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Skin care

Is This Sunscreen Ingredient a Secret Acne Cure?

One blogger claims a certain SPF element cured her acne

We are definitely guilty of flogging the whole "wear sunscreen" mantra day after day, and we're always looking for new angles and reasons to remind you to slather it on. So, of course we were intrigued reading about one beauty blogger's claim that sunscreen cured her acne.

Say wha? you say. Sunscreen is the miracle cure for acne?

Here's what happened: The blogger noticed zinc oxide was a common ingredient in a ton of acne treatments -- treatments that were beyond her limited budget. So she poked around and found that sunscreens designed for sensitive skin often contain zinc oxide as a primary ingredient. You know what happens next: she applied the sunscreen as part of her daily routine, and used it as a spot treatment at night, then shazam! The clouds parted and her cystic acne miraculously cleared up.

Related: The Greatest Hits of Acne-Fighting Tips

We had to know: did this girl discover the Holy Grail of acne cures? So we called Dr. Rebecca Baxt, a board certified dermatologist in Manhattan. Here's what she had to say: "I wouldn't recommend applying sunscreen as an acne treatment to everyone. Zinc oxide is not FDA approved for acne, but it's in lots of products. We have so many other effective treatments that are FDA-approved, but if the traditional therapies weren't working, I certainly think its safe to use. I'm just not sure how effective it is because we don't have good studies to show it."

Related: 5 Best Multitasking Sunscreens of 2013

This daring blogger also mentions diaper cream, which contains a high level of zinc oxide. Dr. Baxt poo-pooed this cure, as well: "Diaper rash cream tends to have petrolatum in it as well as fragrance, so I would not recommend it for the face. Petrolatum can clog pores easily and who wants to smell like a diaper? "

Although the thought of rubbing diaper cream on our face was a no-go from the start, we're always on the lookout for novel acne treatments. Do you have any home-remedy solutions for easing acne? If you have cystic acne, have you ever tried using products with zinc oxide?


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