Do you have that inner cosmetic chemist that wants to come out full swing and whip up everything “all-natural” and treat it like DIY skincare? You and probably the rest of us. After all, the world of DIY has taught us that anything can be self-made, saving money and a trip to Sephora. However, if you are a DIY skincare fanatic, there are a few ingredients you should keep out of your next concoction.
Egg whites are not the most promising “skin tightening” and “pore minimizing” ingredient out there. Once applied to the face, egg whites just sit on the top layer of the skin. And they literally just slide right down the drain once the face is washed. The skin does not soak in any of the nutrients or properties in egg whites, thus leaving absolutely no tight skin/minimized pore effect. If that’s not enough, egg white face masks leave the skin feeling dry. However, they do taste great with a side of bacon.
On a more serious note, there is a risk of eggs being contaminated with salmonella. Applying raw egg that’s affected by salmonella that close to the mouth can further lead to a gastrointestinal tract infection. It is rare for eggs to be contaminated with salmonella, but why take the risk when there are zero added benefits?
Lemon or lime juice
Let’s leave this for your kiddo to sell to the neighbors on the next hot day. The juice from a lemon or lime is such a trend to add to many DIY skincare toners, or even to use as a spot treatment for blemishes. People may find that because of its acidity and antibacterial properties, lemon or lime juice can “zap” away acne. While this may be true in some instances, it is quite harmful to the skin on the face in the long run.
Fresh lemon or lime juice runs at about a pH of 2. With repeated use, it can completely throw off the pH balance of the skin on the face, resulting in dryness and irritation to the skin.
Further, using such a citric juice in your DIY skincare can lead to possible second-degree burns. Lemons and limes contain a compound called psoralens, which can cause sensitivity to sunlight, also known as phototoxicity. Going out in the sun after using lemon/lime juice on your face can cause a serious chemical burn! Forget the plans for reducing blemishes, this could cause bigger problems than you imagined!
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Once believed to be the miracle product for all beauty needs coconut oil is not all it’s cracked up to be. According to Dr. Gretchen Frieling, a board-certified Boston Area Dermatopathologist, “coconut oil is extremely comedogenic…it can be absorbed into the skin, clogging your pores, and causing more breakouts.” But what about using it as a face cleanser? Dr. Frieling adds, “even after washing off, coconut oil leaves a thin layer of film behind which can suffocate your pores.”
Coconut oil is great for your hair and excellent as a moisturizer for your legs but keep it away from your face.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
Sound familiar as a holy grail for DIY skincare? Many claim that it helps clear acne and fade scars and age spots. What users don’t know, however, is that apple cider vinegar has very high acidic levels, which can literally corrode the skin on the face with repeated use. And if thinking about using it as a spot treatment for pimples, think again! ACV is not only going to sting like a bee on an acne sore, but it will likely cause a burn or skin irritation; causing the pimple to become a much worse issue.
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Another great idea for DIY skincare, right? Wrong. This is a DIY beauty hack backed by many users as they claim it dries out acne. Yes, it dries out acne. But it also dries out your whole face and can cause skin irritation, redness, and peeling. As mentioned by Dr. Frieling, “the chemicals and ingredients in toothpaste that fight bacteria are made for your teeth, not your skin!”
Baking soda is considered an alkaline ingredient; it would be helpful in neutralizing acidity. Healthy skin typically has a pH level of about 5.5. though meaning that healthy skin is NOT acidic. As such, baking soda (pH of about 9!) does not add any benefits, but instead breaks down the skin. This makes the skin more susceptible to bacteria and essentially worsens the skin’s condition even further.
Many also use baking soda for its physical exfoliation properties to remove dead skin. However, this is not recommended by Dr. Frieling as over-exfoliation is likely to occur, leaving the skin broken down with irritation.
Similar to baking soda, many use sugar as a DIY skincare scrub to exfoliate away dead skin. Though it is typically fine to use on other parts of the body, it is not recommended to use sugar on the face. The skin on the face is delicate and thin compared to other parts of the body. Because sugar is coarse and gritty, it can easily scratch the face, causing skin break down and blemishes. Which, of course, could further lead to infection. Pretty please with [no] sugar on top, leave this ingredient out of your next DIY skincare regimen.
It is likely that you have seen some of these ingredients in store-bought skincare products, but when these ingredients are used alone or without appropriate (and professional) sanitation, dilution and preservation, they can certainly harm your skin over time. They can strip away the (much needed) natural oils from your skin, clog pores, burn the skin, or even cause infections.
The internet is notorious for giving us wild ideas on what to layer onto our face to help “minimize pores” or “diminish blemishes instantly.” Just because you can mix together raw or natural ingredients from your kitchen into some emollient or mask for your face, doesn’t mean that you should.
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