DIY : Worst DIY skincare ingredients – JackieB – Medium

I love Pinterest. I love DIYs and life hacks. I’ve been on Pinterest since you had to be invited and wait a week for approval. But that doesn’t mean that all the amazing DIY recipes on there are good for your skin. Some are downright awful and damaging. Let’s go through some of the most popular DIY skincare ingredients on Pinterest and see how they stack up.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) & Crushed Aspirin for blemishes

Oooh, what could be more natural than Apple Cider Vinegar? Doesn’t it do everything including weight loss, hair growth and incubating unicorn seeds?

I’m not here to debate the merits of any ingredient. But this is a big fat “NO” for your face. ACV is acidic and can actually burn your skin, especially when used undiluted. And any time you crush a tablet, you alter the drug’s stability and ingredient ratio. So you’re basically mixing a mystery of acids, applying it to your face and hoping for the best. But if you’re ok with that, who am I to tell you how to run your life?

Any. Kind. Of. Food.

Any time you mix food ingredients for your face you run the risk of bacteria, fungus and yeast breeding in your concoction. Plus, you don’t know the exact contents of acids, sugars etc. in any one piece of fruit. It’s a guessing game for the DIY’er. They’re also almost impossible to preserve, so if by some chance, you’re a chemist who manages to pick the exact right Ph balance for your kiwi, pineapple and broccoli face mask, you’ll need to keep it refrigerated and use it within 3 days.

Coconut Oil

Y’all, I get it. It would be amazing if one miracle product could cure all that ails you. Especially if it was all natural and smelled like a beach. But coconut oil is NOT IT. Coconut oil rates a 4 out of 5 on the comedogenic scale, which means it’s basically guaranteed to clog and block your pores. Blocked pored lead to blemishes, inflammation and more. It creates a barrier on your skin, which might be awesome if you’re swimming the English channel, but not so much for day to day use.

And because someones gonna say it, yes I mean as a makeup remover or cleanser too. You might think it’s ok because you’re rinsing it off, but it can still leave a film barrier and clog your pores.

Baking Soda

This is another highly touted cure-all ingredient, but you don’t want this bad boy anywhere near your face. Baking soda is alkaline. Like, majorly alkaline. Your skin’s Ph is about 4.5–5, baking soda is 9. Using something that alkaline straight on your skin will damage your skin’s barrier which can cause severe moisture loss and actual skin damage.


Lemon is another highly acidic ingredient you don’t want on your skin. Not just your face, anywhere. Also, citrus is phototoxic. Remember Sun-in? Citrus oils can cause blistering rashes if they’re on your skin and exposed to the sun. So, yeah. Blistering rashes sound fun.

Toothpaste overnight on a blemish

Does your skin look like a tooth?? This is a hard pass. It has ingredients that are actually more irritating to your skin than a formulated acne treatment and could even lead to chemical burns. Even worse, it doesn’t even dry out your pimple, just the skin around it.

Hydrogen Peroxide and/or Rubbing Alchohol

I feel like I shouldn’t have to tell you that anything that can be used to sterilize surfaces is too harsh to use on your delicate facial skin, but here I am because people keep saying rubbing alcohol is a great toner.


Sugar as a scrub on your lips isn’t terrible. But sugar as a facial scrub is a bad idea. Its way too jagged and can cause micro-tears in your skin. Micro-tears can lead to blemishes, infections and can prematurely age your skin. So pretty much the opposite of what you’re trying to do by exfoliating. Also see the “food” point above.

This actually goes for coffee grounds, nut shells, sea salt or any other at home scrub ingredients.

Any recipe for homemade sunscreen

Please, for the love of Pete do not try to make your own sunscreen. This one is big because proper suncare isn’t just about looking older. Cancer is on the line here. Sunscreen is made, tested, re-tested and regulated to make sure you are getting the EXACT SPF you need. You can’t DIY this. Please don’t.

I understand the movement towards less chemicals and more “natural” products. But always remember, natural doesn’t necessarily mean good for you. Crude oil was once plants and animals that just had time and pressure. That’s pretty natural, but I won’t be slathering it on my face anytime soon.

Commercial skin care is highly regulated. It’s been precisely formulated and tested to be safe. Plus ingredient lists are government mandated, so you can easily avoid something if you want to. Save the DIY for something crafty and use good products on your skin. It is your largest organ after all.

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