Avocado, honey ... potato? When most people think of healthy, nourishing ingredients to use on their skin, the basic spud probably isn’t among the first things to come to mind. Packed full of vitamins and minerals, the juice of an average potato does come with a surprising number of health benefits, some of which are believed to alleviate skin concerns such as acne and stretch marks.
Benefits of Potato Juice
Naturally packed with healthy goodness, it’s no wonder potatoes are the carb of choice for so many people. Rich in vitamins C and B6, as well as potassium and niacin, the mere juice of these tasty tubers can make a great addition to any DIY skincare regimen, mostly for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Does Potatoes Work on Acne?
When ingested, potato juice can work to boost the immune system, thanks to vitamin C, which is an essential part of staying healthy against colds and some viruses. This, combined with the role it plays in diminishing the effects of inflammation, is believed to be what keeps breakouts at bay. When excess sebum combines with dead skin cells within a pore, harmful bacteria known as P. acnes can form. When the body detects this bacteria, it alerts an inflammatory response, sending in white blood cells to fight the infection. This is why most pimples are red, swollen and painful. While potato juice certainly won’t prevent acne, it can alleviate acne symptoms such as pimples by halting the inflammation process.
Potato juice as a topical treatment has also been known to reduce redness that occurs from acne scarring by naturally lightening the skin. Results will vary depending on a few conditions, however, including how deep your acne scars run and how long the scarring has been on your skin. To create a potato juice treatment to try yourself, wash, peel and grate a potato, then use a cheese or linen cloth to squeeze out any moisture into a jar or glass. For application on scars, simply cut a potato and rub the raw slice onto the affected area, then rinse away.
Does Potatoes Work on Stretch Marks?
In addition to acne, stretch marks have also been said to witness results thanks to the help of potato juice. A circulation improver, thanks to niacin, and a natural hydrator, thanks to vitamin C, potato juice seems to have all it takes to make an impact on stretch marks; but unfortunately, the consensus on this method is a resounding “no.” Stretch marks cannot be removed. They're indented stretches in the skin known as striae, but may eventually become faded over time. Potato juice is known to have a mild lightening effect, but chances are it won’t make much difference on anything other than the mildest of marks.
While rubbing potatoes on your body certainly won’t cause any further harm or damage, if you’re looking to see real results on stretch marks, a retinol or collagen booster is likely your best bet.
Krissy Howard is a NY-based freelance writer who specializes in creating content regarding skin care, pet care, and original humor. Her work has been featured on Reader's Digest, Hello Giggles, Reductress, and The Hard Times.