DIY Skincare, to do or not to do?
There are sooo many habits I regret indulging in when it comes to my skin care practices.
The skin is where we live in, it protects us from a lot of unseen forces, like pathogens, infections, covid-19 and harmful UV radiation.This is why I have come to terms with the fact that caring for your skin shouldn’t be taken lightly but that you must know and understand your skin and treat it right.
One skincare nightmare for me was making my own skincare products from the kitchen (DIY). I will forever regret doing that although it has taught me some good lessons.
I am not here to tell you about all the concoctions I ever mixed to apply in the name of skincare.. lol but to share with you a few DIY ingredients you may want to keep far far away from your beautiful skin.
Number 1 on my list is Sugar!
For the longest time I have stayed away from physical scrubs which are gritty and usually made from sugar or salts.But before that, I thought the best way to exfoliate was to literally scrub off the dead skin cells off your skin.
However scrubs can be overly abrasive which means they can be very irritating to your skin. (cue in breakouts!)
The use of scrubs with large particles such as sugar and salt also cause micro tears in your skin which weakens the skin’s barrier and also makes your skin prone to bacterial infections. Sugar scrubs can also be damaging where you don’t properly wash it off your face because bacteria feeds off sugar and so yeah you might just be giving your bacteria some dinner! And if the damage to your skin isn’t enough it could also make your skin age faster than it should! (gasp)
I’m not going to give you all that info about sugar without giving you a better alternative! Replace that sugar with Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids which are chemical exfoliants and are way more gentle on the skin. They are acids so you need to start with small percentages and slowly increase it to build your skin’s tolerance.
Not only are they gentle but they turn out to be more effective as they get the job done and you end up glowing!
Number 2 is Lemon.
This is one of the most popular DIY ingredients I see. It is mostly recommended for people trying to solve hyperpigmentation problems and people who want to achieve a bright look on their skin.The fact about lemons is that it is for eating and has no business on your face.
The whole idea behind using lemon on your skin has to do with the fact that lemon has brightening properties due to the presence of ascorbic acid in it.
However it is very acidic and goes against the pH of your skin which ranges between 4.5 to 6.5. The pH of lemon is 2.3 which is obviously very acidic. The use of products which destroys the balance of your skin’s pH is definitely not the way to go considering that the skin’s pH functions to prevent bacteria from getting into the skin while allowing the skin to perform at optimal ability.
Also lemon juice makes your skin more sensitive to the sun and if you live in hotter climates you know how hot it can be so that’s definitely a no no! So try the alternative product which is a Vitamin C serum.
The third and last ingredient is Tea Tree Oil.
In as much as tea tree oil has antibacterial properties and it is effective for the treatment of acne it is a very strong essential oil and has the ability to cause burns to your skin. So if you have sensitive skin watch out!
There are however safer ways to use tea tree and it will still be beneficial to your skin. For example when it’s already mixed correctly by dermatologists in a product. Another option is to dilute it with carrier oils like Almond oil , Rose hip Seed oil , or sunflower oil. This reduces the ability of the tea tree oil to burn your skin and you can still go ahead with your acne treatment without fear.
This article is not to say that all DIY skincare mixtures are bad, some are actually safe. Honey for instance is safe to use in masks however you need to use Manuka honey or the raw organic honey. Aloe Vera is also a safe DIY ingredient which binds moisture into the skin and also has moisturizing properties.
There’s a lot of information out there about what to put on your skin and what not to put on your skin. however it’ll do you a lot of good to understand what is going onto your skin and what it’s function is to your skin and all possible side effects of using it.
What’s your go to DIY?
Written by Kalira Tanlongo for Adi+Bolga