5 Weird, Gross Beauty Tricks And The Science Behind Why They Work
Not long ago, we shared a story detailing the increasingly trendy use of urine as a skincare ingredient among those daring enough to try it.
Though the trend isn’t new — urine has been used as a “cure-all” throughout history to address a number of beauty and health concerns — Martha Christy reintroduced the bizarre practice in her book, “Your Own Perfect Medicine.”
Christy insists both the ingestion and topical application of urine will cleanse, detoxify and beautify, and advocates (mostly holistic health enthusiasts) throughout the world agree: Pee is the key.
While the promise of a clear complexion is certainly appealing, the idea of rubbing pee on our faces, well, isn't — and it’s not something we’re willing to try, now or ever.
Still, we found ourselves inspired by the concept of do-it-yourself beauty that serves as the foundation of offbeat home remedies.
So, we rounded up a list of the weirdest tips and tricks we’ve heard and cross-checked our findings with professionals to ensure they actually work.
Ahead: The weirdest beauty tricks to cheat your way to flawlessness — no bodily fluids involved.
Pepto-Bismol as a face mask
Hypothetical situation: A giant pimple pops up on your face the day before an important event and you don’t have any acne-fighting spot treatments to drown the little sucker in. The DIY way to shrink the spot? Slather Pepto-Bismol all over your face.
The science: Yeah, it sounds weird, but get this: According to dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer, Pepto “contains bismuth subsalcylate, which is closely related to the acne-fighting ingredient salicylic acid.”
Here's how to do it: Slather it on! Note, however, that it can be excessively drying; so if you have sensitive or dry skin, opt for Greek yogurt instead, which “acts as a gentle exfoliant due to its levels of lactic acid.”
Tip: Before any treatment, you should always perform a spot-test to ensure your skin won’t react badly with the ingredients in a product.
Apple cider vinegar makes a great toner
First: A briefing on toner -- because not everybody is familiar with what it actually does. When you wash your face, you’re not just removing dirt and oil; you’re removing the skin’s natural acidic barrier.
When skin is stripped of its natural acidity, it reacts — which is where most of our skin concerns come in.
The science: Traditional toners are alcohol-based, to further remove oil, but all the alcohol really ends up doing is over-drying the skin. But since apple cider vinegar is acidic, it can help to restore balance to the skin, thereby preventing future problems.
Here's how to do it: “Apple cider vinegar can act as a great toner,” Dr. Lancer admits, “but it must be diluted before it is applied to the skin.”
Tip: He recommends a 3:1 ratio of vinegar to water, applied to freshly cleansed skin.
Beat under-eye circles with lipstick
Before you paint your face like a Kardashian sister, read this.
The science: Under-eye bags, with their purpley-blue hue, are hard to cover with foundation or concealer alone. But according to make-up artist Sarah-Jane Beatty, “red or orange pigment will help to lift the dark color so less concealer is needed.”
Here's how to do it: Dab the lipstick on your dark circles to cancel out the bruise-colored circles, then apply foundation and concealer on top. Beatty admits it “can be tricky, but it does work.”
Tip: Try peachy-hued lipstick for lighter skin, and orange-reds for darker skin tones.
Get silky strands with mayonnaise
If your strands are seriously damaged, but you can’t (or won’t) shell out $40 for a fancy deep conditioning treatment, fear not: The answer may be in your refrigerator.
The science: Mayonnaise, when used as a hair mask, works just as well as, if not better, than some store-bought conditioning options -- and a massive jar can be purchased for under $5 -- a deal if we’ve ever heard one.
According to Beatty, “the oil in mayonnaise helps hydrate your strands and smooth the hair, while the protein from yolks may strengthen damaged hair.”
Here's how to do it: You’ll want to apply room-temperature mayo to your strands (if your hair is oily, avoid applying on the scalp) and leave it in for up to 30 minutes.
Tip: When you rinse it out (we recommend using a cold-water finish), your hair will look like a goddamn Pantene ad. You’re welcome.
Banish blemishes with Visine
You know how Visine clears redness out of your eyes after a long day sitting in front of the computer (or the bong)? It does the same thing for pimples.
The science: According to Dr. Lancer, “eyedrops constrict blood vessels in the area of application, thereby lessening redness.”
Here's how to do it: Next time you wake up with an unsightly blemish, try dabbing redness-reducing eyedrops directly on the spot to help calm the redness.
Tip: Dr. Lancer cautions adverse reactions are possible, so as always, it’s best to perform a spot test before rubbing the stuff all over your face.
And so, there you have it: Five foolproof DIY treatments for your biggest beauty concerns. Try our tricks and tell us what you think — or, you know, go the old-fashioned route and rub urine on your skin. The choice is yours.