How to treat pimple with garlic? Pimples happen. But a beauty vlogger claims she’s found a way to zap zits quickly—and all it takes is an ingredient that’s already in your fridge.
Here’s how to try it, per Dhukai:
- Take a clove of garlic and make cuts in it to extract the garlic juice.
- Rub the garlic on your pimple
- If you have a whitehead, “it will be gone instantly and won’t come back,” Dhukai says.
- If you have a larger pimple beneath the surface, rub the garlic on it and leave it overnight. (It should be gone by morning.)
“Try this out. It really works to flatten the pimple and make sure it doesn’t come back,” she says.
Is this for real? “It might work,” New York City dermatologist, Doris Day, M.D., author of 100 Questions and Answers About Acne, tells SELF. “Garlic has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory elements to it, which could help.”
But dermatologist Marie Leger, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of dermatology at NYU isn’t convinced. “People are always trying to smear food on their skin in my experience,” she says, adding “I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
Here’s why: Garlic can cause a contact dermatitis, a situation in which you can develop scaly rashes and blisters, she says. This can happen in people because they’re allergic to garlic, but it can also happen to those who aren’t—and it can leave behind “brown marks that take months to go away,” she says. “Not everyone who uses garlic on their skin is going to get an irritant or contact dermatitis, but there are better ways to treat acne.”
Day agrees that there are probably better methods out there if you’re looking to reduce the swelling and appearance of a pimple ASAP, including using a simple one percent hydrocortisone cream from the drugstore. If you don’t want to leave the house and want to try another natural method, though, she recommends rubbing aloe on a zit. “One of the problems with pimple is inflammation,” she says. “Aloe has great antioxidant benefits and creates a breathable ‘skin’ on top of the pimple. It also takes away some of the pain of the pimple and doesn’t smell, like garlic.”
Honey, which is also antibacterial, is a good natural alternative, as is yogurt, which is a natural source of alpha hydroxy acids, board-certified dermatologist Ava Shamban, M.D., tells SELF.She also recommends standard drugstore treatments salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.
While Day says the garlic trick “may have some legitimacy to it,” she adds that the potential risks outweigh the benefits. Read: You probably shouldn’t resort to it unless you’re really in a bind. And if you are going to try it, do a patch test on your skin first, somewhere that’s not smack dab in the middle of your face.