If you feel like being a mad scientist in the kitchen and whipping up a batch of your own homemade skin care recipe, compliments of the internet, there are a few things you should know before proceeding. While there are plenty of regular, everyday kitchen ingredients that may have some benefits for your skin, there are others that can backfire if you’re not careful. Keep in mind, too, that some ingredients, although perfectly fine on their own, can react with other ingredients in unexpected ways.
Here are a few of the do-it-yourself skin care combinations that might be worth trying, as well as a few to avoid.
Ingredients to Try
• Blueberries, kiwi, and pomegranate: Most skin types should be able to tolerate this mixture fairly well, and the antioxidants found in these fruits may help to provide free radical protection and smooth and brighten the skin’s appearance.
• Avocado and honey: The idea here is that avocados are very rich in essential fatty acids, and honey also acts as a moisturizer and antioxidant and may also aid in wound repair .
• Basil and water: Because basil has strong antiseptic properties, it may help to clear away the bacteria that causes acne while also improving the skin’s circulation . To try this, boil dried basil leaves in water, then let cool. Strain the leaves from the water and spritz onto the skin using a spray bottle.
Ingredients to Avoid
Despite some misleading advice, many seemingly harmless ingredients can have some serious negative effects on your skin, especially if it tends to be sensitive or very reactive. Here are a few ingredients to avoid slathering on your skin, unless cleared by your dermatologist:
• Lemon juice: There are so many skin care “recipes” out there that include lemon juice. The problem with this ingredient, however, is that it is highly acidic and can therefore throw off your skin’s natural pH balance. In some severe cases, it can even cause a chemical burn. This risk is greatly increased if you head out into the sunshine.
• Baking soda: Baking soda is another popular ingredient for DIY skin care concoctions, but this ingredient is much too alkaline and abrasive to be beneficial to the skin. In fact, it can damage the skin’s barrier and make matters worse .
• Dairy: The jury is still out on whether or not consuming dairy leads to acne, but there is plenty of evidence to indicate a link between dairy and unwanted skin side effects. Some studies point to the added hormones and steroids present in many dairy products as some of the potential problems associated with dairy and skin health . While some people may not experience adverse reactions to topical application of dairy products, others could exacerbate existing conditions like acne and dry skin.
Bottom Line: Use Caution and Do Your Research
While the occasional homemade skin care mask or spa day isn’t likely to hurt your skin, you do need to be careful about which ingredients you’re including. Know that every recipe you find on the internet isn’t necessarily the best advice for your particular skin, so do a little research on each ingredient and their possible interactions with other ingredients before putting them on your face.
If you want to reap the benefits of ingredients like antioxidants and amino acids without having to dig out your blender, you can also look for proven skin care products that contain them. AminoGenesis Perfect Reflection, for instance, includes four powerful antioxidants to help even and brighten the look and feel of your skin while providing both oxidative and carbon free radical protection.
You can also find a potent blend of plant-derived amino acids in AminoGenesis products such as Therapeutic Facial Repair, Really, Really Clean, and Cocoon for a boost of skin nourishment and hydration while also smoothing away the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.