Beauty 'Hacks' You ShouldNEVER Try
We live in a world where DIY (Do It Yourself) beauty hacks are easy to find and easier to try, but that doesn’t mean they are good for your skin. In many cases, these “solutions” disrupt your skin’s protective barrier and are quite dangerous.
Here are some hacks I’ve seen on social media and why you should avoid them at all costs.
1. Deodorant or antiperspirant as a face primer
Don’t ever apply deodorant to your face, it’s a terrible idea for many reasons. Save it for your armpits.
Theory: The deodorant or antiperspirant will mattify your face and reduce oil production throughout the day.
Reality: Deodorants and antiperspirants contain aluminum compounds and fragrances, which are incredibly irritating to your facial skin. Even if you opt for an aluminum and fragrance-free product, deodorants work by killing the bacteria on your skin while antiperspirants contain actives that block your sweat glands. Imagine what that is doing to your face - you are stripping it of its natural bacteria and clogging your pores! I’m also under the assumption that the deodorant stick was freshly opened, otherwise, it’s an unhygienic recipe for disaster. Buying a good face primer is worth the investment, trust me.
2. Toothpaste or Wasabi on acne
I’m sure we’ve all seen the toothpaste hack, but recently wasabi has also been taking a viral interest. Either way… Stop. Don’t do it.
Theory: The toothpaste or wasabi will dry out your pimple and it will go away faster.
Reality: Toothpaste contains a plethora of ingredients that your skin just won’t agree with. Toothpaste contains hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, baking soda, fluorides, calcium carbonates and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). The combination is meant for your teeth, not your skin for extended periods of time. What occurs is that your skin becomes irritated, dry, inflamed and can peel. Over-drying can potentially cause burning. Wasabi has some claim, I’ll give this method that much, but the cons outweigh the pros. Wasabi has antimicrobial properties and is rich in antioxidants. Hypothetically, the idea has merit, however, you will see is a lot of inflammation, redness, and irritation. Sure, both methods may dry out that pimple, but it’s not worth the risk.
3. Lemon and Baking Soda to exfoliate skin and brighten armpits
I know, another face and armpit DIY. Let me tell you why this doesn’t work.
Theory: It exfoliates your skin and if used under the armpits, lightens and brightens dark spots. Baking soda is a good exfoliator and lemon is an antiseptic as well as a natural bleaching agent. In theory, it should be fine, however, I don’t recommend it.
Reality: Lemon is incredibly acidic (pH of 2), baking soda is very basic (pH of 9), and your skin has a natural pH of 4.5-5.5. The pH of your skin influences the integrity of the stratum corneum and its bacterial defense mechanisms. Change in pH can dry out your skin causing redness, flaking, and irritation. The increase in pH also creates an ideal environment for bacteria to grow, which can cause acne. Lemon juice is also very sensitizing to the skin and can cause irritation, increase the risk of sunburn, as well as lead to acid burns or blistering. The combination with the abrasive baking soda will definitely disrupt your skin’s protective barrier and its natural pH. It is a recipe that should be kept in the kitchen.
4. Craft Glue and Charcoal Face Mask
I’ll admit, I’ve tried this one before educating myself on the reasons why not to. This trend isn’t worth the hype and it’s not great for your skin either.
Theory: Craft Glue mixed with charcoal will attract blackheads and whiteheads for easy extraction.
Reality: Charcoal acts as a magnet - it attracts dirt and oil by bringing it to the skin’s surface. Craft glue, such as Elmer’s glue, isn’t toxic (which is why schools use it with young kids, in case it’s consumed). However, the glue contains ingredients that can irritate your skin. It’s an occlusive product that will clog your pores and trap irritating chemicals on your skin. The final result is the complete opposite of what you are aiming for – inflammation, hyper-pigmentation and, the blackheads are still there! Also, from personal experience, removing this mask was extremely painful with no results.
In summary, if it is not formulated for your face, you shouldn’t be using it for your face. Just because you can eat it, doesn’t mean you can use it topically on your face. If you have concerns about your skin, you should seek the counsel of a dermatologist. Some damage done to the skin is irreversible, don’t take the risk for a “nifty, quick fix” or to save a few extra dollars.