Can Windex Help With Acne?

If you've seen "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," you know that the movie helped popularize the use of Windex as an acne treatment, since it was heralded as a cure-all for pimples and other ailments throughout the film. Despite the longstanding myth, however, Windex cannot treat or help clear up acne (via Insider). In fact, it can actually harm your skin.

That's because Windex is a glass cleaner and alkaline solution made with harsh chemicals that can cause damage to your face and skin. "Windex is a caustic chemical," Dr. Darrell Rigel, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical professor of dermatology at New York University, told Health. "It's designed to cut through grease and oil, so it could break down the natural oils in your skin and could cause a lot of problems. It can make the skin red, irritated, and even crack." That's why the cleaning product specifically instructs consumers not to ingest it or put it on their skin.

How to safe and effectively treat acne

Fortunately, there are plenty of safe and effective acne treatments you can use that won't harm or damage your skin. For instance, you can use products with salicylic acid to help clear up your skin (via Good Housekeeping). If your acne is frequent and relentless, facial cleansers and spot treatments with salicylic acid can help get rid of those pesky pimples. That's because salicylic acid can help reduce oil production and remove some of the excess oil on the surface your skin, which can clog your pores and cause acne to form. "Salicylic acid is also very potent when it comes to getting rid of blackheads — it helps by removing dead cells and excess oil from the surface of the skin," Dr. Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, told Good Housekeeping. "Think of it like a pipe cleaner for your pores, to keep them clear so oil does not get trapped." 

Tea tree oil can also help clear up your acne. Tea tree oil is a natural plant-based essential oil that can help reduce inflammation and get rid of harmful, acne-causing bacteria. When applying tea tree oil to your face, it's best to use a solution that's diluted, so you won't accidentally irritate your skin.