There are so many DIY skin care recipes and hacks out there, and these can often seem like a great way to avoid the plethora of ingredients in commercial skin care products.
However, while a few of these skin care recipes may do your skin some good, the majority of them can actually end up causing quite a bit of damage.
Here are eight popular DIY skin care recipes that you should be wary of.
Baking Soda for Exfoliation
The texture of baking soda is so similar to common physical exfoliants, which is why so man DIY skin care recipes feature baking soda as a main exfoliant.
Why is this bad?
Ideally, the surface of your skin should be at a pH of around 5.5. This is important in order for your skin’s natural protective layer, as well as the rest of its functions, to work optimally.
Do you know what the pH level of baking soda is?
The answer is 9, which is significantly higher than your skin’s pH level.
What happens if you use this on your skin?
It interferes with your natural pH level, raising this up. Just doing this once will cause damage, while doing it in the long term will really prevent your skin from functioning properly.
There are so many safer exfoliants out there to choose from, so give baking soda a miss the next time you are looking to whip up your own face scrub.
Skin Treatments with Apple Cider Vinegar
There are so many DIY skin care recipes out there containing apple cider vinegar.
Because unlike white or brown vinegar, apple cider vinegar is packed with beneficial bacteria.
However, while this may benefit your body when taken internally, applying it onto your skin is another story…
Wondering why you would want to apply a vinegar to your skin in the first place?
Well, recipes state a number of benefits, from reducing age spots, pimples and blemishes to fighting wrinkles and clearing away toxins.
This all sounds great, but there are so many reported cases out there of apple cider vinegar from DIY skin care recipes causing serious chemical burns, and there are probably even more cases of this happening that haven’t actually been reported.
How does it burn the skin?
Due to its high acidity level.
Even when diluted, this ingredient can still cause chemical burns, making it one that you should definitely be very wary of.
Using Toothpaste to Clear Spots
This is a skin care hack that you likely first heard about in your teenage years, with so many people dotting toothpaste onto their acne as a way to dry their spots up.
If you have tried this, has it actually worked for you?
Chances are, your answer is no, and this is because toothpaste will usually end up having the opposite effect.
Because although toothpaste does have a drying effect on the skin, this is usually way too harsh for the face.
Yes, toothpaste does have antibacterial qualities, so, in theory, it should work when it comes to treating spots. However, the rate at which they will dry up your skin will lead to inflammation, which could then either exacerbate your breakout, because your skin will overcompensate for this dryness by producing more oil, or cause post-inflammatory pigmentation.
Rather than opting for toothpaste to clear up any spots, you would be better off going for a tried-and-tested method instead, such as:
- Salicylic acid – clears out the pores and treats inflammation
- Retinol – treats both acne as well as aging
- Hyaluronic acid – moisturizes the skin without clogging up the pores
- Tea tree oil – targets spots while destroying acne-causing bacteria
Coconut Oil as a Face Moisturizer
There is no denying that some of the better quality moisturizers out there are often accompanied with a high price tag, which is why many often end up looking for more natural and cheaper alternatives.
This is where coconut oil comes in…
This oil has been all over the headlines lately, being touted as a cure for a number of different conditions.
While coconut oil may definitely have some fantastic uses, moisturizing the face is not one of these…
For a couple of reasons…
Firstly, coconut oil is comedogenic.
What does that mean?
It means that it will clog up your pores. For those who have oily skin, this is something that you definitely want to avoid, which is why you likely choose non-comedogenic products as much as possible.
Don’t have oily skin?
Even if your skin is dry, sensitive or normal, you should still be wary of using coconut oil on your face.
Well, although the oil will provide your face with a layer of protection, coconut oil isn’t a humectant.
This means that, unlike many of the other moisturizing ingredients out there, coconut oil doesn’t attract and hold on to water. In fact, coconut oil actually repels water, meaning that this “layer of protection” is really blocking moisture from entering into your skin.
While coconut oil can work in some circumstances, there are so many better alternatives out there, even if you are seeking something simple and natural.
Facial Treatments with Lemon Juice
Lemon juice can be found in so many skin care products, because this ingredient does have quite a few advantages.
However, when used in these products, it is always diluted, and also formulated with other ingredients that make the lemon juice kinder to the skin.
Whether you are trying to clear up acne, lighten pigmentation, or simply give your skin a dose of vitamin C, using pure lemon juice on your face is not the way to go.
Well, as mentioned above, keeping your skin’s pH level in check is extremely important.
Lemon juice is highly acidic, and has a pH of 2.
