I was searching for an acne treatment for my son recently. Poor guy. He has a combination of ingrown beard hairs and a zit attack that would have most other young girls or blokes becoming recluses.
We've tried everything. The drying type acne treatments make the ingrown hairs worse, and the ingrown hair treatments do nothing for the acne.
Then I stumbled upon this Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, which has in international cult following, and is $20 for a 1oz (30mls) tiny bottle.
I looked at the ingredients. Calamine lotion? Puh-lease. Isopropyl Alcohol...Isocol? Really? Salicylic Acid? Isn't that just aspirin?
The rest just looked like stuff to improve the texture or scent to me.
My son was already using a 2% salicylic acid in a neutral cream base which the pharmacist had made up for him. 100gms for $16, and it was helping.
So I just decided that the Calamine, Isocol and Aspirin were all things I had on hand so I'd try making something similar. None of it was going to do any harm as such.
I tipped about a quarter of a bottle of Calamine lotion into a smaller recycled bottle and put it aside in case we actually need it for something. The last time we used it was for 'pinking' The Divas ballet shoes, so unlikely, but waste not, want not.
I then refilled about 2/3 of the gap created, with Isocol (about 50mls).
Then I got a medicine measure and put 5mls of water in it. I dissolved half a Disprin tablet in it. Then decided to put the other half in. Now I'm not a chemist but I was trying to have half a stab at the quanitity of salicyclic acid I needed for the bottle of Calamine which is 200mls in capacity. My brain wouldn't compute that, and I have no idea how to calculate it....any chemists out there in blogland?
Nonetheless, this seemed like a fair starting point...again, do no harm and all that.
I added the dissolved Disprin to the bottle and gave it all a good shake.
My son has been using this in addition to a supermarket face scrub with a 2% salicylic acid solution in it, and the face cream made by the pharmacist. The salicylic acid, by the way, treats both the acne and the ingrown beard hairs. Hence our obsession.
The lotion is applied with a cotton ball several times daily and as you would imagine, the Calamine has a mildly disguising effect due to the colour, as well as being soothing.
In just one week, his pimples have all disappeared and the lumps caused by the ingrown beard hairs have all reduced in swelling. He almost looks clear skinned.
We're amazed that something so simple would work.
This may not suit everyone, and certainly don't use it on anyone who is allergic to aspirin, but it's worked brilliantly for him.
If you give this a try, let me know. I'd be interested to hear how it works for you.