Skin Battles: An Unexpected Acne-Fighter

Skin Battles: An Unexpected Acne-Fighter

We’ve all heard of some pretty out-there products when it comes to acne treatment…like toothpaste for example (my sister even swears by it for drying up pimples). But here’s something you probably haven’t thought about using as a skin-clearing agent. It lies in a little blue jar of…wait for it…

Vicks VapoRub.

Yep, you read that right. I know. I was totally shocked too when I first learned of it. But I figured, “What the heck? I’ve tried everything else, why not try this!?”

I stumbled upon the unusual acne-fighter a couple of months ago while searching for remedies on Google. I was shocked to learn that the ointment wasn’t that unheard of for treating acne.

I have tried what seems like every single face wash, topical gel and cream there is. While there’s no way I could actually test all existing pimple diminishing remedies, I have definitely tried a myriad of products, especially topical creams and ointments. They’ve ranged from drugstore brands like Neutrogena and Clearasil, to television-advertised brands like Proactiv, to department store brands like Clinique –  and lastly, dermatologist-recommended products.

While many of these treatments worked for a short duration of time (or for milder cases of acne), none of them completely wiped away the peskiest of all pimples – cystic acne.

To my surprise, Vicks VapoRub worked wonders on the bigger, more irritating blemishes. And for anyone who has dealt with even a single cystic pimple, you know how large, painful and embarrassing they can be. And on top of that? They usually last for weeks

After just two days of applying Vicks VapoRub to my cystic pimple, I saw a difference. Not only in appearance, but in facial comfort (yes, really!). Most of us know of this medicine as a cough suppressant or an ointment for aches and pains. Well, that very same ointment so happened to reduce the swelling of my pimple. Dramatically.


  • All you need is Vicks VapoRub and a Q-tip cotton swab


  • Dip the Q-tip into the jar and scoop out a tiny amount (just enough to cover the affected area)
  • Smear the ointment over the area (treat it as you would a topical acne medication)

That’s it!

In my experience, the bump became smaller and flatter within two days and after continued use of the ointment, eventually vanished.

This rub has now become my go-to product for painful cystic acne. I highly recommend trying it!

– Michelle Weiss


  1. 3140sc7a17p32

    At first I was a bit concerned b/c you were putting petro on your skin (especially acneic skin!!) but after reading the product ingredients, I’m not that surprised that it’s been working for you.  The 3 active ingredients in vaporub are very effective in treating acneic skin – eucalyptus eliminates breakout-causing bacteria and the camphor and menthol have a cooling effect that helps reduce the inflamation.   


  2. Lauren Cosenza

    Thanks for this note Michelle. Really good point!

    I often find that things indicated for one thing work really well for another (look how Latisse got indicated for lash growing after first being indicated solely for glaucoma treatment). And being a makeup artist, you could definitely say we get creative to nail a look!! (I just used lipliner as eyeliner because I wanted a specific shade for a FOX tutorial.)

    But you definitely have to test and research and be cautious. 

    Michelle (the author of the post) tested this treatment after reading about it online and it really worked for her. And when you have cystic acne and it’s persistent, finding a solution can be a game-changer as far as confidence and feeling good about your appearance.

    But as with all the reviews on the site, it may not work for everyone. So I’m really glad you raised this point. 

    Thanks for your comment!


  3. Debbie

    I just tried it 2days ago for cystic acne and yes several hours after applying the head came out. and without even touching it the pus drained. I havent realy read that it is how vicks work. I though i would magically make it smaller. So at that time i thought i made my acne worst but i guve it another night and the next morning whne i wake up, it was flat, less redness and the size aproximately reduced to half. and so far no new acne growth.

    • Clarisse

      Hi. May I ask how long do you keep vicks on your face?

  4. Lauren Cosenza

    Wow, that’s fascinating… I think with skin issues, sometimes things need to get worse before they get better. I find my skin is often its worst right after a facial and then a day later, it looks incredible!

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Debbie.


  5. Lay

    I was just wondering if off brand vapor rub would work the same as the vicks? I have off brand in hand is why I ask

    • Anonymous

      I use a store brand, works for me still.

  6. Lauren Cosenza

    Hey Lay!
    We really don’t have any medical explanation for why this may work. This post is just Michelle’s anecdotal personal experience and she used the branded product. Maybe check the ingredients to see if the non-branded has the exact same ones. In that case, despite percentages possibly being different, you’d know you’re working with something very similar.
    Good luck!! xoLC

  7. Abbey

    Hi i have very bad cystic acne and after 4 years of suffering i had enough so i went to the dermatologist without makeup on and immediately she said the only thing that will work for my skin is accutan so im going through the process of the blood drawls and pregamcu tests amd the ipledge thing to even start accutane so im excited i get to try accutane but i have to wait about a month so my dermatologist precribed me so anti biotics and birth control to help until then but right as i thought it was getting better a cystic break out happened (large fluid filled feeling + painful lump) and i thougnt damn then anither one and guess? Yep. ANOTHER one. So i currently have three LARGE cysts on my cheeks that hurt super bad so im currentlt sitting here with this rub on and im going to try this for (as long as nothing terrible happens to my skin the next day) 5 days and see how it does overall.

    • Lauren Cosenza

      Good luck Abbey!! You may be adjusting to the birth control (hormones) since it was newly introduced. My best friend from college did Accutane twice and it changed her life. Also, have you ever tried the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion??

  8. penoir

    It’s the THYMOL in it that is active against acne (antibacterial and antimicrobial.)This is why it’s important to use Vicks and not just some generic menthol cold balm which don’t usually contain thymol, the magic ingredient!

    • Anonymous

      I use a generic rub, works for me, I’ll have to check the ingredients.

