Think Twice Before You Apply These to Your Face!

by Shikha Sharma on March 11, 2015 · 37 comments

By Akshata Jagtap

Hello beautiful people!

Remember those teenage days when some of us would have to vouch for DIY or home-made skin treatments just because our mothers would not let us use chemical laden creams and packs? I don’t know about you, but my mom was really particular about this rule until I turned 18. Now, I have grown up and I am allowed to use products of my liking, but I still prefer home made ones. They are not only cost effective, but also ensure that I am aware of the ingredients that I am putting on my precious skin.

Think Twice Before You Apply These to Your Face!

After devoting years in trying and creating home made skin and hair treatments, I have come up with a list of ingredients about which you must know before adding them to your home made masks, scrubs etc.


Think Twice Before You Apply These to Your Face!

In a country where fair skin is synonymous with beauty, we have all tried, at least once, to lighten our natural skin tone. And, the most common ingredient for our lightening potion is lemon. But, did you know we must not use it on our face. Never!

You might associate lemon with the goodness of Vitamin C that it has, but it also has a pH level of 2.4 which makes it acidic in nature. It is highly irritating and harsh for your skin in the long term. This factor disrupts the lipid barrier of your skin which is essential to protect your skin from bacterial infections. The normal pH of a human’s skin is around 5, and we must use products that are close to our skin’s pH level. Hence, the term pH balance is used by many cosmetic brands.


We all are aware of a very common scrub recipe where we just need to add lemon to sugar and scrub it on our face. If you are using this scrub, stop! Right away! Those sharp edges of crystallised sugar are actually cutting your skin cells. They are destroying your lipid barrier. This scrub just scratches your skin and does nothing even close to exfoliation. Also, it makes your skin super irritated and sensitive.

Also, as these sugar crystals destroy the lipid barrier of your skin, even the repair and healing of the skin gets delayed. It is fine if you use it on other parts of your body, but the skin on your face is really thin and needs different kind of care.


Another quick fix ingredient is tooth paste. Toothpaste is full of ingredients that are drying and irritating to the skin. It dries out a zit. True! But, did you know that along with being a magical zit minimizer, it has the potential to chemically burn your skin? Toothpastes also are very efficient in taking away moisture from the skin, and hence, they often leave your skin with dark scars that take quite some time to get cured.

Toothpastes are meant for your teeth, hence the name. Rubbing it on your teeth daily is fine, but it’s a sensitizer when left on the skin. This means that after repeated, long usage (like say a night spot treatment for acne), it will start irritating your skin. This will factually mean more breakouts!

Baking Soda

Think Twice Before You Apply These to Your Face!

That powdery white substance is more harmful than it seems! It really is not meant for your face. Its consistency may look like an exfoliating cream, but where it differs is the pH levels. It has a pH level of 9! That makes it too alkaline. Using ingredients that are too alkaline disrupts and damages the skin’s natural barrier, which is crucial for keeping bad bacteria out, as mentioned earlier. Baking soda used on facial skin can suck all the moisture out and impairs the skin’s natural ability to regulate itself.

Rubbing/Isopropyl Alcohol

Remember the cold liquid thing that a nurse uses to disinfect the area where she wants to inject a needle? That is known as Isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is an antibacterial disinfectant used to sterilize wounds in order to avoid infection. It may give you that cooling sensation, and make you feel like it’s working, but rubbing alcohol is one of the most drying, damaging ingredients that you can put on your face.

This cool, calm and innocent looking rubbing alcohol is, in fact, so strong that it can not only dissolve DNA of bacteria, but also of human skin. Scary, isn’t it? You want that? Actually, even when you buy a store product just keep an eye on the ingredient list and make sure there is no Isopropyl alcohol in the ingredients list. And, remember it does not strip excess oil from your skin. In fact, it strips off your skin of ALL the natural oil, making it super dry and giving you clogged pores.

Lavender Oil

Think Twice Before You Apply These to Your Face!

A lot of recipes call for lavender oil in them. Also, we get carried away by this oil’s fragrance. But, directly as an oil? No! Lavender oil is citrus in nature, and needless to say, an irritant to the skin. Also, never make the mistake of going out in the sun after applying or using Lavender oil on your skin as it makes the skin very sensitive, leading to sun burn.

Petroleum Jelly

Think Twice Before You Apply These to Your Face!

Okay, so you are not going to believe this point, at first. We all believe that Vaseline is very helpful in sealing the moisture on a super dry skin. But, it isn’t a long term solution! At the beginning, you may notice that the skin is feeling softer, but petroleum jelly not only seals in the moisture but along with it, it also seals in the dirt on your face. Petroleum jelly is also a comedogenic substance i.e. it clogs your pores. So, it is not at all suitable for oily skin type. The truth is that it doesn’t provide any extra moisture, it just seals in the moisture that skin already has, but with the excess baggage of clogged pores.

Hydrogen Peroxide

I have heard and seen a lot of my friends using Hydrogen Peroxide on their face! Hydrogen Peroxide is a mild antiseptic used on the skin to prevent infection when you get minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. But, that doesn’t mean it will treat your acne too!

It is mainly an oxidising agent (bleaching effect). The corrosive nature of oxidizing agents like hydrogen peroxide can burn and blister the skin! Furthermore, hydrogen peroxide is also a common allergen that can result in inflammation and, again, burning of the skin. So, stay clear of it as much as you can!

Cocoa Butter & Coconut Oil

Think Twice Before You Apply These to Your Face!

A highly comedogenic product with a rating of 4/5! Whereas, both of these are very forgiving and even work miraculously for dry and flaky skin, they are pore clogging for oily and acne prone skin. You may, however, can still use these on the rest of your body, but on face, they will surely bless you with some break outs.

