People Are Using Urine to Get Better Skin

Believe it or not, there's a new beauty trend that involves applying your own urine to your skin to help enhance your complexion. What?! I've tried a lot of crazy things for better skin, but this is next-level.

"Urine Therapy" has been called the next big thing in skin care by some industry pros, but we're having a hard time wrapping our heads around it. The idea is that the urine acts as a cleanser of sorts because it contains antibacterial properties that could, according to some experts, benefit your skin and even reduce breakouts. Urine also contains an ingredient called urea, which is currently used in many skin care products for its ability to provide serious moisturizing benefits for dry skin—it's included in many formulations for keratosis pilaris or "chicken skin."

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New York dermatologist Jessica Krant, MD, says she's not sure if it's the "next big thing," but it is an interesting new idea. "Urea can soften and separate the loose dead skin cells on the skin's surface, acting as a mild exfoliant, but it's not going to penetrate well into deeper layers. And, when urine first comes out, it's technically sterile, but you can't keep a jar of it in your bathroom for this purpose or you'll create a brew of bacteria. It's best to stick to safety-tested skin care products, but I look forward to further research on the subject."

However, this "trend" isn't welcomed by all skin experts. "There is absolutely no evidence that urine in this fashion has any beneficial effects," says San Francisco dermatologist Vic Narurkar, MD. "In order for urea to be effective, it needs to penetrate the stratum corneum as it does when it is formulated in skin care products that can effectively penetrate the skin's surface with a delivery vehicle. The urea that is in cosmetics is a crystalline powder and needs vehicles to penetrate into skin. You cannot get that from simply applying urine on your face. Also, urea can cause stinging on irritated skin and can exacerbate acne."

Looks like the jury's still out on this one, but I can say without hesitation that I will not be testing it. Stay tuned to NewBeauty.com for updates!

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