In yet another somewhat bizarre TikTok trend, potatoes have become the new skincare hack for acne. But is there any merit to using this root vegetable to zap zits? Before we get into that, let’s briefly cover one of the causes of acne.
Immune system cells sometimes release compounds known as Cytokines to regulate immunity and inflammation. However, some cytokines have been found to do just the opposite – cause inflammation – leading to acne. Potatoes contain chemical compounds called glycoalkaloids. Studies have shown that this molecule can neutralize the effects caused by inflammation-inducing cytokines. This forms the basis of potatoes as potential acne relief.
What Are Experts Saying?
The trendy media organization, POPSUGAR held a brief interview with Joshua Zeichner, MD, an NYC Board Certified Dermatologist, about the practicality and feasibility of using potatoes to treat acne. The renowned city dermatologist explained that potatoes relieve acne in a two-pronged approach. First, its starchiness absorbs excess oil and soothes inflammation. Given that potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, the risk of leaving behind dark spots after relieving acne is incredibly loweredi. Dr. Zeichner, however, advises using potatoes only when you are out of options, seeing as there are other more effective solutions.
In another interview with the popular online lifestyle magazine, BYRDIE, Dr. Gretchen Frieling had a similar take as Dr. Zeichner. The Boston-based board-certified dermatologist further explained that potatoes contain an enzyme known as catecholase which is thought to accelerate skin brightening and elimination of dark spotsii.
The Potato Acne Hack Procedure
- Prepare your facial skin by cleansing it of all dirt and residual skincare beauty products and then pat it dry with a clean towel.
- Take a potato and wash it before peeling. The idea is to clean the dirt while preserving the benefits of the potatoes contained within its skin.
- Peel a thin layer of the skin off the potato entirely. Do not rinse off the peeled potato. You want to keep the starchy juices intact.
- Now, cut the potato into thin round slices (about half-inch thick).
- Take the potato slices and gently massage them into your face’s trouble area. Let it rest for about 15 minutes undisturbed.
- If you feel any pinch or inflammatory effect, remove the potato and rinse your face.
This hack can relieve the occasional acne and pimples; however, experts do not recommend it as a long-term solution. It is not recommended at all if you are allergic to potatoes. You can find traditional acne and allergy solutions at our EstalaSkincare Acne Treatment Page. Our products are certified by leading dermatologists and are designed to work with a wide range of skin types.
i Balim Tezel, POPSUGAR (April 2020): “Putting a Raw Potato on Pimples: Does the Viral TikTok Hack Actually Work?” Retrieved from https://www.popsugar.com/beauty/raw-potato-pimple-treatment-47405757
ii Sara Spruch-Feiner and Morgan Rabach, MD, BYRDIE (October 2021): “TikTokers Are Using Potatoes to Treat Acne—but Does it Work?” Retrieved from https://www.byrdie.com/potatoes-for-clear-skin-5095217