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DIY Skin Mistakes You Might Be Making

by Emily Linehan on March 26, 2020

There is so much information about DIY skin treatments you can do at home these days. Many times, these at home skin tips become trendy but they are actually bad or even harmful for your skin. So let’s debunk some of these DIY skin myths and make sure you aren’t making these common skin mistakes at home!

Skin Myth #1: Steam your face to open your pores

Unfortunately, this myth has been perpetuated even by skin care professionals. The idea is that heat/steam “opens” your pores and cold water or ice will “close” them. Because the pores do not have a sphincter muscle, this is impossible. The only muscle our pores have is the arrector pilai muscle, which is what creates goosebumps when we are cold. Furthermore, if you are acne prone, steam can actually exacerbate your breakouts since bacteria grows rapidly in a warm moist environment. With this said, steam is not as skin friendly as we’ve been led to believe! What is my recommendation to treat your pores at home? If there were a magic wand for the skin, ICING would be it! Similar to icing an injury, ice helps reduce the inflammation of acne breakouts, which prevents them from getting worse, and often can make them go away much quicker. Ice is well-known for its ability to reduce swelling and inflammation…and it gives the skin an amazing glow!

Skin Myth #2: Use toothpaste to clear your acne

If you have ever been guilty of this skin mistake, you have experienced first hand how toothpaste will dry your skin out rapidly. While this seems like a great thing for a big breakout, toothpaste does not kill acne bacteria and will also irritate and inflame the skin --- this can also lead to rebound breakouts. This skin mistake can also lead to a larger issue called perioral dermatitis, a fungal infection commonly seen around the jawline area generally caused by toothpaste. It looks like a rashy form of acne and can be quite stubborn and difficult to eradicate. So #Emmebabes, keep the toothpaste in your mouth and off the skin! What is my recommendation for the perfect acne spot treatment? My Pink Potion which quickly and effectively reduces inflammation clears breakouts overnight!

Skin Myth #3: Exfoliate your skin with baking soda

This seems like a harmless way to buff away those top dead, dry skin cells. So, this really comes down to the importance of the pH balance of your skin. Your skin is naturally acidic (so a pH of about 5.5) and is created by your natural oil and sweat. The acid nature of your skin is the first line of defense against bacteria and infection. Baking soda, on the other hand, is incredibly alkaline…the opposite of your skin. By applying baking soda to the skin, it alters the pH balance of the skin leaving the skin incredibly vulnerable and rapidly dehydrates the skin. This is NOT a good trade-off for exfoliation, as it will take your skin time to restore the pH of the skin and will likely lead to irritation and inflammation in the meantime. What is my recommendation for a skin safe exfoliant? My Skin Smoothing Polish which has perfectly round silica beads to gently exfoliate the skin without irritation. 

Skin Myth #4: Coconut Oil is great for everything!

While coconut oil is popular in my kitchen when cooking, coconut oil on the skin or hair is a disaster in the making. While there is no disputing that coconut oil does have antimicrobial and antifungal properties, the bigger issue is that the composition of coconut oil makes it one of the more comedogenic (pore clogging) ingredients on earth. And because it takes acne 90 days to form, you will not necessarily see new breakouts right away. All natural oils are composed of 2 acids: oleic acid and linoleic acid. Oleic acid is super pore clogging and linoleic is not. Guess how high in oleic acid coconut oil is? It has a very high ratio which makes it a hidden trigger for acne prone skin. Also, coconut oil is not a very useful moisturizer, as it pulls water moisture from the skin…so the more you use it, the more you feel like you need it. What is my recommendation for skin safe oil? Cold pressed safflower and sunflower oil as well as mineral oil (that right…it’s skin safe and not harmful!)

Skin Myth #5: Lemon juice is the best skin lightener

If life hands you lemons, definitely make lemonade --- not a skin lightening treatment! Lemon juice is extremely acidic and might literally burn your skin! It will likely irritate the skin and cause excessive dryness, redness and peeling. These effects can also be worse if you have sensitive skin. Furthermore, lemon juice is very phototoxic, meaning it will increase your sun sensitivity. This can lead to Phytophotodermatitis, which is when a lemon juice interacts with ultraviolet light and causes a chemical burn on the skin. The worst part is that these types of burns/irritations can likely pigment…this means you just caused the same issue that you were trying to resolve! What is my best recommendation for lightening pigmentation? My Enlightened Serum which is a cocktail of skin lighteners and brighteners to fade even the most stubborn pigmentation.

 

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