The skin is the largest organ of the body and should be treated gently and with respect. This means not using harsh, drying ingredients and products and not rubbing and squeezing your skin. Instead, try hydrating, moisturizing and bland (yes, bland) products that will protect your skin and seal in the moisture.
Although natural products may sound better than synthetic, this simply isn’t always the case. Sure, some natural DIY skincare is beneficial, but in general, be cautious when reading about home-made face masks, scrubs, and makeup. To help you discriminate between good and bad DIY skincare ingredients, here are 5 completely natural but harmful-to-the-skin things you should avoid using.
Lemon is often recommended as a skin-lightening ingredient that can help with freckles and discoloration. However, lemons are too acidic for our skin, with the pH of 2. For reference, our skin’s pH is on average around 4.5 – 5, which makes lemons way too acidic to be beneficial. In fact, lemons are quite irritating to the skin, and as most citrus fruits, they are phototoxic.
2. Baking Soda
Although baking soda is frequently touted as a great exfoliating agent, it’s best to stay away from it. Baking soda is highly alkaline with a pH of 9 (!), and as we mentioned, it’s best to stay within our skin’s natural pH. Using baking soda can damage your skin’s barrier, cause moisture loss, and compromise your skin’s ability to protect and regulate itself.
While definitely natural, sugar, often used as a scrub, is not skin-friendly. It’s simply too harsh and abrasive for our sensitive face skin, and can lead to tiny micro-tears in the skin surface. It’s fine as a lip exfoliant (from time to time) but not that great for the skin on the face.
Mint tea can be calming, nutritious and delicious, but only when you drink it – when it comes to your skin, avoid mint at all costs. In fact, avoid both spearmint and peppermint, as they contain menthol, a skin irritant, which can make your skin inflamed and angry.
5. Hot Water
Is there anything more natural than water? While cold and lukewarm water can help us cleanse our skin and soothe it, hot water can irritate it by stripping the moisture barrier. It’s best to avoid using hot water for your face, especially if you have acne, eczema or psoriasis.