From burns to infections, these raw unaltered ingredients carry more risk outside a bottle.
Leave it to the internet to give us wild ideas on what to slather on our skin as the latest pore minimizer or pimple destroyer. Unfortunately not everything we see from beauty bloggers and Instagram influencers is sage advice.
You’ve likely seen some of these ingredients in store-bought products — but when used alone or without proper sanitation and diluting methods, they have the potential to damage skin, especially over time.
Oh how convenient it would be to make your morning omelet, slick a little raw egg on your face, and then go about your day with tightened pores and smooth skin. That’s the claim made by proponents of the egg white face mask.
Lemon or lime juice
A squirt of lemon or lime juice on an acne scar, or any hyperpigmentation, is said to lighten the blemish.
The psoralens in lemons and limes can cause a phototoxic reaction on your skin when it’s exposed to UV light. That means your attempt to fade a red spot could result in a big blister.
The rash or burn, called phytophotodermatitis, often appears one to three days after you’ve gotten some sun — and it could last for months. Talk about the juice not being worth the squeeze!
The “cinna-mask” gained notoriety after a beauty blogger, who goes by EnjoyPhoenix, extolled cinnamon’s purifying power. But this red spice may not play nice on your face.
Although cinnamon does have some antimicrobial benefits and is used in wound healing, it’s also one of the more common spice allergies. And even if you don’t have a known allergy to cinnamon, you may still be hypersensitive to the spice on your skin or sustain a burn from cinnamon oil.
Breast milk facials have become the rage at some spas in recent years to treat acne. Breast milk contains lactic and lauric acids, both of which have skin healing and antimicrobial benefits that some studies show have helped pimple-prone skin.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been touted as the holy grail of DIY astringents. Users claim it helps clear acne, fade blemish scars or age spots, and even remove moles.
Any acne sores are at risk for incurring a burn or major irritation. Plus, using ACV as a facial product puts your peepers at risk. If you get it in your eyes, you could experience inflammation or even a cornea burn.
When a natural ingredient is an actual glow booster, hydration helper, or irritation aid, it’s best used as a store-bought or prescribed product that has been thoroughly tested and safely diluted, packaged, and stored.
Leave the mixing and testing to product manufacturers. Taking ingredients from your fridge to your bathroom — or vice versa — creates risks of contamination, infection, or damage that could make the skin issue you’re trying to solve way worse.