At some point, we’ve all done it. Globbed Colgate on zits, run mayo through our hair or concocted a “witch’s brew” of pantry ingredients for a makeshift facial mask.
Women pull out all the stops in their quest for beauty, so when a friend’s cousin’s grandmother’s aunt says kitty litter is a no-fail exfoliant, you better believe we just have to try it.
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) beauty lore has been around forever, and the Internet and social media now make it that much easier to access so-called affordable and effective at-home recipes promising to smooth and plump skin, reduce wrinkles and more.
But before you mix that raw egg and oatmeal and make breakfast on your face, beauty chasers beware: Skincare is not a guessing game, and any at-home treatments or products not developed by a skincare professional can actually do incredible damage to your complexion.
Remember that the “trusted skincare resource” you found on Facebook could in fact be a 13-year-old girl, and the beauty “super foods” she’s touting are not necessarily safe for at-home formulation.
Consider the following before dabbling in DIY:
Perform a patch test. Before experimenting on skin, you should ideally see an esthetician for a complete skin analysis and customized recommendations for an appropriate at-home care treatment. If you choose to forego this preemptive step, at least perform a patch test by putting a small amount of whatever concoction you’ve come up with behind the ear on the neck. This is especially important for those with existing skin conditions such as acne or aging.
Sweet isn’t always skin-friendly. Papaya skin creams, pineapple enzyme cleansers and sugar scrubs line supermarket beauty sections, so you could easily assume these sweet additives are fine for at-home use. However, these ingredients must be formulated for skin and are not necessarily safe in their natural state. If left on too long, natural acids found in citrus fruits can actually cause burns and irritation, while raw sugars and oatmeal can scratch skin.
You aren’t a celebrity. Almost every week, a gorgeous A-lister makes a broad statement about her “simple” skincare routine: olive oil as an allover moisturizer, coconut oil for the face and hair, and so on. While some of these ingredients can indeed be beneficial, before you get greasy, get cautious. Olive oil straight from the cabinet, for example, has not been formulated for the skin and its molecules are therefore too large to be effectively absorbed. Freshness can also pose an issue. Remember that the rich and famous have access to the crème de la crème of beauty treatments and skin specialists, so your skin and hers may not start out the same playing field.
Got milk? If you do choose to DIY, gravitate toward recipes that incorporate milk. Not only does it contain lactic acid, an anti-aging essential, but it’s also soothing to skin and shouldn’t cause adverse reactions. Swabbing skin with a milk-soaked towel or actually taking a milk bath can be both relaxing and beneficial. Word on the street is Cleopatra used milk baths to keep skin supple and youthful.
Professional skincare for your skin type is the best recipe. Sure, at-home skin remedies can seem more affordable, but they’re often not worth the risk. Instead, adopt a professional skincare regimen that is specifically formulated for your skin type, and has been tested for quality and safety. Whether your skin is sensitive, sun-damaged, aging or acne-prone, Control Corrective has a line of effective, fool-proof products.
As a teenager or an adult, what was the craziest DIY beauty treatment you tried?