Who can forget the scene in Friends where Monica got stung by a jellyfish and in an act of weird chivalry, Joey peed on her to neutralize the sting? It may have been gross (and hilarious), but it worked. Monica came home ouchy-free.
There’s actually nothing particularly ground-breaking about using our pee for health purposes. Urine has been used throughout history in skincare practices thanks to the nutrients and antibodies it contains. And though it’s gone out of popular practice over the years, urine therapy has started making a comeback in health circles.
If you’re brave enough (and have a strong enough stomach), it’s recommended to capture your first pee of the day, which is thought to be the most potent, and wash your skin with it to reap the benefits. Yeah, you were warned, strong stomach.
“There are a variety of urine treatments people have become interested in recently, especially as we continue to look for more natural treatment options,” says Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery dermatologist, Monica Schadlow.
“Urine therapy can be topically applied as fresh urine, and there are even some devotees who also promote ingestion of urine.”
And if you’re already dry-retching at the thought of it, bad news: there’s already a small amount of urine in your skincare products.
“We already use urea, a component of urine, in a lot of skincare products. Urine is essentially mostly water — but a small percentage is urea,” says dermatologist Rachel Nazarian.
So why urea? Well, turns out it’s actually an effective exfoliant, helping to break down rough skin to expose a glowy, fresh complexion.
The good news is, despite what you may think, urine itself is actually sterile. It’s essentially a distilled liquid filtered from your blood, which contains a mixture of both water and excess nutrients, including such as calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc, though these make up only roughly five per cent of your actual pee.
While there’s still a lack of scientific research unequivocally proving its benefits, proponents of urine therapy say it really is liquid gold (pun intended) for your skin, including Madonna, who once touted its benefits on David Letterman.
Even still, there are – thankfully – other ways to softer, glowier skin that don’t involve splashing pee on your face. Just remember though, even if you don’t go down the urine therapy route, you’ll technically still be using a component of pee in your skincare routine thanks to the urea you now know is in your night cream. Yeah, you wish we never told you that, don’t you?
Comment: Have you ever or would you ever use urine therapy?