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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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