We’ve all suffered from breakouts since the time our hormones started to play an active role in our lives. And out there on the cyberspace, we have zillions of beauty blogs, Vlogs, YouTube videos that claim to teach you the harmless, organic DIY remedies to get rid of the acne that always seem ready to greet you, “Hello, do you hear me?” a la Adele style (smirk). We think of this DIY knowledge as a godsend that will save us from visiting the dermatologist, and spending money on more complicated treatments.
We’ve all used the wildly popular toothpaste hack on our pimples in the hope of waking up to a vanished pimple. We are also guilty of substituting Vaseline with our regular moisturizers, every now and then. It’s okay, when it comes to skincare, we all have made mistakes. But, have you ever thought that these home remedies might actually worsen your zits?
It so happens that there are numerous allergens in our environment, of which many are natural substances. Our skin might be allergic to these natural allergens as well. All we can say is don’t try to don the DIY dermatologist hat, doctors exist for a reason.
Here’s a low down about 6 such ingredients that shouldn’t be used on our skin (these are household items). Strike them off your DIY remedies after reading this.
1. Baking Soda
We’ve been told to make use of it by mixing it with other substances or with water and applying it on our skin. Don’t do it! The pH of baking soda is 8.3, which is higher than our skin’s pH level (1). Applying baking soda on our skin might interfere with normal acidity of the skin and trigger a change in the skin’s texture. This makes our skin more prone to infections.
Look, it’s simple, toothpaste was never designed for the skin, was it? It’s meant for our teeth only. We know many recommend using it as a spot treatment remedy to dry out the pimples, but that’s not right. Toothpaste is alkaline and contains flavoring in it — these are not therapeutic for our skin. In fact, if your toothpaste contains fluoride, it’s likely to make your acne worse (2).
Never use sugar as a DIY exfoliant, it’s a disastrous decision. Sugar crystals have a crystalline structure with sharp, angular edges (3). Rubbing it on our skin can result in injuries which might not be visible to the naked eye. Yikes!
4. Rubbing Alcohol
Using this hack might help in drying out the pimple but it cannot replace an actual acne treatment recommended by a dermatologist. In fact, dermatologists have said that applying alcohol can suppress the pimple, but it might negatively affect the skin surrounding it by causing skin irritations or even infections (4). Additionally, we all know that alcohol is an irritant which can burn the skin.
Vinegar seems to be extensively used in DIY face masks which claim to clarify skin. What we tend to forget is that it is acidic in nature. Applying it on your skin might affect the acidic pH of the skin which makes it more prone to yeast and bacterial infections. Eew!
6. Lemon Juice
We really want you to think twice before applying lemon juice to lighten those dark spots caused by pimples. Lemons have a very low pH value, so it’s quite possible that you might burn your skin instead of lightening it. We don’t think this is a good idea, no matter how stubborn those dark spots are. If you want to treat them, we suggest you consult a dermatologist.
What Can Actually Work
1. Retinol Products
We know it’s more convenient to use things available at home to treat acne, but we suggest that you at least go to a nearby drugstore, the trip will be worth it. Trust us!
Retinol products and salicylic acid products are recommended by dermatologists as over the counter products for treating acne (5). These contain beta hydroxy acid that easily gets absorbed into our skin and reduces the secretion of natural oils which cause acne.
This is a retinoid product which has slightly stronger formulation. However, you don’t really need a prescription in order to buy it from your local chemist. It’s recommended by most of the dermatologists for treating pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads (6).
We are not saying that natural skincare is a bad idea. We understand that it appeals to most of us as it’s cost effective. What we have to understand is that certain ingredients have disastrous effects on our skin that are visible only in the long run. Therefore, we recommend that you visit a dermatologist to make sure that you are using the right natural remedies. Get to know what is most beneficial for your skin. Do you know of any other ingredients that we need to beware of? Let us know in the comments below.
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