I have tried just about every single DIY face mask or scrub on my face to exfoliate, hydrate, and renew my skin. I have learned through the years that when it comes to my skin, less is more. The more things I did to my skin, the worse it got. I have found that sticking to simple all natural habits for my skin seem to work the best. The less I do to it, the better it looks.
Here are what I have found NOT to use on your face:
The texture of baking soda was always perfect for my face. I loved that it felt gentle and my skin would feel so smooth afterwards. After a while, my skin would start to act up and the acne would creep back in. It wasn’t until I did a little googling on the topic that I learned it’s actually really bad for my skin. Your skin has a natural pH of roughly 4.5 to 5, and when you mess with the pH, it can wreck havoc on your skin. Baking soda is very alkaline with a high pH of 9, which will damage your skin’s natural barrier. That barrier is what keeps bad bacteria out. This falls into my “less is more” attitude. NO MORE baking soda scrub for me.
Lemon juice is the opposite of the pH scale, with a pH of 2, which is highly acidic. When put directly on the skin, the acids immediately disrupt your skin’s acid mantle and causes irritation on the cellular level. This will potentially damage the skin’s protective barrier. That barrier helps keep moisture in, and germs and pollutants OUT! So, even though lemon is great for drinking for a vitamin C boost and it’s liver cleansing abilities, which are all great for your skin by the way, it is not great for putting directly on skin.
Who hasn’t put toothpaste on a pimple!? I have. But after some research, I learned it’s filled with irritating ingredients, like peppermint, peroxide, fragrances, and alcohol, making it the perfect combination of things that will tear up your skin and possibly lead to chemical burns. When you put toothpaste on to dry out that pimple, it hikes up the pH creating dry skin, irritation, and even discoloration. Keep the paste for those pearly whites.
I love a very hot shower, I even will wash my face with a steaming hot rag thinking it will open up my pores to clean them better. But, I’ve learned that hot water strips your skin’s moisture barrier, so it can actually be considered as an irritant. The hot water will wash away your skin’s lipids, leaving you red, irritated, and itchy—which is especially hard on people with eczema, psoriasis, or keratosis pilaris, whose skin barrier are already compromised. Last, the hot water will only dry out your skin leading to an over production of oil, causing more breakouts.
The skin on your body and the skin on your face are not the same—your face is much more delicate in my experience! Most body lotions contain a ton of fragrance and fewer nourishing ingredients than a facial moisturizer, which is fine for your tough, resilient body, but potentially irritating and comedogenic for your face. “Heavily fragranced body lotions are a Pandora’s Box for anyone with rosacea or acne, because you’re essentially adding fuel to the fire for any skin condition,” says Dr. Gohara. “Even if you don’t have skin issues, you’re still likely to have some sort of reaction, because fragrance is a top-three skin allergen, meaning it’s irritating for most people.”
Sugar may be sweet, but it is nothing but sour for the skin. Sugar is too abrasive for your face. The jagged, angular edges of a sugar crystal are too rough and can lead to tiny micro-tears in the surface of your skin that cause inflammation, red marks, and irritation. Just say no to sugar.
Rubbing alcohol is an antibacterial disinfectant used to sterilize wounds to avoid infection. It is very drying and damaging to your face. When I was in high school, I would always put rubbing alcohol all over my acne thinking it would “dry it out” and “clean it.” My thought was that I had acne from my skin not being clean enough. Boy what I would tell my teenage self about skincare right now! Rubbig alcohol strips your skin barrier of essential lipids and proteins, leading to a decrease in moisture and an increase of bacteria and irritants getting in. Stay away from it.
Basically our skin on our face has a very delicate balance that needs to be taken care of in a gentle manner. Finding a simple skin care routine with very little steps in the process seems to be what has helped my skin be the best it can be. I think sometimes we don’t trust our skin to do its “job” so we must find a way to do it better. But really, our skin knows how to keep it’s happy balance if we would just sometimes leave it alone 😉
Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever had a bad experience with any of these ingredients!