When applied to the skin, this ends up breaking down the skin’s natural protective barrier, leaving you much more susceptible to UV damage, while also causing sensitivities and even burning.
While lemon juice may seem like a fantastic quick fix to the skin issues you are trying to treat, you will always be better off opting for a professional formulation that contains this ingredient, rather than using it in its pure form directly on your skin.
Recipes Without Preservatives
The preservatives commonly used in skin care products have been getting quite a bad rep lately, and for good reason too.
The high concentration of alcohol used in many products can end up severely drying out the skin, while parabens and other similar ingredients have been linked to cancer.
The fact that all of this is becoming more widely known is one of the reasons as to why DIY skin care recipes have surged in popularity recently, as consumers are now looking for a way to care for their skin without these harmful preservatives.
Now, while these preservatives may not be doing your skin any favors, no one ever really mentions their importance…
Without preservatives, a DIY product will have a much shorter shelf life, sometimes no longer than just a couple of days.
You will also find that the recipe you have created is much more susceptible to bacteria, mold and yeast, all of which will lead to:
- The product spoiling – this can include color and scent changes, although it may take some time for this to become apparent to the naked eye
- Health consequences – everything from skin and eye infections to thrush, dermatitis and toxic shock can be caused by the bacteria and more that grow in unpreserved skin care products
When it comes to DIY skin care, any product containing a form of water, even if this may be a herbal infusion or aloe vera, will need a preservative.
Research shows that unpreserved creams quickly give birth to huge populations of bacteria, yeast and fungi, and this isn’t something that you want to be applying on to your face.
How about natural preservatives?
Many recipes will state that the following ingredients can be used as a preservative:
- Vitamin E
- Grapefruit Seed Extract
- Rosemary Extract
- Tincture of Benzoin
- Coconut Oil
Is this true?
Not at all. Those ingredients are definitely not capable of properly preserving a skin care product.
Unfortunately, the only truly effective preservatives are chemical ones, and in order to experiment with these, you do need to have a fair bit of skin care knowledge under your belt.
Rather than risking causing damage to your skin, you would be better off opting for a professionally formulated product that already contains the correct preservatives, as this will give you a more stable and long-lasting product.
Homemade Face Scrubs
Using baking soda as a face scrub has already been covered above, but there are so many other DIY face scrub recipes out there that make use of other ingredients that are commonly found in kitchen cupboards.
This may seem like a great way to exfoliate your face with natural ingredients, while also saving yourself a bit of money.
However, you need to be extremely careful when whipping up a homemade face scrub.
Some of the most common ingredients in these DIY face scrub recipes include:
You are probably thinking…
These are all gentle and natural ingredients, so what’s the problem?
Well, let’s begin with the sugar, salt and coffee…
When you see these ingredients in skin care products, they have been ground down to an extremely fine powder, and have been formulated in a way that will not damage your skin.
However, when used pure, these ingredients are far too abrasive. They end up causing micro-tears on the skin, which then lead to irritation, sensitivities, inflammation and other forms of skin damage.
Cinnamon may be a finer powder, but this ingredient contains some of the same properties as a spicy chilli powder, resulting in the same burning sensation that you would experience if you were to apply chilli powder to your skin.
Egg White Face Masks
When it comes to the many DIY skin care recipes out there, DIY face masks tend to be among the most popular.
Because these are so quick and easy to create when you want to give your skin a bit of a treat.
However, you may actually be causing more harm than good depending on the ingredients that you use in your face mask…
Egg white is a common ingredient that you will see in these recipes, and the reason for this is due to the temporary tightening effect that they provide to the skin. This can be especially beneficial for those who have oily skin.
However, a surprisingly large amount of raw eggs actually contain salmonella.
While you may not intend to eat any of your face mask, it is easy for small amounts to be accidentally ingested when applying the mask, or waiting for it to set. Consuming just a small amount of these egg whites could then lead to you contracting salmonella.
Unless you are 100% certain that the eggs you are using do not contain any traces of salmonella, then raw eggs are an ingredient best avoided in DIY skin care products.
There is no denying that DIY skin care recipes can be extremely tempting, especially when they claim to provide nothing but benefits for your skin.
However, before following any of the skin care recipes that you have read about online, it always pays to do a bit of extra research into the ingredients and method involved, so that you can make sure that you aren’t unknowingly causing your skin any extra damage.
If you are ever in any doubt, skip the DIY version and opt for a professionally formulated product instead, as these will have been clinically proven to be safe, stable and effective.