  9. Cassidy

    Does this work on your back? I have pimples on my back and I’m trying this right now for the first time, so I was wondering if this is going to work?

    • Anonymous

      I use on my back, works for me and helps reduce the scars I got during pregnancy as well.

  10. Loser e

    I hope this work for me

  11. Helen Robinson

    Hello,everyone i really find this piece of information very useful to the general public especially those suffering from Acne Pimples and other deadly disease. I was diagnosed of Acne Pimples 3years ago after the demise of my husband before i came across a very good friend from Africa who introduced me to a powerful Herbal Traditionalist called Dr. Osas, of which i contacted and helped in fighting the virus in less than a month. Today am totally free from the disease.All thanks to God and Dr.Osas for his Medicine. CONTACT HIM VIA for easy communication you can contact him via WhatSapp +2349035428122

  12. jia huisheng

    hello everyone, I am very happy to share this triumphant testimony, i never believed i was ever going to be cured from Acne Pimps. after being diagnosed by my doc i was so penalized on how i will ever regain my smooth face back after suffering for 7years of Acne Pimps . finally Dr great cure gave me a reason to be happy again after searching online then i found out that Dr Great has safe many lives of this disease. behold i was filled with Joy after writing to him on his email and he responded to me that i shouldn’t be skeptical that my disease is very simple for him to handle. i hold on to his words then i attended to every of his instruction then i provided every needed materials and that is how my medicine was prepared and send to me and he assured me after using his HERBAL MEDICINE and HERBAL CREAM,HERBAL SOAP in 2 weeks i will be cured and i will come back and thank him. and that was it. i went to check myself after 2weeks and my doc confirmed me Acne Pimps Negative.all thanks to him contact his email: for easy communication
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  13. Favor Cliford

    Good day to you all friends, I have been suffering from (HERPES) disease for the last four years and had constant pain, especially in my knees. During the first year, I had faith in God that i would be healed someday.This disease started circulate all over my bIy and i have been taking treatment from my doctor few weeks ago i came on search on the internet if i could get any information concerning the prevention of this disease, on my search i saw a testimony of someone who has been healed from (Hepatitis B and Cancer) by this Man Dr Osas and she also gave the email address of this man and advise me to contact him for any sickness that he would be of help, so i wrote to Dr Osas telling him about my (HERPES Virus) he told me not to worry that i was going to be cured!! hmm i never believed it,, well after all the procedures and remedy given to me by this man, few weeks later i started experiencing changes all over me as Dr Osas assured me that i have cured, after some time i went to my doctor to confirmed if i have be finally healed behold it was TRUE, So friends my advise is if you have such sickness or any other at all you can email Dr Osas on : ( for easy comminication you can What-SAP him via his mobile number +2349035428122) sir i am indeed grateful for the help i will forever recommend you to my friends and to the world! 1. GETTING YOUR EX LOVER BACK. 2. WINNING LOTTERIES. 3. CHILD BEARING. 4. BREAKING OF GENERATION COURSE. 5. GETTING OF JOB. 6. JOB PROMOTION. 7. MONEY SPELL. 8. SPIRITUAL PROTECTION. 9 LUPUS.10 AND ALL KINDS OF DISEASE YOU CAN EMAIL HIM VIA

  14. Tiffany

    HI GUYS…This is real take it serious, who will believe that a herb can cure herpes, i never believe that this will work i have spend a lot when getting drugs from the hospital to keep me healthy, what i was waiting for is death because i was broke, one day i hard about this great man who is well know of HIV and cancer cure, i decided to email him, unknowingly to me that this will be the end of the herpes in my body, he prepare the herb for me, and give me instruction on how to take it, at the end of the two weeks, he told me to go to the hospital for a check up, and i went, surprisingly after the test the doctor confirm me negative, i thought it was a joke, i went to other hospital was also negative, then i took my friend who was also herpes positive to the Dr OdoMa after the treatment she was also confirm negative . He also have the herb to cure cancer and treatment for placenta . please i want every one with this virus to be free, that is why am dropping his email address, do email him he is a great man. the government is also interested in this DR, thank you for saving my life, and I promise I will always testify for your good work.

  15. Shelly

    God bless Dr. Gboko for his marvelous work in my life, I was diagnosed of HERPES since 2013 and I was taking my medications, I wasn’t satisfied i needed to get the HERPES out of my system, I searched about some possible cure for HERPES i saw a comment about Dr. Gboko, how he cured HERPES with his herbal medicine, I contacted him and he guided me. I asked for solutions, he started the remedy for my health, he sent me the herbal medicine through UPS SPEED POST. I took the medicine as prescribed by him and 14 days later i was cured from HERPES which the doctor confirmed, Dr Gboko truly you are great, do you need his help also? Why don’t you contact him through email:{ } thanks

  16. Eric Knisley

    Herbal Medicine To Cured {HERPES DISEASE} TOTALLY HERE or his cell number+16177296273 Do you need a solution to cure your Herpes Disease contact Dr.ZUKU to help and he will surely help you to cure your Herpes Virus ..i has suffered from Herpes-2 Virus for 4years ago that almost took my life.but one day I was searching the INTERNET I found Dr.ZUKU saw so many testimonies on how different Dr.ZUKU Help people in curing their deadly diseases, and i contact Dr.ZUKU asked him for solutions and he started the remedies for my health..he prepared a powerful Herbal medicine for me and i received The herbal medicine and after using it for 2 weeks my condition has greatly improved, all my symptoms including Abdominal pain, Nausea and vomiting, Loss of appetite was stop,so i went to my doc and was confirmed negative.I am Herpes Viurs free! contact the Herbal doctor via his email


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