If you have one abiding memory of calamine lotion, it’s probably being liberally doused in the stuff during a childhood outbreak of chickenpox.

As your granny no doubt told you, calamine lotion has long been hailed for its soothing, anti-itch benefits – in fact, it’s been used as far back as 1500BC. The active ingredient, zinc oxide, has a calming effect on the skin, while antiseptic properties prevent infection from scratching.

However, calamine lotion is so much more than a balm for childhood rashes – it’s also your go-to multitasker as an adult, with uses ranging from beauty benefits to post-exercise pampering. Here are five surprising uses for that bottle of calamine lotion lurking at the back of your bathroom cabinet…

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