Over the last several years, the do-it-yourself skin care trend has gained some interest. With ingredients easily found in a grocery store and a little extra work, people are mixing up their own formulations for a DIY skin care routine or as a remedy for a specific skin issue. Before you raid your kitchen pantry in search of DIY skin care ingredients, however, we want to arm you with a little information about some of the more commonly used ingredients.
Coconut oil is gentle on your skin and is perfect for adding hydration to dry skin. It can reduce inflammation and has antibacterial properties that can kill certain bacteria. The down side is that it is highly comedogenic, which means that it clogs pores. It’s comedogenic nature, however, is also the reason for its ability to lock in moisture. Those with sensitive, oily or acne prone skin should use caution. Because of this, coconut oil is best applied to the body rather than on your face.
We are a little partial to aloe but not without good reason as it has many benefits to the skin. After all, these many benefits are the exact reason why we start with a base of high quality, pharmaceutical-grade aloe vera for all of our products. Aloe penetrates the skin like no other base ingredient and is absorbed deeply into the skin’s layers. It encourages the healing of tissue because of its excellent ability to regenerate skin cells. Aloe also has antimicrobial properties that allow it to be effective at addressing skin conditions that have a bacterial component. Aloe also has anti-inflammatory capabilities and it won’t clog your pores.
It is important to use only properly harvested and processed aloe to ensure the highest quality. Simply using fresh aloe from a household plant may not achieve the outcome you are looking for. That’s because unprocessed aloe contains irritating substances that could result in more harm than good.
When you’re talking homemade mechanical exfoliators, using sugar as an ingredient is a good option—better than most. Sugar is a natural humectant that attracts moisture from the air and will plump up the skin. Other options, like salt, do the opposite and pull moisture out, leaving your skin drier. And since sugar granules are smaller, they provide gentle, subtle exfoliation when used as a scrub. But regardless of whether you use a sugar scrub or some other scrub as a mechanical exfoliator, it is best to use only on your body. The jagged sharp-edged nature of the particles can be too abrasive for your face and may cause micro-tears in the skin’s surface, leading to possible inflammation and irritation.
Jojoba oil is a mild non-comedogenic emollient that when applied directly to the skin, seals it with a protective barrier to keep the skin from losing moisture. It is also an antioxidant that contains natural forms of vitamin E that aid in skin repair.
There are some ingredients that should never be used as skin care remedies:
- Baking soda as an exfoliator results in damage to the skin’s natural moisture barrier, which causes moisture loss and impairs your skin’s ability to regulate itself.
- Lemon juice to lighten and brighten the skin disrupts the skin’s acid mantle and can cause irritation or burn skin.
- Hydrogen peroxide is great for preventing infection on minor cuts and abrasions but when used continually as a DIY skin care ingredient, it can result in inflammation and burning to the skin while decreasing your skin’s ability to heal itself by stripping away its protective barriers and moisture levels.
It is always wise to exercise caution when experimenting with a DIY skin care ingredient or recipe to ensure you are using safe and stable ingredients on your skin. Not all ingredients interact well with each other or are tolerated by certain skin types so only use DIY skin care solutions that have been thoroughly researched, come from a credible source or have been recommended by a licensed skin care professional.