It's a little hard to remember to wipe pee on your face when you're half-asleep in the morning, so I set a wake-up reminder on my phone for my "facial treatment” (it seemed less conspicuous than the original one, "pee on face!!!!"). Similar to before, I waited until my urine was midstream to pee on a cotton swab, wiped it across my face, and let it dry. I usually go on a run in the morning, so I waited until after I worked out to shower -- I still didn't use face wash, but I did rinse the sweaty, pee-tinged residue off my face with water.
After a few days on this new regimen, my skin took a turn for the worse. The tiny red bumps I was trying to eliminate were bigger and redder, and the skin around them drier and scalier. Weird skin reactions call for immediate action, so I stopped my intricate morning pee routine. Soon after, my skin started peeling, and when the peeling stopped a few days later, my face felt softer than it had in months. The bumps were gone and my face was no longer an inflammation zone, but was urine responsible?
It's possible that my face went through an intense cycle of exfoliation, but it's probable that the urine just aggravated my skin. "If you use urine too much, it can irritate the skin," confirms Dr. Shah. "That's why babies get diaper rash -- because urine is left on their skin."
After talking to Dr. Shah and Googling images of "diaper rash on face," I concluded that I probably got a low-grade version of it. That's right: I put pee on my face for better skin and all I got was this lousy diaper rash facial. Luckily, I was on vacation and didn't have to see anyone worth impressing.