DIY skin care is all the rage, and we get it! All-natural ingredients, small price tag, the pride in having made something on your own, what’s not to like? Unfortunately, just because an ingredient is natural, does not mean it is safe to use on your skin. Additionally, many of the people posting DIY recipes for skin care products are not skin care professionals and end up recommending ingredients that range from ineffective to outright dangerous! Here are three DIY ingredients that you should absolutely avoid!
1. COCONUT OIL
We love the health benefits of cooking with coconut oil and with hydrating and anti-microbial properties, we understand the temptation to put it on your skin as well. Unfortunately, coconut oil is a serious pore-clogger. On the comedogenicity scale of one to five, five being code red, coconut oil is a four. This is because coconut oil is an emollient. Emollient’s seal moisture in the skin but at the same time they seal dirt, debris, and your own sebum into your pores, leading to black heads, acne and inflammation. Even small amounts of coconut oil can lead to break outs in both acne prone and non-acne prone skin. Many of our clients have developed breakouts on their neck, face and back just from using hair products that contain coconut oil.
Alternatives: Look for oils that are low on the comedogenic scale and high in linolenic acid such as grapeseed oil and kiwi seed oil.
2. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar is another ingredient whose status as a health food superstar has led to people wanting to put it on their face, but PLEASE, resist the urge! Apple cider vinegar at the least will leave your skin feeling sticky and smelling funny, and at the worst could leave you with damaging chemical burns. Because of the acidity of vinegars, they should never be placed on the skin undiluted. Multiple cases of severe chemical burns have been reported from using apple cider vinegar undiluted on the skin based on DIY protocols found on the internet. You can read about two of these cases that were documented in medical journals here and here. We have also heard anecdotal reports of people experiencing chemical burns on their face even after significantly diluting the apple cider vinegar before applying it.
Alternatives: Because of the dangers of skin damage and scarring, we can’t recommend the use of any vinegars on your skin. Instead, if you feel a pimple forming, we recommend icing it for 5min twice a day. This simple home remedy reduces inflammation and redness making pimples less noticeable and helping them heal. Often, after icing, the pimples will simply go away on their own. If you are experiencing acne we recommend working with one of our acne specialists to help address the causes of your acne and get your skin clear.
3.SUGAR & SALT SCRUBS
DIY scrubs are fun to make and often smell great but you should avoid putting them on your face. Sugar and salt are too rough to use as a facial scrub and can lead to over exfoliation. When skin is over exfoliated it damages the skin’s natural barriers making it vulnerable to environmental toxins and irritants. Symptoms of over exfoliation include redness, puffiness, skin that is sensitive to the touch, overly shiny skin, and sensitivity break outs (that’s right, too much exfoliation can make you break out more!).
Alternatives: Instead of using sugar and salt scrubs on your face try putting them on your hands, feet and lips. We especially like sugar scrubs for lips because they taste great!