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Acne Cures And Myths Through The Years

Some of the things that people used to do in order to achieve their perfect skin are a bit… unusual. Thankfully, Satori Laser offers more normal methods for you!

  • Urine has been used as an acne cure and everyday cleanser since at least the 17th century. The Encyclopedia of Folk Medicine reports that “rubbing [a] baby’s face with a recently wet nappy was practiced in the Highlands of Scotland to prevent the child developing acne later and give it a good complexion.” And in an article on natural remedies used by Kansan pioneers, Amy Lathrop quotes a seventy-year-old woman who claimed: “None of the girls in the family ever had acne. All retained fine skins until their deaths—complexions outstanding for their beauty and smoothness. My mother had the rosy skin of a baby until she died, and she only bathed her face in urine on occasion in later years.” For the modern reader curious about bringing history to life, Folk Remedies That Work suggests that you take “your first urine of the day on a white washcloth and pat it around the acne area. Or, if there’s an infant around, use the baby’s wet diaper. Urine is said to have our body’s antibodies that are very healing. Be consistent. Do it daily. If you’re not too grossed out, do it more than once a day.”
  • A mixture of sulfur and blackstrap molasses (1:2) is a historical cure that has enjoyed slightly more modern success than urine. Enthusiasts also tout molasses’ ability to cure anxiety, constipation, anemia, arthritis, and cancer.
  • Ancient Egyptians also believed that acne was caused by telling lies.
  • Cut a fresh leaf from a head of cabbage. Wash, beat the leaf to soften, and bind it to the affected area with gauze.” Svetlana Konnikova, Mama’s Home Remedies.
  • Ultraviolet radiation therapy was a popular cure during the 1930’s when acne was also known as “chastity pimples.”
  • Chinese folk medicine calls for a (somewhat more pleasant) remedy, namely peach blossoms, which are “supposed to have some supernatural power in driving away the demon of ill health, giving a good color to the complexion, and rejoicing the countenance.” (Quoted in John Scheffler’s “Chinese Folk Medicine.”)
  • A 1979 study of sex myths among students at the University of Connecticut found that 7% of them believed pimples were caused by masturbation. (However, 9% believed that boys “who masturbate excessively harm themselves by losing protein and blood through the semen which is ejaculated,” and another 7% believed that each “individual can have just so many sexual experiences in his lifetime, and when those have been used up, sexual activity is finished for that person.”