Don’t get me wrong, I love a good mask made in my own kitchen, but just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Take poison ivy, or dog poo. Both are 100% natural, and even though my dog has the time of his life (at my expense) rolling around in both, I wouldn’t put either anywhere close to my face.
Not nearly as conspicuous as poison ivy or dog poo, here are 3 natural DIY beauty hack that, despite massive cult following, you should still avoid.
Lemon Juice 🍋🙅
With promises to lighten acne scares, brighten complexion, and eliminate pesky blackheads, DIY lemon juice toners are all the craze on Pinterest. I’ve mixed lemon juice with green tea, witch hazel, and plain water, but every concoction angered my skin.
I thought maybe my skin was too sensitive, but while I was interning at a beauty marketing agency, I learned that lemon juice, even if it’s diluted, can be extremely harsh and highly irritating on all skin types. Lemon juice is too acidic and will break down the acid mantle and the top layer of the skin. Great, sounds like a natural chemical peel alternative, right?
Not exactly. Even though a chemical peel does work by removing the upper most layer, a professional will always properly neutralize the skin after applying the acid. Lemon juice, however, has chemicals that are drying and irritating, leaving your skin susceptible to inflammation, bacteria, and sun damage. That means more dark spots, leathery texture, and increased risk of skin cancer in the long term.
So when life gives you lemons, better just stick to making lemonade.
Baking Soda ❌😬
Another popular DIY beauty hack I fell victim to is making toothpaste out of baking soda. While it does scrub away plaque and surface stains to noticeably whiten teeth, I learned that it’ll wear down the enamel overtime. It also doesn’t help prevent cavities, felt abrasive against my gums, and left a pretty disgusting aftertaste in my mouth.
If you insist on DIY teeth whitening, I recommend sprinkling activated charcoal on top of your toothpaste once a week instead. It essentially works the same way as baking soda by physically scrubbing away surface stains, only charcoal is slightly less abrasive and without that nasty aftertaste. There’s also the added bonus that activated charcoal will help deodorize and detoxify your mouth. I assume it’s effective since my vet saved my trouble-making dog’s life after he devoured an entire bag of chocolate bark (including the freakin plastic bag) by using activated charcoal to absorb the chocolate toxins.
Coconut Oil 🛑
There are dozens of ways to incorporate coconut oil in your beauty routine, but think twice before slathering it on your face. Coconut oil is actually highly comedogenic, meaning it’s very prone clog pores!
I feel like this little-known fact is usually ignored or overshadowed by its other amazing properties. Sure, it’s antibacterial, moisturizing as hell, and packed with antioxidants. In fact, I’ve read that coconut oil is 10x more effective at killing bacteria than acne-fighting superstar, Benzoyl Peroxide. But is it worth the comedogenic risk?
I personally don’t think so. There are plenty of other oils that are just as antibacterial and nourishing but won’t clog your pores. But wait, don’t throw out your tub of coconut oil just yet – it’s still amazing for moisturizing your body, nourishing your hair, and of course, in the kitchen for cooking.
Hope this has been helpful! I understand that everyone’s bodies reacts differently, so if these ingredients work for you, I’d love to hear about your experience! Or if you have other DIY beauty remedies I should try, share it below!