With the global market size of general skincare at approximately 148 billion USD, it's no surprise to see the sheer amount of blogs, articles and advice floating around on the internet. While some of it is good there are also a lot of silly, unhelpful and downright harmful ‘tips’ out there. A prime example of this is the large number of facial skincare remedies and self-treatments going around, many of which include stuff you can find in your house. Here we take a look at some things you should avoid doing to your face, and some safer alternatives.
Hot Water- Harm level: Very harmful
This one gets a high rating as people are unaware they’re causing harm to their face with hot water, after all, it seems reasonable that hot water = good, right? Many people like to use hot water to wash their face, some even find it soothing and relaxing. However hot water does not have any benefits associated with it in this context. In fact, using hot water regularly to wash your face will strip your skin of its natural oils and moisture leaving you with dry skin. In extreme cases, you may experience breakouts as the oil glands of your facial skin try to compensate from the lack of moisture by producing even more oil!
Alternative: Use lukewarm or room temperature water.
Hair colouring, nail polish- Harm level: Very Harmful
When you get a new hair colour, you might find yourself wanting your eyebrows to have a matching colour. As convenient as it may seem to be, home hair dyeing products contain way too much hydrogen peroxide. Applying it in such close proximity to your eyes is highly unsafe, even in a controlled environment. You risk damaging the sensitive skin around your eyes or worse, cause injury to your eyes. Some people like to use nail polish as a face paint substitution for artistic makeup looks. This is quite unsafe, as most nail polish contains chemicals that can seriously upset your skin. Additionally, when it's time to remove the nail polish, you’ll have to use chemicals like acetone on your face which is even harsher. This may cause dryness, redness and damage to your skin.
Alternative: Coloured eyebrow gels, light mascara or eye shadow are a lot safer. An alternative to nail polish is face paint and costume makeup.
Glue facemask- Harm level: Harmful
This latest facial ‘treatment’ doing the rounds all over social media. People apply school glue to parts of their face (often areas with blackheads), wait for it to dry and then peel it off. The funny part is that this supposed ‘hack’ doesn't even work! At best you’re left with skin irritation and torn blood vessels on your skin tissues. At worse you risk removing the entire surface layer of your skin that's responsible for keeping bacteria from entering too deeply inside your skin.
Alternatives: physical peel-off facial masks, chemical peels, pore cleansing scrubs.
Lemon/Lime juice- Harm level: Harmful
This one has some basis in fact, lemon juice contains acids that when applied to facial skin can lighten and clear your complexion. However, unlike the mild acids found in chemical peels, lemon juice acid is not mild enough to put on the sensitive skin of your face. It’s not just lemon juice, applying juices of most citrus foods would lead to rashes and irritation. In severe cases, going out in the sun after using lemon juice on your face can even cause a type of sunburn called phytophotodermatitis.
Alternatives: potato or tomato slices, mild face peels.
Waxes- Harm level: Harmful
While the skin on the rest of your body can handle waxing procedure, it bears reminding that the skin of your face is more sensitive. Waxing your face can cause a whole host of problems such as redness, rashes, ingrown hair, mild bleeding, infection as well as the most obvious effect, i.e. pain.
Alternatives: Waxing might be the only option for some. Before starting however, always do a small spot test to check if your skin is able to handle a full waxing. Other alternatives include threading, tweezing, shaving, laser hair removal.
Toothpaste, honey, Mayonnaise - Harm level: Silly
These three are more foolish than harmful. Mayonnaise doesn’t allow your skin to breathe properly clogging up your pores. While toothpaste causes damage, discolouration and mild burns and in many cases make your pimples even more prominent. Honey does slow the rate of bacterial infection, it is no more effective than antibacterial soap.
Alternatives: Use an antibacterial soap, face wash and keep the food products back in the fridge!
Hairspray, deodorant, coconut oil - Harm level: Mild harm
Antiperspirant might seem like a clever idea to prevent sweat dripping from your face, but it causes breakouts and acne. This product works primarily by blocking your pores, which is not good for your face.
Similarly, using coconut oil on your face has the same clogging effect as its made from ninety percent saturated fat. Coconut oil does have good results against zits and can be a good supplement to eczema treatment. However, it should only be used for body skin not on your face.
Hydrogen peroxide is prescribed for mild cuts, burns and scrapes as it has antiseptic properties. However, it is usually only suggested in small amounts over the affected areas. Using it on your face can cause minor damage to skin cells. Hydrogen peroxide should only be used as per your doctor's instructions.
While it's not very simple to take good care of your facial skin, it is very easy to stop causing it unintentional harm. Avoid all these products and substances and your skin will thank you. For more information you can always talk to a doctor online on DocsApp.