Thursday, June 13, 2024

I Tried Face Basting on Dry, Acne-Prone Skin: See Photos

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I’ve been wanting to try face basting ever since the first time I saw it on my TikTok feed. What is it, you ask? Oh, it’s just a little skin-care trick where people rub diaper cream onto their faces. Sound weird? Well, it’s actually doctor-approved. The trend was popularized by dermatologist Shereene Idris, who typically completes the skin-care ritual using none other than a cream for baby’s butts.

“Face basting is a hack I came up with to repair a dry, inflamed skin barrier using a zinc-oxide-based diaper rash cream,” Dr. Idriss previously told PS. You might think the idea of me wanting to rub ass cream on my face is strange, but trust me when I tell you — it’s low on the list of weird things I’ve done in the name of good skin care.

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Shereene Idriss, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Dr. Idriss Ckin Care.

The whole goal of face basting is to repair the skin barrier and help reduce inflammation. Whether you suffer from eczema, acne, or just deal with constant dryness, face basting can help. Essentially, the idea is a bit like skin slugging, except the ingredients in the product you “slug” with are more helpful than plain old petroleum jelly.

I have dry, acne-prone skin, and I often turn to slugging in both the cold and hot months of the year. In the winter I deal with intense dryness and in the summer, I have both dryness and the occasional sunburn that needs a little TLC. I typically slug with Aquaphor, but according to Dr. Idriss, slugging with products that only contain petroleum jelly won’t help to reduce inflammation. Zinc oxide, on the other hand, has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce irritation.

The only time I ever use zinc oxide on my skin is when I’m in the sun and I need to protect my lips from burning. It usually leaves my lips looking like I just bit into a powdered donut (read: white as hell), and it tastes kind of bad. I had honestly never thought about putting it all over my face, but in case it wasn’t already clear, I’ll do anything for good skin.

Testing out the face basting trend for the first time seemed pretty straight forward, but first I needed to figure out what product to use. Dr. Idriss likes to use the Triple Paste Diaper Rash Cream ($32), but I honestly was a little wary about slathering a diaper product all over my face — especially since I’m acne-prone. Fortunately, Dr. Idriss had a solution.

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“While zinc oxide has some antibacterial properties, zinc gluconate is used more for its antibacterial, acne-fighting properties. And while zinc gluconate has anti-inflammatory properties, they aren’t as pronounced as zinc oxide. Bottom line: if your skin is dry, inflamed, and irritated, baste with zinc oxide; if you’re dry and prone to breakouts, baste with zinc gluconate,” she says.

Luckily, zinc gluconate is in the La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Multi Purpose Cream ($19), which was easy enough to pick up at my local drugstore.

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At night before bed, I started out by washing my face with a gentle cleanser. From there, I went in with my current moisturizer of choice, the Vanicream Moisturizing Lotion ($14). Once my moisturizer was rubbed in, I applied the La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume. I squirted out a pretty big dollop onto my fingers and then rubbed it all over my face until the entire thing was white. I looked a little bit like Casper (but hotter, of course). Then, I went to bed and let the zinc do its thing.

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In the morning, I woke up with — yes, you guessed it — glowing, hydrated skin. It felt softer, and the dryness I typically see around my nose was completely gone. Also, after trying it out for multiple nights a week, I’m happy to say my skin didn’t experience any breakouts. The only downside was that my pillowcase was not faring as well as my skin and pretty much needed to be changed each night I did the routine. Also, I like to wear an eye mask while I sleep, but that was a hard no with this pasteo n my face. However, in my opinion, the results were worth it.

I also recently had an issue with a sunburn — the Los Angeles sun still occasionally sneaks up on me — and I found that face basting helped calm the inflammation and redness in my skin mor than the aloe gel I typically slather on. Although this trend is a little weird, it’s become one of my go-to hacks for healing dryness and soothing redness.

Renee Rodriguez is a staff writer and social producer for PS. She writes across all verticals, but her main areas of expertise focus on fashion and beauty content with an emphasis on reviews and editor experiments. She also produces social content for the PS TikTok and Instagram accounts.

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