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 have 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.
Think twice about DIY methods from your fridge and pantry. Just because something is natural or raw doesn’t mean it’s good for your skin.
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.
A localized infection on the skin is also possible, and the danger is upped when applying to open wounds — like for instance if you’ve got a scratch from Kitty or a few healing blemishes.
Plus, the contaminant can hang around on surfaces for several hours, making your bathroom a health hazard.
However, contracting Salmonella from raw eggs is rare, especially if you’re using pasteurized eggs from the store rather than ones sourced straight from your backyard cluckers.
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!
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.
This information has prompted some folks to turn to their postpartum pals to pump a steady supply.
If you do head to the spa for a breast milk mask, ask about the facility’s supply source and its safety practices.
What happens in the bedroom is your business — but if you’re promoting the bottling of bodily fluids to baste on your face, it’s not a private issue anymore.
The semen facial blew onto the beauty scene in 2014 when lifestyle blogger Tracy Kiss posted a video touting the moisturizing, calming, and additional “benefits” that ejaculate had on her rosacea.
Others jumped on the bandwagon, stating semen stopped their acne. These claims have no scientific evidence, and dermatologists have widely debunked the concept.
Some folks going for a golden glow have gleaned their urine as their go-to astringent or toner.
The theory behind the “pee facial” is that the urea and uric acid in one’s stream will do everything from hydrate skin and tighten pores to nix acne.
Certain skin products do contain urea to help with conditions like acne or psoriasis. However, the urea is synthetic and of a higher concentration than what’s found in human waste.
Most serious potential: Applying and leaving urine on the face, especially on inflamed skin, may invite infection.
Researchers warn that, although urine is sterile, once it’s left the body it has the potential to grow bacteria.
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.
Lowest-risk scenario: Using ACV on your face will induce a stinging sensation and make you wince at the skunky smell. If ACV has saved your skin and you can’t use another option, dilute your ACV for safety.
Most serious potential: Long-term, undiluted ACV use could corrode your lovely face due to its highly acidic levels. Vinegar can be caustic if you leave it on your skin, and it shouldn’t be used to treat wounds.
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.