By: Destini Merrill
DIY projects and hacks are always fun. They help you explore and expand your creative side and you get to use them for sufficient everyday use. But with great DIYs come great responsibility and when responsibility and caution is blown to the wind, some projects can have horrible consequences. One of the many DIYs that are the most popular are the ones that have to do with beauty and skin. These are some DIY skin hacks that you should stay away from.
- Toothpaste on pimples: For years, this hack has been getting major praise for drying out pimples. Though that might be the case, the thing about toothpaste is, it's for your teeth. And aside from the fluoride, it contains ingredients like alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, methanol, and many more ingredients and dyes that (are more or less hard to pronounce) can be toxic to the skin; causing inflammation, irritation, redness, peeling, and burns. Nope, if you're looking for a nightly treatment for acne, toothpaste is not the way to go. Unless, you want your face to smell like peppermint!
Instead, try: Blemish Be Gone by Juice Beauty, The Organic Solution. It's an on-the-go spot blemish treatment packed with natural ingredients meant to reduce blemishes and minimize pores. It can even help reduce swelling around ingrown hairs.
- Raw eggs for facial mask: Aww, breakfast. It's not for your face either. Many DIYers believe that using raw egg whites for a facials are a great way to shrink pores and get rid of whiteheads and blackheads. But, what many don't realize is that they can also make themselves very sick. People that use raw eggs on their face are running the risk of coming down with salmonella. Plus, it can have a reverse effect on clogged pores, making them even more plugged up which can cause cysts and causing even more breakouts.
Instead, try: Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask. With the main ingredient being pumpkin puree, this natural mask has many benefits for the skin, with the main one being to rehydrate and brighten the skin.
- Glue for blackheads: Unless you're about to channel your inner Lady Gaga and cover yourself in glitter, or channel your inner 4-year-old artist and use your face for macaroni art, DO NOT put glue on your skin. Beauty hackers insist that putting non-toxic glue on you face and letting it dry before peeling it off is the secret to removing blackheads. But the chemicals in non-toxic glue have irritants that can cause allergic reactions and can throw off the pH balance of your skin. In short, this means more noticeable pores and lower levels of collagen. Wrinkles anyone?
Instead, try: Shea Moisture Dragons Blood & Coffee Cherry Instant Rebound Mud Mask. Shea moisture is well known for its products being free of unnecessary chemicals the skin doesn't need which is why this product is perfect for your blackheads. One of its main ingredient is shea butter and combined with borage seed oil amongst many other wholesome ingredients, this product is great for cleaning up your pores, getting rid of those blackheads.
- Rubbing alcohol: Rubbing alcohol is best known for killing bacteria and drying out acne but with that, it's also extremely harsh. When you use alcohol on your face you are stripping your skin of its natural oils leaving the skin exceedingly dry, flaky, and dull.
Instead, try: Lush Handmade Cosmetics Herbalism. If you are looking for a natural product that will clean your skin and get rid of your acne, Lush's Herbalism may be the way to go. With crushed almonds, kaolin clay, nettle, and rosemary as the headliners to gently cleanse, tone, and calm the skin, this product will prove to be safer than alcohol.
- Hairspray to set makeup: Ok now this one, I really don't get. Beauty hackers advise using hairspray to set your makeup so it doesn't run or smudge. I understand that that's a common pet peeve amongst make up enthusiasts, but with using hairspray on your face, messy makeup should be the least of your worries. Hairspray has tons of chemicals and toxins that if set onto the face, they can suffocate your pores and lead to more breakouts. And more of those new breakouts along with the ones that already exist on your face can become worse than before.
Instead try: Coola Organic Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30. There aren't many setting sprays that are particularly kind to skin but this one comes pretty close. Not only do you get a flawless finish and sunscreen, but Coola has aloe leaf, algae, and orange extractions that help protect the skin while also keeping it calm while the other ingredients keep your makeup in place.
