DIY skin care tricks are abundant, but are they actually good for your skin? Whether you’re looking at basic baking soda, a dab of toothpaste or rubbing that lemon slice all over your face, here are 3 reasons DIY remedies aren’t all they seem.

Chances are you’ve heard many DIY ideas that involve applying toothpaste to an unfriendly zit. Don’t do it. If you’re still tempted remember this:

  • Toothpaste contains ingredients that are for teeth; not for skin. 

    It’s a no brainer: your skin and your teeth are two very different surfaces. Teeth are hard. Your skin is not, nor is the skin on your face intended to be subjected to harsh treatments. In addition to irritation, inflammation and allergic reactions, you’re also putting bacteria and well… a form of gum in your pores. Sounds far less appealing, right?  And those whitening ingredients? Definitely a no-no unless you are trying to create an uneven skintone.

  • Baking soda strips your skin of its natural oils.

    If you’re like me and have combination skin, this may sound like no big deal, but it is. Our skin naturally creates a layer that protects its surface from damaging elements, pollution, free radicals, and other bacteria.

    Baking soda contains extremely high levels of alkaline which strips your skin of its vital barrier, leaving it raw, exposed and vulnerable to long lasting damage. Our skin is rich with acid that (if you’re like me, sounds the opposite of healthy upon first read, but stick with me on this) creates an acidic layer called the ‘acid mantle’ that *protects* the surface of our skins from damaging elements such as pollution and bacteria.  Baking Soda may seem inexpensive in the moment, but trust me, it’s expensive when you’re asking your cosmetic dermatologist what tricks he has to fix problem areas a few years later.  
    Plus, dry skin = breakouts.

  • Lemon needs to stay in the water glass… or lemon tarts. 

    Once again, you’re looking at a substance that contains overly harsh acids. While there may be skin creams that list a lemon oil or extract as an ingredient, when they are combined at low concentrations with carrier oils and other emollients or binders it reduces the acidity of that lemon ingredient - which is why you need chemists and not DIY.

    In addition to the problems we addressed above regarding baking soda, rubbing lemon on your face can cause severe sun sensitivity. While we always recommend you use SPF, here’s the thing: SPF won’t treat the potential chemical burns that can result, all thanks to that lemon slice. Worse, those results can be permanent, and really, does anyone want that kind of scarring? Not so much.

Tempting as DIY skin care can be, it’s important to understand that natural doesn’t always mean it’s a good idea. In the case of ‘natural’ skin care products, remember, these are tested. If you’re using pharmaceutical grade products, this means the bacteria content allowed is nearly non-existent. You cannot say the same for the box of baking soda that’s been in the freezer since 1991.

Questions? Comments? Sound off in the comments below.