Is Vicks Good for Acne & Pimple Treatment?

By Walter Oconner | Skin Health


As silly as it might seem, but Vicks vaporizer is actually considered to be an effective way to deal with acne. You must have seen it on plenty of youtube videos where people claim to use Vicks for acne treatment. But is it really helpful?

It is often said that camphor should not be ingested or applied to broken skin. The reason is the toxicity in it which can lead to a burning sensation and might worsen the problem. So, if you want to save your time and need a straightforward answer then it would be “NO”. Vicks are not effective or healthy to be applied on the acne area.

You know, there has always been some kind of complexity because some facts go against the usage while others are in favor. Camphor has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties that are suitable to treat acne. It makes complete sense to use the ingredient for treating acne, however, camphor is not the only ingredient present in Vicks.

People with acne-prone skin should be very watchful about what they are putting on the pimples.

People’s Opinion On Vicks?

There are always some people that go beyond the conventional with their experiments and methods of treating acne. Well, according to the people that have tried Vicks on pimples have mixed reviews.

The data that I will share here is collected from many forums. People adept in the health and beauty industry claim Vicks to be effective in cure acne with a specific focus on cystic acne.

However, there are people that have simply passed their basic information on the subject saying that since the ingredients of Vicks are effective home remedies components, they are meant to effect. Again, the claims are not solid.

Claims of the Research

There are various anecdotes that say that cystic acne usually flares up using a small quantity of Vicks. You have to apply it before going to bed. This way, the zit will be shrink as there are some ingredients used in Vicks that are common in any pimple treatment cream or facewash.

However, there is petroleum jelly also found in the Vicks which is not compatible with broken or acne-prone skin.

Effects of Petroleum Jelly on Acne-prone Skin

There is no two-say that petroleum jelly has countless benefits but not for acne-prone skin. According to Dr. Mitchell Manway, any product that has petroleum jelly in it is not good for acne. He has given a scientific explanation for the same.

According to him, Vicks has petroleum jelly in it which makes it unfit to be applied on acne and pimples. It has a thick texture and is greasy which can easily clog the pores. It can disturb the skin and encourage the cascade of more pimples.

Vicks isn’t dangerous for the skin but at the same time, it is potentially ineffective to cure acne. It is a risk that you might not want to take since its application might backfire and cause more acne. This can happen by plugging the follicles which can result in increased inflammation.

Other Components of Vicks

Clearly, Vicks is not prepared with camphor alone. There are other ingredients and here we will see the effectiveness of these components.


If you will consult a health expert who excels in the home solutions for skin improvement, they will tell you the importance of Eucalyptus oil. Technically, the oil is known to have cough suppressing qualities however, it is also considered to be deeply effective for skin-related concerns.

Since this is an antibacterial agent, you will find it effective with wound healing. Considering both the qualities of the eucalyptus oil, it seems to be a promising ingredient to help in constructing the skin. The oil is also found effective in killing bacteria which is technically one of the major causes of acne.

Now, the actual thing is that according to a study held at the US National Library of Medicines, the content of Eucalyptus oil in Vicks is too less to show any beneficial results. As said earlier, a small quantity might not pose any threat to your skin but at the same time, it will not give any effect as well.


When you check the composition of Vicks, Menthol is one of the mandatory ingredients that you will surely find present in it. It is used as a cough suppressant. However, it also has the properties of reducing swelling overnight. Perhaps that is why everyone is promoting Vicks as a perfect and handy acne treatment that can be used at home.

However, Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, a board-certified dermatologist said that considering the properties of Menthol, it might be able to help with the swelling but as far as inflammation and acne is concerned, there is a major possibility that it will irritate the skin further due to its tingling and burning sensation on the skin. That is why Menthol should not be applied on acne-prone or broken skin.

The doctors and dermatologists don’t recommend the application of Vicks on the pimples so you should be careful with it.


Acne can be embarrassing and suffering at any age. People with acne lives in a dilemma that they cannot look at their best with the pimples on their face. To be honest, it's not a dilemma but to a major level, it is a fact.

They avoid appearing in parties because they are too cautious of their looks. Well, everything is not about inner beauty. You also need to have a good outlook. Not to mention the discomfort that these pimples provide is simply annoying.

For those that are desperate for a solution will experiment anything and everything, you ask them to try. While nothing has been proved and concluded on a solid level that Vicks will be effective but in most cases, this is not a solution to acne and pimples. We will recommend not to use Vicks as it might worsen your state.

About the Author

Hi everyone, I am Walter, Main Editor of and a Fitness Trainer with over 4 years of experience. I’ve also been promoting clean eating, a healthy lifestyle, and Organic products.