- Salt or sugar exfoliants: Salt and sugar scrubs are infamous in the beauty industry and beauty hack world. Sugar and salt are the #1, inexpensive, "you already have them in your cabinet" go-to's for those who want to make scrubs or masks to buff away dull, dry, and troubled skin. But, these common cooking items have jagged edges that can leave microscopic scrapes on the skin with overuse. This can lead to inflammation and your skin becoming more vulnerable to infection.
Instead, try: An exfoliator brush. As long as it's not a vibrating brush (being that they can be too harsh) a soft, natural bristled brush, this is among one of the best ways to gently scrub dry skin away without leaving abrasions. Plus, depending on what kind of brush you use, you can use them wet or dry. Just make sure you don't use them every day because it could make your dry.
- Lemons or limes for deodorant: When life gives you lemons, use them as a natural alternative to deodorant... Limes too. Although these fruits are used to combat that nasty armpit smell, the usage of them can become rather painful and counterproductive. Lemons and limes have high acidity levels that aren't meant for prolonged use on the skin. And with the skin on your armpits being thin and sensitive, irritation, burns, and blisters are more likely to happen. Plus, with some people reporting that lemons and limes have made their pits smell worse, you don't want to risk being one of those people walking around smelling like a lemon fart.
Instead, try: Schmidt's Natural Deodorant. This deodorant is completely plant based and free of aluminum, triclosan, parabens, and other nasty chemicals that DIYers or rather many people should try avoid.
- Burning masks: Any reason to not use these kinds of masks, is already in the mask's name. Common ingredients for a burning mask call for, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and even cayenne pepper. All of these spices combined together should give you that tightening, burning sensation that should reduce wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and acne scars. However, both nutmeg and cinnamon have been found to be natural irritants and obviously, spicy cayenne pepper can singe the skin if left on too long.
Instead, try: Aloe Vera. Instead of burning your troubled skin away, why not go in a different direction and soothe your skin. All you have to do, is get this inexpensive plant at the supermarket, wash it, cut it, and use the juice and gel on your face and body. It will help with acne, scars, eczema, fine lines, wrinkles, and it comes in great handy to remedy sunburns or just burns in general.
- Raw fruit facials: Who doesn't want their face smelling like a fruit salad? Not me. Personally, I would like to go around smelling like French fries. But I digress. Consuming fruits like oranges, pineapples, and kiwi, can be great for your body's overall health and that can be evident through your skin glow. However, putting these acidic fruits on your face can upset your skin's natural pH balance leading to redness, burns, and peeling.
Instead try: Destiny Boutique Charcoal Facial Detox Bar. Another plant based product that I can personally vouch for, it leaves your skin with a glow that many people want and is much gentler than putting acidic fruit on your face. And it helps eliminate acne.
- Petroleum jelly for wrinkles and eyelash growth: Petroleum jelly A.K.A Vaseline is commonly used for chapped lips, small cuts, ashy elbows, and dry, cracked heels. Normally, Vaseline works for these problem because it can be moisturizing and block out debris. But the skin on your face is delicate and the thick formula can clog up your pores and the glossy finish left behind by Vaseline can only accentuate existing fine lines and wrinkles. As for the eyelashes, you would only be blocking the oil ducts found on your eyelash's follicles and that could lead to acne and cysts on and around your eyes.
Instead, try: Nature’s Bounty Vitamin E oil. Vitamin E is a necessity for healthy hair, nails, and skin. And a few drops of Vitamin E oil everyday can not only reverse the look of fine lines and keep wrinkles at bay, but it’s even been found to zap a few pimples since it’s not too heavy and won’t clog your pores. As for an alternative hack for your eyelashes, well, being that the hair and skin on your eyelids are very delicate, and you can’t do much to them without risking a bad reaction, it’s probably best that you leave your eyelashes alone and let them grow at their own pace.
Weekly Tip: A small tidbit tip from my mom to me and others who want to use DIYs for skin in beauty is, “LEAVE YOUR SKIN ALONE!” According to my Mama, you’re better off washing your face twice a day, drinking more water, and not picking, popping, or scratching your pimples. Aside from that there are plenty of natural and less harsh skin care products out there. You just have to do your research.