or start picking and squeezing and experimenting with potions when the derm office is closed,” she says. But are any of these unorthodox remedies really working to solve your beauty qualms? Here, Dr. Gerstner gives us the verdict.
Monistat 7 for Hair Growth
We’re not sure how one discovers that yeast infection cream could help hair growth, but this eyebrow-raising trick has gotten a bit of buzz online. Some people claim to have added a half-inch of length by dousing their scalps with a mixture of Monistat 7 and various hair oils. The theory? The anti-fungal agent in the cream, miconazole nitrate, promotes hair growth by fighting dandruff.
What the derm says: “Anti-fungal, anti-yeast Monistat will fend off dandruff but will not affect hair loss. I like Visvical hair supplements, biotin supplements and steroid scalp injections. Hopefully soon, we will have a hair growth patch just like we use Latisse to grow eyelashes.”
Hemorrhoid Cream for Under Eye Puffiness
This unorthodox quick-fix is an age-old trick to reduce under-eye puffiness and bags, and the Preparation H method has plenty of fans who swear it works (including big-name makeup artists). According to dermatologists, the hydrocortisone found in hemorrhoid cream is an anti-inflammatory drug. But how much is too much with this popular trick?
What the derm says: “Prep H does work, but I would use it only once or twice a month max and only in a super pinch, as Prep H can be irritating to the skin. Eye skin is so delicate that I think it is too strong to be used on a regular basis”
Pepto Bismol for Pore Shrinkage
This pink potion is the caped crusader when it comes to our stomach woes and it turns out, it may also have the ability to shrink pores and fight acne. The “Pepto Bismol facial” has been praised by some quick-fixers as a great way to tighten your skin, thanks to the anti-bacterial active ingredient bismuth subsalicylate.
What the derm says: “Pepto Bismol is similar to using a crushed aspirin. The salicylic acid in both Pepto Bismol and asprin is what will help inflammation in a pimple. One can crush an aspirin and apply to a pimple. Toothpaste is also good to dry out a pimple. You can apply it and sleep with it on.”
Diaper Rash Cream for Acne
Some moms have found a second use for diaper rash cream. Besides keeping their babies’ bottoms comfy, diaper rash cream has been purported to clear up acne. But is zinc oxide, the active ingredient found in diaper rash creams such as Desitin, really helping or hurting your face?
What the derm says: “Zinc actually may make skin worse. It can be too thick and clogging for many people. It can be a barrier cream that does not let skin breathe. Skin can develop whiteheads quickly.”
The verdict? While grabbing whatever may be at your fingertips is a normal reaction to a beauty freak-out, proceed with caution. Ingredients designed to work on other body parts aren’t always your best bet. And luckily, there’s a product out there for every beauty issue—so you’ll never have a reason to put butt cream on your face.