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4 min read

Before I studied Natural Skincare, I would often search the world wide web for solutions to my many skincare woes. What a bonus it was when the solution was already sitting in my pantry or bathroom cabinet! I know first hand how tempting it can be to give these quick fixes a go when they’re promising to zap that zit overnight or lighten your skin in an instant.

Reaching out for a DIY replacement when you run out of your skincare products or trying a new home remedy can certainly do the trick (I love a good DIY recipe!), but there are some things you should be avoiding! I’m sharing the top 5 things you should never put on your face. If you’re guilty of some of these... relax, take a breath, it will all be OK I promise! I’ve some super alternatives that will set you on your merry way to taking better care of your skin!

1. Baking Soda

Is a versatile kitchen ingredient that makes a perfect natural alternative for cleaning your surfaces. However, full strength baking soda needs to stay clear of your face due to its alkaline nature. Pasting this bad boy all over your face could mess with the pH balance of your skin and remove its precious protective oil barrier. This can disrupt the natural bacteria on the surface of your skin that helps to prevent infection and acne. The end result? Skin that’s stripped dry and more prone to infection and breakouts. Yikes!

Tip:Instead of using baking soda to clear those pores and reduce unwanted acne, op for something that will gently exfoliate but not disturb your protective oil barrier. I’d suggest the Oil Cleansing Method, followed by a konjac sponge, and a weekly clay face mask to keep on top of clogged pores.

2. Lemon Juice:

If you do a quick internet search for “lemon skincare benefits” you’ll come across many hope-filled-promises like, reducing fine lines and wrinkles to whitening and sunspots. Lemons are also enriched with Vitamin C, Niacin (vitamin B3) and Citric acid (an AHA).

But, hold up. Along with these known skin-loving chemicals there’s also literally millions of other chemicals present in lemon juice... and some of them are not so good for your skin. Argh!

Let’s take Psoralen for example - this chemical will make your skin sensitive to light. So if you apply lemon juice to your face and then go out in the sun, you can actually cause blistering! Eeek! Lemon juice is also very acidic and which can be super irritating to your skin, so maybe you might just want to save lemons for your water.

Tip:Instead I suggest using Pure Vitamin C Powder. Just like what the internet promises you if you use lemons, Vitamin C willbrighten the skin’s appearance, help decrease signs of aging, pigmentation, sun damage, and dullness. However, like most skincare there are some precautions; Avoid the eye area and broken skin and don’t use it while the skin is being exposed to the sun, so apply it in your nighttime routine.

3. Sugar

Sugar is a common ingredient in many DIY scrubs. While it has some wonderful exfoliant qualities in body scrubs, it’s really not suitable for the skin on your face. The skin on your face is much thinner than the rest of your body, and can cause small scratches and micro-tears. These tears can lead to irritation, infections, redness and dryness of the skin. 

Tip:Instead use a scrub that contains something with round exfoliating beads like jojoba beads, or something soft like oats to gently exfoliate the skin on your face. Our Yellow Clay Mask uses oaty grains that give a gentle exfoliation to skin, gently buffing away the dead skin cells leaving skin soft and smooth, perfect for sensitive skin types!

4: Hot Water

My dad always used to tell me to have the dish water really hot when it was my turn to wash up. He explained to me that hot water is more effective at getting rid of the grime and grease buildup on our dirty dishes. So naturally when I started skincare at a young age I thought it was the same for my oily skin.

However, when it comes to washing our face, the best water temperature is lukewarm. Warm water helps loosen the dirt, but preserves your skin's natural hydrating oils. Cold water doesn't quite effectively remove the grime well enough, and hot water will strip the moisture off your skin and make it sensitive, stretchy and dry. All of a sudden it seems like a no-brainer to use lukewarm water hey!?

female washing her face in the bathroom

5: Colgate

Rumour has it - dabbing some regular old toothpaste on your zit will help it clear up overnight... (eye roll). I may have believed this when I was 13 and knew no better, and while some ingredients may dry out your unwanted pimple, at the end of the day it’s really not worth the risk. Just like lemons, toothpaste also contains a whole bunch of random ingredients like alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and sodium lauryl sulfate. Remember, toothpaste is designed for your pearly whites, not your skin! These strong ingredients could potentially cause irritations, skin-sensitivity and dryness which in turn could make acne much worse in the long run.

Tip:Instead opt for charcoal or clay to lessen acne. If you’re on the hunt for a natural home remedy, try tea tree oil mixed in with your favourite carrier oil like Apricot Kernel Oil as a spot treatment for mild to moderate acne.

Keeping your skin safe

If in doubt, leave it out! Opt for simple, natural skincare that’s designed for your skin type and concern. If it’s not designed for skin - then avoid using it. It’s also in your face’s best interest to avoid the following:

  • Abrasive exfoliating tools and ingredients such as crushed walnuts, sugar, salt, coffee grinds.
  • Anything highly acidic like citrus juice or vinegar. 
  • Pore strips and peel-off masks.
  • Scrubbing harshly or using harsh cleansers.

Stay safe out there, my bare babes!

5 Things You Should Never Use On Your Face



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