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Why Not To Use DIY Skincare Treatments

April 3, 2014

Be it a sugar scrub or an avocado facial mask, chances are most women have at some point dabbled in do-it-yourself (DIY) skincare treatments. And while at-home complexion concoctions may seem like a fun, easy and more affordable alternative to professional skincare, according to skincare expert Ellen Clark, a licensed esthetician and founder of Control Corrective Skincare Systems, there is a dark side to DIY.

“DIY beauty lore has been around forever, but the Internet and social media have proliferated the dissemination of skincare ‘tall tales’ that can actually have detrimental effects,” she said. “Before raiding the pantry for an online at-home skincare recipe, remember that many ingredients in their natural state are neither safe nor effective for skin, and the beauty blogger who shared the recipe may in fact be a sixteen-year-old girl!”

Sweet isn’t always skin-friendly. Papaya skin creams, pineapple enzyme cleansers and sugar scrubs line supermarket beauty sections, so you could easily assume these sweet additives are fine for at-home use. However, these ingredients must be formulated for skin and are not necessarily safe in their natural state. If left on too long, natural acids found in citrus fruits can actually cause burns and irritation, while raw sugars and oatmeal can scratch skin.

You aren’t a celebrity. Almost every week, a gorgeous A-lister makes a broad statement about her “simple” skincare routine: olive oil as an allover moisturizer, coconut oil for the face and hair, and so on. While some of these ingredients can indeed be beneficial, before you get greasy, get cautious. Olive oil straight from the cabinet, for example, has not been formulated for the skin and its molecules are therefore too large to be effectively absorbed. Freshness can also pose an issue. Remember that the rich and famous have access to the crème de la crème of beauty treatments and skin specialists, so your skin and hers may not start out the same playing field.

Professional skincare for your skin type is the best recipe. Sure, at-home skin remedies can seem more affordable, but they’re often not worth the risk. Instead, adopt a professional skincare regimen that is specifically formulated for your skin type, and has been tested for quality and safety. 

*Taken from In With Skin article Dangers of DIY Skincare Treatments*

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Doctor Olson is board certified and is fellowship trained as an oculofacial plastic surgeon.
Jane Olson, MD
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