We’ve all heard of skin remedies and beauty secrets that have been passed down from generation to generation. While some of these might seem like easy skin care fixes, there are a handful you should never try at home.
1. Lemon Juice for Dark Spots
Some DIY bloggers claim that the vitamin C and citric acid in lemon juice can act as a natural skin brightener, but putting lemon juice on your skin is never a good idea.
Why it’s bad: At a pH level of about 2, lemon juice is much too acidic for your skin, which naturally has a pH level of about 5.5. Not only can lemon juice cause severe dryness, burning and painful blisters, it can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Any lemon or lime juice left on the skin in the sun can cause berloque dermatitis or phytophotodermatitis, also known as lime disease. The juice causes a chemical reaction that can make skin hypersensitive to sunlight. Symptoms of this condition include itching, burning, stinging and large blisters on the affected area.
Try this instead: For the brightening benefits of vitamin C without these harmful side effects, it’s better to choose a vitamin C serum. We love Obagi Professional-C Serum 20% because it helps brighten the complexion, encourages collagen production and provides superior antioxidant protection.
2. Baking Soda for Uneven Skin Texture
There are countless DIY recipes for ways to use baking soda as an exfoliant, but this can actually be really hard on your complexion.
Why it’s bad: Baking soda, which has a pH of 9, can easily disrupt your skin’s natural pH balance, affecting the skin barrier. Add exfoliation to the mix and you could be doing some serious damage to your complexion. This effect is also cumulative so the longer you use baking soda as an exfoliant, the more damage it does to your skin.
Try this instead: If you want to exfoliate while you cleanse, try LovelySkin LUXE Clarifying Gel Cleanser instead. This sodium lauryl sulfate-free formula gently exfoliates with 2% salicylic acid and 2% glycolic acid, leaving your complexion fresh and balanced.
3. Toothpaste for Acne
This is one skin remedy we’ve heard over and over, but toothpaste’s cooling sensation actually has little to no effect on your blemishes and breakouts.
Why it’s bad: While toothpaste does indeed contain naturally drying ingredients like alcohol, menthol and hydrogen peroxide, placing products that are meant for the teeth on your face can cause redness, peeling and irritation. In other words, toothpaste will over-dry skin and disrupt its balance.
Try this instead: You’re far better off with an acne spot treatment that contains blemish-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. One of our favorites is La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo, which helps eliminate acne-causing bacteria with 5.5% benzoyl peroxide and micro-exfoliating LHA.
4. Crisco for Dry Skin
Even some dermatologists can get behind this one. Although Crisco can be an effective moisturizer for dry skin, it can also cause issues for some individuals.
Why it’s bad: Crisco, which is a mixture of fully and partly hydrogenated soybean and palm oils, has the potential to cause breakouts in those with acne-prone skin. Additionally, if you’re using the same Crisco you cook with, there is a risk of bacterial contamination, which could easily lead to infection.
Try this instead: Instead of using Crisco on your skin, we recommend applying FixMySkin Healing Balm with 1% Hydrocortisone to areas of dry, cracked and chapped skin. The 1% hydrocortisone in this balm goes beyond moisturizing to soothe and heal skin. It also contains shea butter and cocoa butter to moisturize and replenish the skin's barrier function.
5. Greek Yogurt for Blemishes and Sensitive Skin
Greek yogurt makes an excellent snack but it should never be used in a DIY skin care recipe.
Why it’s bad: Although there is theoretically enough lactic acid in yogurt to treat certain skin conditions, it’s not recommended to put it directly on your face. There’s no way for you to know how it will react with your skin. If the yogurt is spoiled or contaminated in any way, you could be left with a bacterial infection.
Try this instead: Rather than risking infection, use a skin care product with similar benefits. Probiotic skin care harnesses the power of “good” bacteria, similar to how live cultures in yogurt help to boost immunity and aid in digestion. One of our favorites is GLOWBIOTICS MD LET ME CLARIFY Probiotic Clarifying Clay Mask, which helps reduce redness and irritation while eliminating the bacteria responsible for acne.
6. Egg Whites for Large Pores
Last but not least, raw eggs are not a good substitute for professional skin care—ever.
Why it’s bad: Though egg whites can create a temporary tightening effect on the skin, raw eggs can also contain salmonella. Many bloggers claim that this type of homemade mask will close pores but this is completely false. Pores cannot open or close at will. With this DIY treatment, you’d be risking food poisoning for nothing.
Try this instead: While you can’t physically control their size, you can make pores appear smaller by clearing them out. That’s where exfoliation comes in. We love LovelySkin LUXE Exfoliating Gel Mild 11%, which has a blend of 11% amino fruit acids to gently encourage cell renewal and exfoliate skin.
What’s the weirdest skin remedy you’ve ever heard? Share with us in the comments below, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #LovelySkin.