Popular DIY Ingredients And Beliefs That Are Harmful For Your Skin

6 tips that will save your skin if you want to make your own beauty products

There are a ton of great ideas out there for making your own skin care products. If you’re anything like me you find all of them so inspiring. The ones that seem especially simple and use at-home or easy to find ingredients are especially intriguing. Who doesn’t want to reduce wrinkles by splashing a little bit of [insert ingredient of the week here] on their skin a couple times a week?!

But, all that fun and inspiration comes with a down side. There are quite a few beliefs and ingredients that people recommend and share in recipes that are actually harmful for you or your skin.

Yes – there are some amazingly versatile ingredients! There are however some really popular ingredients and beliefs that a) shouldn’t be used on your skin AT ALL or b) are being advertised as a magic ingredient for all, when really it’s only suitable in some situations or for very limited periods of time. I want to talk about some of the big ones with you today.

Baking Soda Isn’t Meant To Be Used On Your Skin!

I’ve seen a ton of different recipes that suggest you use baking soda on your skin. Most claim that you should use it daily, even on the more sensitive parts of your face. This is crazy.

While some claim it might not be a big deal if you use it once I think you should avoid it. If you do use it, what you’ll find is that eventually (either immediately or over time – even just a few days – you will start noticing that it’s back-firing on you. Your skin may become to dry or oily, you may start noticing red patches, or you develop acne – and these are only some of the issues you may experience.

Here’s the problem with Baking Soda:  When it’s mixed with water it becomes more alkaline – too alkaline. This means that it disrupts the skin’s acid mantle (affecting the skin barrier), and changes the bacterial flora composition on the skin. When your skins flora is out of balance it shows in a variety of ways – from acne to any number of other skin conditions. This happens relatively quickly but the results may not become apparent for some time.

Here’s a great reference article with more in-depth information

Tea Tree Is Not All That It’s Cracked Up To Be!

Everyone tells you to use tea tree on your skin because it helps to get rid of acne. Here’s the thing – it doesn’t. At least not better than about 5 other essential oils.

I think people are confused because Tea Tree is actually an amazing treatment for cuts. Research has been done that proves it’s more effective than alcohol at keeping infections at bay. But, as far as reducing or preventing acne – there are so many better options. If you join my path to natural well being, you’ll get my essential oil use charts that highlights all of them – get it here.

Oh and one other important note about tea treat – DO NO use it neat (as-in don’t use it unless you blend it with a carrier oil).

Most people won’t have any obvious issues with this if you do that once in a while, but it’s best not to take the risk. Blend it with some water or an oil like Sweet Almond or Coconut Oil instead. Just a few drops goes a long way. And like with everything in life – moderation is the key. Don’t use it every day. This is meant for the occasional cut or scrape.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not use Tea Tree essential oil on children.  Never!

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Essential Oils Should Not Be Used Neat

It’s not just tea tree that shouldn’t be used on your body without diluting it with a carrier oil. All essential oils should be diluted before applying them to your skin.  I know some people say that some can be but it’s best to play it safe with essential oils.

Always dilute your essential oils > 1-2 drops for 4oz of a product is often plenty. But please do make sure to grab my essential oil use chart. It outlines the essential oils for skin and how/when they should be used.

Some background on why this is important – Unfortunately there is not the same amount of research with essential oils as there is with chemical-based skin care products. This means that for a lot of essential oils we don’t know exactly how much is safe (on average) or how much is needed to be effective. We know which essential oils are good for what conditions, but the amounts required vary.  That’s why it’s important to start with very little, use it for a little bit of time and modify if you deem necessary.

If this information scares you, there’s nothing wrong with making products that are made without essential oils.

If however you use the right oils for your condition, use them in moderation, and take breaks from them they are no more dangerous than a lot of the ingredients in store-bought beauty products. Even those will harm your skin if use for too long, can cause harm to your body, and/or worsen a skin condition.

With that said – be smart about. Be careful. Take it slow. And don’t expect miracles over night. There is only pride in playing it safe with your skin and body.

Don’t Use Salt or Sugar As Part of a Face Scrub

A lot of people have tried using sugar or salt in a face scrub. Even though salt is very gentle, it’s still too harsh for the skin on your face. A better option for your face is flowers or herbs. Or, if you have really sensitive skin you don’t need to use a scrub at all. A good cleanser or mask will be good enough. Frankly, I think a cleanser and mask it good enough for most.

With that said, sugar and salt are FABULOUS ingredients for a body scrub though.

Vitamin C is A Fabulous Ingredient In Anti-Aging – But It’s a Dangerous Ingredient For Most DIY’ers

Vitamin C is a really popular ingredient in anti-aging skin care. Here’s the thing though – using it in your DIY products it’s more complicated than you think. If you use too much, you burn your skin. If you don’t use enough, it has no effect at all.

On occasion, I use lemons to wash my face, deal with acne or stop a cold sore in its track. It’s great for these things. But I don’t expect the way I use it to stop my wrinkles in their tracks. I have other ingredients I use instead, and I think they work equally well. I could make a product using Vitamin C, but the approach is more scientific and time-consuming.  And unless you’re very scientific or skilled, I suggest you stay away from it too.

You Don’t Need To Avoid Oil If You Have Acne or Oily Skin!

A lot of people who have oily skin or acne avoid oil like the plague. Here’s the thing, there are actually some oils that will solve your problem. Blended with the corrected essential oils they can do an excellent job of balancing and controlling the production of sebum in your face.

If you sign up to be on the Path to Natural Skin Care, you’ll get a free carrier and essential oil use chart. They will help you figure out which oils are best for you. Click here to sign up.

Lavender Isn’t Going To Help If You Have Dry Skin

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. There are a ton of people who recommend the use of lavender for dry skin. I love lavender, don’t get me wrong.  But it’s much more useful for people who have normal to oily skin.

If you use some in a bath or combine some with a moisturizing carrier oil that’s a different story. Used on your body, it’s fine. The skin on our faces is so much more sensitive to changes in PH.

DIY’ing Skin Care Is NOT Easy

Let me clarify. DIY’ing any and all skin care products isn’t easy. Things like body scrubs, cuticle oils, or makeup removers can be. But as soon as you start mixing water with oil or want to make a lotion that will treat a particular skin condition it can be (and usually is) complicated and time-consuming.

So, if you’re having trouble or are feeling like it’s too hard or boring don’t feel like you have to keep going. There are a TON of things you can make to help your skin that will be fun and simple. Read my post on the products you should start with if you’re new to making your own skin care products. Click here to read it.

Make Sure You Grab My Carrier & Essential Oil Use Charts - They're Free!

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Want To DIY Your Skin Care? Don’t ruin your skin with these ingredients!

About the author

Susanna, The Natural Skin Care Junkie

I'm Susanna, the Natural Skin Care Junkie! I became a certified Aromatherapist at the start of the Millennium and have been making my own skin care products ever since. During my time in the world of natural skin care, I have sold my own spa line (Oriana Naturals), a natural beauty box (Flynn & Sage) and a facial care line (Conscience Beauty Lab). I have taught live courses in DIY beauty and have been helping people make their own products with this site since 2013. Happy DIY'ing! Susanna

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