Many people turn to alternative skincare methods when they feel frustrated with acne that just won’t clear up.

A quick Google search reveals many recommendations to treat acne that involve drying up your skin, including:

1. Applying toothpaste to the spot
2. Washing your face with vodka or a clear alcohol
3. Using Preparation H as a spot treatment

At first, this may seem to make sense; if a pimple is access to oil, then drying up the oil should work. But it doesn’t. Aside from the smell, embarrassment, and cost of applying these items to your face, there is a lot of evidence demonstrating that drying out your skin will not clear up your pimples.

When skin is dry, it will produce more oil. The drying effect of toothpaste, alcohol, and Preparation H causes your skin to produce more and more oil. This excess oil leads to more outbreaks and more pimples. It is important to understand that everyone’s skin is different.

Doctors can offer us general advice on skincare, but different methods and different products work for different people. Have you had any success with these alternative skin care products, or bad experiences to share?