Can The Viral Pickle Juice Hack Really Clear Up Your Acne?

From slugging to skin flooding to the infamous potato hack, it feels like there's a brand new skincare hack every week. While some viral skincare tricks can be effective, others prove to be nothing more than ill-founded Tik Tok trends. Lately, the viral pickle juice hack is the newest skincare hack everyone is talking about online. This hack has been going viral on Tik Tok, where numerous users claim that drinking pickle juice — or using it topically — helped them achieve clear skin.

Acne is thought to be caused by increased sebum in the skin, aggravated by a mixture of genes, stress, androgens, and sweat. Most skincare professionals recommend topical treatments containing medically approved ingredients like retinoids and benzoyl peroxide to treat acne. However, these products can be expensive — making the search for cheaper DIY hacks tempting. Let's investigate the latest at-home skincare hack: Does pickle juice really help clear acne?

What is the pickle juice hack?

Like many skincare trends, the pickle juice hack has spread on social media. Numerous Tik Tokers have taken to the platform to sing the praises of using pickle juice as a step in their skincare regime — claiming that drinking pickle juice and putting it directly on the skin has helped clear up their acne.

One user, @ginamberx, claimed that simply eating one pickle a day helped her "restore [her] gut flora" and get rid of her cystic acne. Another user, @paigeisloko, made a sheet mask soaked in pickle juice. In one viral video from @bohomedspa, an alternative spa, a skincare specialist rubbed a pickle all over her client's face. Whether it's eating pickles, drinking pickle juice, or putting pickles directly on the skin, Tik Tokers seem to be convinced that including pickle juice in their routines will help them achieve a clear complexion.

Can the pickle juice trend really get rid of your acne?

So, can pickles really transform your skin? According to the experts, the answer is a cautious maybe.

"Things with acid in it do help things like acne, so in theory, it's not maybe as crazy as it sounds," Dr. Ko said to the Daily Mail. However, she noted that since the use of pickle juice on facial skin hasn't been researched, it's hard to know how the skin will react. There are other concerns to consider before putting pickle juice on your skin. "Applying pickles or pickle water directly to the skin is likely going to cause irritation, leave your skin inflamed, and will also leave behind a smell that will linger all day," skincare expert Thom Watson told Ham&High.

While a pickle facial may be risky, there's nothing wrong with adding a few pickles to your weekly diet. However, there is one way the pickle juice trend may be onto something. As Watson explained, pickles are filled with antioxidants that, when ingested, may offer health benefits. "Actually, ingesting pickles and the brine can be very good for you," said Watson. "They are high in lactobacillus, a very powerful probiotic that is highly beneficial to the skin as well as other antioxidants and other goodies that do the gut, body, and skin well. So by eating them regularly, you are making your gut happy, which will ultimately help support your skin, too."