Before capitalists learned they could put a price tag on nearly anything as long as they could convince people to buy it, people were making their own homemade remedies, recipes, and other DIY household items. In the present, some of these products seem a bit unnecessary and time-consuming to make at home, but there are people who prefer to make it themselves because they know what’s going into the final product. One of these include cosmetics and skin care products.
If you look at any of your makeup or any beauty products, you might find a list of ingredients including a few substances you don’t recognize, let alone pronounce. While this doesn’t mean the product is harmful to your body, there are people who believe using all-organic products have health benefits in the long run. While it’s easy to shop at brands that claim to be all-natural, words like “all-natural,” “organic,” and “cruelty-free” are not regulated in the beauty industry, leading several people to mistrust brands that market themselves to these keywords. As a last resort to stay organic, these people choose to make their own cosmetics and beauty products.
Search the internet and you’ll find a lot of recipes and DIY videos on how to make easy makeup with ingredients you can find in most supermarkets and specialty stores. However, just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean you should follow it. You could be risking your skin by using these DIY tips.
Is DIY Skincare Totally Dangerous?
Before I list down some of the dangerous tips and ingredients on the internet, I feel like I need to put a disclaimer in defense of DIY cosmetics and beauty products. DIY skincare is not totally dangerous, but some ingredients improperly used could have negative effects on your skin. Also, what works for others may not work on you, so what influencers and bloggers say is their skincare routine may not always have the same effect on you.
Despite the hundreds of skincare tips suggesting coconut oil, it shouldn’t stay anywhere on your face – or even your skin, for that matter. Coconut oil has anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties, but it also has comedogenic properties and doesn’t absorb into your skin. It just stays there, over your skin like a layer of wax. It doesn’t penetrate the pores, so what it does is it forms a barrier on your skin, leading to clogged pores, breakouts, and blackheads. It’s great for trapping oils in your hair and keeping it healthy, not so much for trapping oil on your face.
If you’ve been using coconut oil on its own or as an ingredient for skin care, drop it immediately. While some skin types can avoid breakouts, most people will experience breakouts by applying coconut oil on their face. If you use coconut oil as an essential oil or makeup remover, other oils have a better effect. These include:
- Almond Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Argan Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Marula Oil
Salt and Sugar
Those DIY lip and body scrubs with salt and sugar in the ingredients cause unnecessary abrasions. Abrasions are when your skin isn’t necessarily cut, but external objects wear to scrape away the outer layer of your skin and expose the layers beneath the epidermis. It’s like when you rub sandpaper on a wooden project: the small particles slowly rub away at the object. While scrubs won’t reach as severe levels as sandpaper on skin, overtime it could lead to scarring and damage to your skin.
This is the effect for all scrubs, according to esthetician YouTuber Labeautyologist, but for DIY salt or sugar scrubs, the granules are too jagged and therefore more abrasive compared to commercial scrubs. Sugar scrubs also risk bacterial infection if you don’t wash it off properly, since bacteria and yeast feed on sugar. It could also lead to “glycation,” a process where sugar bonds with the collagen of your skin, and the collagen weakens. This results in older-looking skin.
Given the risks of DIY sugar or salt scrubs, it’s best to go commercial and buy those with alpha or beta hydroxy acids. These are gentler to the skin and exfoliate on a superficial level.
The idea behind adding lemons to DIY skincare routines is that citric acid and vitamin C, found inside lemons, helps lighten and brightens and tightens skin. It’s also an antioxidant that avoids free radicals. However, it is extremely acidic and can disrupt the pH levels of your skin.
Your skin is mildly acidic at 4.5 and 6.5 on the pH scale just to protect your body from some bacteria. Lemons also contain substances that make it easier for you to burn under the sun. An alternative is to use a vitamin C serum from pharmacies.
I’ve seen a Facebook post before where this girl plagued by acne despite using well-known skincare brands says she cured her conditions by crushing up amoxicillin, an antibiotic, mixing it in water, and dabbing her acne with the antibiotic. I looked up this trend and found that a lot of people have been practicing this as an “effective” way of clearing out acne, pimples, and other facial blemishes.
It works for some people because some blemishes are made due to bacteria trapped in the skin. However, it is a dangerous home remedy that could make bacteria stronger.
Antibiotic pills require a doctor’s prescription for a reason. If you have leftover antibiotics from a previous infection (which you shouldn’t have, since you should have finished the entire dosage) turning it into a DIY remedy for blemishes could strengthen bacterial resistance to antibiotics, which aids to antibiotic resistance.
If you feel like you need antibiotic skincare, go see a doctor. There are topical antibiotics for blemishes caused by bacteria. However, not all these blemishes are from bacteria, so you may not need to get antibiotics for it.
Baking soda is a very versatile product to have at home. It’s also the same substance you use to bake, relieve bloating, polish your teeth, scrub your sinks and floor, remove grease, and absorb odors. It’s extremely abrasive and, except for special cases, it’s not something you want on your skin for a frequent skincare routine.
Whereas lemon is too acidic for your skin, baking soda is too basic, scoring a 9 on the pH scale. When applied to your skin, it can disrupt your normal pH and take away all the moisture in your skin by taking away all the oils and water in your skin. This can lead to dry skin, bacterial infection, and acne.
While some beauty products may have sodium bicarbonate (the scientific name for baking soda) in the ingredients, it may be used to balance out more acidic ingredients. As a raw ingredient, however, you shouldn’t be adding it to your skincare routine.
These are just some of the ingredients you should avoid adding to your DIY skincare products. While it’s cheaper and possibly more organic to make beauty products yourself, some products on the market may be a better option than trying to create homemade versions. Before creating your DIY skincare, do your research on the ingredient so that you know the positive or negative effects of it before making it a part of your skincare routine.