Doctor says washing face with popular shampoo could be key to stopping acne and bumpy skin

By Staff 7 Min Read

If you’re struggling with poor skin due to acne, a dermatologist has recommended washing your face with a popular shampoo – but there are some things to take into consideration

If you’re struggling with acne on your face, and feel like you’ve tried everything to combat it, you should give this dermatologist-backed method a go.

You’re most likely familiar with Head and Shoulders, the shampoo that claims to help reduce dandruff and itchy scalps – but some dermatologists claim that’s not where its benefits stop. Dr Abby Waldman, MD, a Harvard board-certified dermatologist from Boston, has recommended anyone struggling with poor skin to try washing their face with the shampoo, Wales Online reports.

According to the dermatologist, Head and Shoulders, which can be picked up from most shops for around £3, can help reduce fungal acne and other skin problems. In a recent video on TikTok, where she goes by the name @drabby6, she explained: “Dandruff shampoos like Head and Shoulders or Nizoral shampoo reduce fungus on the skin that leads to greasy red skin (seborrheic dermatitis) and forehead bumps (fungal acne).”

The video, which has been watched over 6million times, has received thousands of comments, many of which were excited to try the hack. One person wrote: “As a nurse, I suggest this to my patients.” Another added: “I do this with Nizoral shampoo, works wonders!”

“One of the rare occasions where a TikTok health tip actually helped. did this and no longer have flakey skin between my eyebrow,” commented another.

It’s important to note that most dermatologists agree this method only works for fungal acne, and most likely won’t do much for other types, such as hormonal. But with that being said, Dr Joshua Zeichner, MC, director or cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology and associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospita, told Well and Good: “There’s little downside to using Head and Shoulders shampoo as a skin wash for fungal acne. It can even be used on people with sensitive skin.”

It can work because dandruff and fungal acne are both caused by an overgrowth of the same skin yeast called Malassezia. If there’s a lot of this on your scalp, it can cause itching and flaking – and the same goes for your face.

According to Julia Riley, MD, an assistant professor of dermatology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, dandruff shampoo can help clear fungal acne because of Zinc pyrithione, the active ingredient in it. Studies show zinc is an important micronutrient required for the normal function of skin.

Because of its antifungal, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, zinc pyrithione is great for treating psoriasis, eczema, fungal acne and seborrheic dermatitis, which is triggered by yeast. It is also great for treating mild and moderate cases of dandruff.

You can pick up a bottle of Head and Shoulders for £3 on Amazon, £4.99 at Superdrug at £2.99 at Boots.

Dr Riley told Health that there’s “not much harm” in washing your face with dandruff shampoo if you have fungal acne. However, you should talk to a dermatologist before trying it if you have atopic dermatitis (eczema) or dry skin. Elsehwere in the comment section, one person admitted: “My face ended up getting red, itchy and irritated.” A second claimed: “My face started peeling.”

It is always best to speak to your doctor first before making any drastic lifestyle or skincare changes and to investigate the root cause of your skin problems. Applying a small amount of any new product to one part of your skin, like your arm, is ideal to check for any reaction first before using it on your face.

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