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Thumbnail for No, drinking your dog’s urine is *not* a good acne solution—here’s why
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Photo: Stocksy/Juri Pozzi

Those of us who suffer from incessant breakouts can attest that we’ll do just about anything to banish those uninvited blemishes from our skin: Cut dairy from our diet? Sure. Infuse moisturizer with our own blood? Why not? But even the most daring among flawless-skin seekers can agree that some zit-fighting techniques just go too far.

Enter the viral video (proliferated by Vice’s Desus & Mero) that features—prepare yourself—an unnamed woman drinking her dog’s pee in the name of glowing, perfect skin. The video begins innocently in a picturesque dog park, where a proud pet owner is shown enjoying some sunny, vitamin-D-packed rays with her furry BFF. “Many of you have asked me how I always look so good, how my makeup always looks so perfect, or how I always have this natural glow,” she says to the camera. Then the scene takes a dark turn: The woman leans down with a plastic cup and, yep, proceeds to take a sample of urine from her peeing pup.

She then chugs the entire cup, adding, “Until I first drank my dog’s pee, I was depressed, I was sad, and I had really bad acne. Dog pee also has vitamin A in it, vitamin E in it, and it has 10 grams of calcium, and it’s also proven to help cure cancer.” If you really want to see gross proof, you can watch the video here (but why?!?)—and then take a second to recover before preparing for another icky zinger: Drinking dog pee might be legitimately good for your skin, according to an expert.

Though drinking urine is an ancient health practice, dog pee has been found to contain herbicides (AKA weed killers)—yet another yucky reason why you shouldn’t partake.

Certified holistic nutritionist Joy McCarthy tells Allure that the dog owner’s claims aren’t 100 percent false. “Drinking dog or human urine, otherwise known as ‘urine therapy,’ has been around for hundreds of years and has been practiced as a health therapy in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome,” McCarthy says. However, the expert still doesn’t recommend consuming the stuff for your wellness goals, since dog pee has been found to contain herbicides (AKA weed killers), adding yet another yuck-factor to this ancient practice.

According to NYC-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, urine has also been used topically in traditional medicine for its antimicrobial properties. (Remember the remedy to your childhood jellyfish sting?) “So long as you do not have a urinary tract infection, fresh [human] urine is sterile,” he explains. “However, if it sits out for extended periods of time, it can become contaminated with bacteria.”

“I personally recommend traditional acne medications. If over-the-counter options are not working, there are prescription topical or oral medications that are very effective.” – Joshua Zeichner, MD

As for sipping pee to heal your blemishes though, “[t]here is no data showing that drinking your own urine will clear your acne. I personally recommend traditional acne medications. If over-the-counter options are not working, there are prescription topical or oral medications that are very effective,” Dr. Zeichner says.

In other words, some ancient practices eventually become outdated, and for good reason. In this wellness-centric modern age, we are inundated with insights and products that help us to achieve gorgeous skin: You can take supplements to start working on your outer beauty from the inside, find out what celebrities are doing since they’re in the business of looking good, stay away from pimple-causing foods.… The list of options goes on, and each method is more palatable than drinking urine. So next time breakouts come knocking, just leave your dog out of it.

Here’s how to deal with other skin woes, like sunburns and eczema.

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