These days, everyone is looking for easier and cheaper ways to do things. From DIY furniture to grocery organization, lists of “hacks” to make these tasks easier are popping up everywhere online. Of course, this trend has also saturated the beauty market and there have been many weird, gross and even damaging “hacks” people have released.
Coconut oil as a moisturizer
Coconut oil has gained plenty of popularity in the last few years as being a “fix all” remedy. Healing dry skin, conditioning hair and cooking, are all common uses for this miracle oil. One use we do not recommend for coconut oil- moisturizing your face. Coconut oil is less like a pure plant oil and acts more like a wax on the skin, much like jojoba oil.
Coconut oil is also very comedogenic; it sits on top of the skin, leading to clogged pores, breakouts and skin irritation. There are several other superior oils like Rosehip and Tamanu Oil that will better nourish and hydrate the skin.
If you must use coconut oil as a makeup remover, only use it around the eyes, as there are no oil glands on the eyelids. Switch to better oils to remove makeup on the face - like Argan oil and Safflower oil.
By all means, keep cooking with it and rubbing it in your hair and all over your dry body bits. But as a face moisturizer? Unless you never ever break out and your skin is Sahara-level dry, you’re asking for clogged pores.
Exfoliating with salt or sugar
Many DIY exfoliators reach for some very harsh scrubbing agents. Sugar, Salt and even coffee grounds are three more to file under “Fine for your body, not your face.” These granules can have rough or jagged edges, or may simply be too harsh on sensitive skin. This can stimulate blood flow but it can also potentially leave your face red and raw. Instead, you can lightly rub skin in a circular motion with a soft washcloth while cleansing with a cream cleanser. This motion will remove dead skin and dirt from your face, without the potential for irritating the skin.
Toothpaste for Pesky Pimples
Sure, it might dry out pimples, but there’s a good chance it might also leave the area redder and more irritated. In fact, for some people who go all out while brushing, migrating toothpaste can cause tiny red and rashy bumps around the mouth. Toothpaste and skin is just not a great combo.
Toothpaste contains ingredients like baking soda, alcohol, menthol, and peroxide. All great for drying out blemishes and pimples, but also incredibly drying on the skin. Most kinds of toothpaste also contain triclosan, an antibacterial agent used in many anti-acne products, but that doesn't make it an acne medication. It's very dehydrating, and not good to use on your face.
Alcohol does nothing more than dry out and further irritate your skin. What’s worse is that if you leave toothpaste on a pimple a little too long, you may even experience an uncomfortable burning sensation. Is it worth risking all that when there are much more effective and safer spot treatments available? Hardly.
Using Rubbing Alcohol as Toner
We are not sure why this hack ever gained ground, mainly because of how harmful alcohol has proven to be over time. When alcohol-based products are applied to the face, they strip and destroy the skin's surface.
Your skin's surface is covered in oils that form a natural barrier which helps keep your complexion healthy. It also protects against bacteria and other environmental assaults. Once that barrier is now depleted, it can no longer hold in moisture, which ultimately leads to dehydration.
If you've got an oily or acne prone skin type, it may be tempting to reach for something to dry it out quickly and without any fuss. This will actually do the opposite for you. Alcohol can actually increase oiliness, as dry skin can trigger oil production.
In some cases, it can also trigger contact dermatitis, which is the result of continued exposure to an irritant. Additionally, damage from alcohol can lead to an increase in bumps and enlarged pores. We only recommend using rubbing alcohol as a disinfectant for a surface wound or to clean skin of bacteria.
Removing Dead Skin with Citrus Oil
When you taste a fresh lemon, your mouth reacts by puckering. This response is your body trying to remove the acidic liquid from your mouth. Your face, however, doesn't have these defenses. If you put these oils on your face, it can be harmful to the skin.
Some essential oils, citrus oils, in particular, have phototoxic properties. Phototoxicity is the most common type of photosensitivity, an immune system reaction to sunlight. This occurs when you have a reaction that causes your skin to react to the sun’s burning ultraviolet rays. Symptoms of a phototoxicity reaction are similar to a bad sunburn, including hives and blisters. These symptoms can cause damage to skin cells and can be severe in some cases.
Setting With Hairspray
Even if you're spraying it ahead of your face and 'walking through it' or accidentally spritzing it onto your face when you spray your hair, this beauty hack is actually quite detrimental to your skin. "Hairspray has propellants in it that could irritate your skin, leaving it itchy, red and bumpy", says Amanda Von Dem Hagen, International educator and skincare expert at Glo Skin Beauty. Additionally, hairspray "contains alcohol and lacquers that will dry out your skin, causing it to become dehydrated and look much older."
And this is all on top of the sticky, tight and uncomfortable feeling it will leave behind if you spray too liberally. In comparison use a makeup setting spray that is paraben-free and has water as one of the main ingredients.
ConclusionIf you have fallen into the trap of using any of these DIY hacks on your face, here’s a bit of advice: STOP.
Look for natural skincare products that don’t contain harsh compounds and chemicals to keep your skin healthy, happy, and free of irritation.