Well, that was my personal experience speaking! That said, go ahead and get your hands dirty and face pretty! 😉 But, exercise caution. In case you have an acne prone skin, make a point to check comedogenic ratings of the ingredients that you plan to use.

Thank you for reading! Do drop in your queries and comments in the comments section below. 🙂

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

neha March 11, 2015 at 6:05 pm

🙁 I am in a shock


akshata March 11, 2015 at 7:15 pm

🙂 all that glitters isn’t gold! Is all I can say!


Shikha Sharma March 11, 2015 at 6:46 pm

Very noble post Akshata. Thanks a lot. 🙂


akshata March 11, 2015 at 7:16 pm

Thanks for the appreciation Shikha!


Chandni March 11, 2015 at 6:59 pm

such an useful post. now I am not going to apply vaseline on my skin.


akshata March 11, 2015 at 7:18 pm

Thank you chandni!


shivani March 11, 2015 at 7:04 pm

I use baking soda so often…..holy jesus *shock* Thank you so much for the article Akshata.


akshata March 11, 2015 at 7:21 pm

I m glad that I got to share all this with you lovely people! Thank you shivani!


Jasmine Scott March 11, 2015 at 7:12 pm

Wow Akshata, this is such an eye opener 🙂


akshata March 11, 2015 at 7:23 pm

Thank you jasmine! And what a lovely name you have!


Grace March 11, 2015 at 7:17 pm

Truly so many informative articles now a days.. Very useful


akshata March 11, 2015 at 7:23 pm

Thank you grace!!


Jyoti March 11, 2015 at 7:48 pm

Omg! I never thought abt these things before. What is a safe exfoliant?


akshata March 11, 2015 at 8:43 pm

Try sea salt, oatmeal, honey, yogurt, ground coffee or mashed papaya! Loads of option!! Have fun 🙂


Esha March 11, 2015 at 7:56 pm

So half of the products in the kitchen are saved now :p


akshata March 11, 2015 at 8:41 pm

Hehe 🙂


arja March 11, 2015 at 8:49 pm

This is an amazing post. I would often tell people how comedogenic coconut oil is , and they just wouldnt listen. 😛 Btw – some people wash their hair with baking soda and vinegar ! goodness – that`s a horribly drying combo 😛


Akshata March 12, 2015 at 4:13 pm

oh yes! Some dangerous DIY fads just refuse to die arja!


Vanya March 11, 2015 at 9:27 pm

Such an eye opener! However, I guess lavender oil is used to get rid of irritation, and personally I have used Lavender Oil on places I felt irritation, and it helped me quickly, also I haven’t seen any side effects.


Akshata March 12, 2015 at 4:27 pm

Actually, lavender oil consists of two major ingredients, which are Linalool and linalyl acetate. Linalool has oxidation properties and hence an allergen too. Lavender also has healing properties no doubt but linalool is bit tricky. It may be that your skin is not allergic to linalool. Products which use lavender extract also use anti oxidizing agent in them to eliminate the oxidizing effect/ skin irritating effect. So lavender does require caution while using it in DIY.


Ramya March 12, 2015 at 6:01 am

I have never been a DIY girl, cos I am too lazy to do it anyway. Thanks for this post Akshata! Very informative!


Akshata March 12, 2015 at 4:28 pm

Thank you Ramya!


anubhuti March 12, 2015 at 10:35 am

this post is a realy shocker.. i did not know many of these facts 😮


Akshata March 12, 2015 at 4:29 pm

Glad it helped! Thank you!


Amisha March 12, 2015 at 10:49 am

I’ve had a real bad experience with toothpaste.. It actually chemically burnt my skin and I am still dealing with the pigmentation the burn left behind.
Very useful post!!


Akshata March 12, 2015 at 4:30 pm

Thats really sad, hope the pigmentation goes away soon 🙂 Thank you amisha!


Aditi March 12, 2015 at 11:01 pm

I still have toothpaste marks too. Any idea what would help lighten it?


Akshata March 14, 2015 at 1:28 am

try honey+oatmeal or honey+cinnamon powder, both are very effective.


Madhur March 12, 2015 at 8:35 pm

Thankfully I have never used any of these except the coconut oil but I use very little quantity and mostly during winters. I don’t think lavender oil is supposed to be used directly anyway because it’s basically an essential oil and must be used with a base oil. A very informative post Akshata. 🙂


Akshata March 14, 2015 at 1:29 am

exactly, many people dont know this fact about essential oils! Thank you madhur!


Ayesha March 12, 2015 at 9:52 pm

This article is really an eye opener. These product can damage our skin that we even can’t think… Thanks for this article:)


Aditi March 12, 2015 at 11:00 pm

as a 12 year old, I used a lot of toothpaste on my pimples without thinking of the side effects. I think I’ve burned my skin, because there is a dark pigmented patch on my forehead which hasn’t faded in four years. Is there anything I could possibly do for it?


Akshata March 14, 2015 at 1:30 am

try honey+oatmeal or honey+cinnamon powder, both are very effective. ANd you are young so your skin can heal itself real fast! Dont worry!


neha jadon May 25, 2015 at 8:11 am

I have been using lemon on face for few days ..for dark spots on my face caused by pimple… then at is d best to use it …and any other products for pimple and marks ..plz tell..I will b thnkfull to u


neha jadon May 25, 2015 at 8:12 am

akshta plz reply


bhargavi May 25, 2015 at 3:44 pm

I have read abt aspirin to apply on pimples is it true.


Mariyam June 12, 2016 at 1:55 pm

I just left using these ingredients since most of them irritated my skin anf broke me out. This article is really helpful 🙂


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