Skincare Sunday: What to put on your face (and what not to)

DIY face masks are a favorite go-to when you’re looking for a cheap, easy way to bring some life back to your skin or target some problems. Face masks can be pricey, and it can often feel like you’re literally washing money down the sink for a temporary fix to your problems. Luckily, homemade treatments and masks can be pretty effective. However, there is a lot of misinformation going around Youtube, Instagram, and other beauty spheres about what is good to put on your skin and what is not. Keep reading for some ingredients to slather all over your face ASAP and some to never touch again.

Put this on your skin:

  1. Oatmeal: this breakfast staple has been FDA-approved as an eczema therapy. If your skin is at all irritated or dry, an oatmeal face mask is just what you need. Ground up a little bit and mix it in with some water or plain yogurt to add hydration back to the skin.
  2. Turmeric: this spice stains yellow, so be careful and only use a small amount. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent and can help reduce hyperpigmentation and other scarring or blotchiness. Another thing that can be mixed in with some plain yogurt to make a nice hydrating mask.
  3. Honey: this ingredient is a bit messy, so don’t wear something you like. Honey has been shown to have anti-bacterial properties, making it a great ingredient for face masks that cater to acne-prone skin. Manuka honey is best; the higher the quality of the honey, the better for your face. Honey is also a humectant and helps your skin retain moisture.

DO NOT put this on your skin:

  1. Baking Soda: your skin actually has an acidic barrier that is critical to maintain. Baking soda is way too basic (high pH….remember that chemistry) to put onto the skin. This ingredient is sure to only damage the barrier on your skin and cause further dehydration and breakouts.
  2. Glue: Ok, I saw Laura Lee of Youtube face putting a face mask on that had glue in it. Can’t believe I have to address this. The glue may seem to be removing “blackheads” but in reality, it’s probably only clogging your pores or irritating your skin. Peeling off the glue can be harsh on the skin and actually cause a decent amount of damage, especially to sensitive skin. Best case scenario, putting glue on your face is harmless and useless. Worst case scenario, it actually ruins your skin. Don’t do it.
  3. Lemon  juice: Lemon juice has a pH of 2.0. In case you do not remember high school chemistry, that is VERY acidic. Most acids that are meant for the face have a pH of about 4.0 (for reference, water is considered “neutral” and has a pH of 7.0). Putting something too acidic on the face will disrupt the skin’s acid mantle. Even if skincare products designed for topical use have a low pH, they will often include buffering ingredients and other soothing ingredients that make it safe and effective to use on the skin. As far as lightening hyperpigmentation, lemons may actually make it worse over time. Try a Vitamin C serum instead.




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