I am going forward with this post cautiously. I have stopped and will probably not ever put any of these things on my face. That said, with your dermatologist’s permission and instruction, feel free to do whatever you like. Just know the risks. I highly encourage you to talk to your doctor before putting new things on your face, or at least do some good research before diving into a new skincare routine.
Do Your Research Before Putting These Things on Your Face:
Your skin has a pH of 5.5. This is slightly acidic. (Just for fun, cabbage, turnips and watermelon all have a similar pH) Anything too acidic or too alkaline (basic) and you risk disrupting the skin’s natural barrier functioning. Apple cider vinegar has a pH between 2.85 and 3.5 This pH range also belongs to such substances as acid rain, chili sauce, and hydrochloric acid. Ummmmmm no thanks.
I realize that many skincare recipes call for diluting the vinegar. However, unless you are standing there monitoring your vinegar with pH indicators, taking into account the equity of volumes and keeping track of parts per million, you are probably putting something on your face that is too acidic, or too diluted to properly benefit your skin. Just buy some damn BHA and stop hurting yourself, for the love of all that is sacred!
But this one, seriously. Stop. This can be dangerous, especially in the daytime. Basically, this is bad for the reasons above (only lemon has a pH of 2, which is worse), with the added danger of phytophotodermatitis, which is a fancy way of saying it can burn the shit out of your skin. Here is an article (from a reputable source) explaining how compounds in certain plants (citrus juice included) can react with sunlight to cause terrible burns on skin. Yeah, we will totally pass. The choice is pretty simple. Buy a Vitamin C serum and call it good. If you are looking for DIY antibacterial compounds, try honey. It is much safer.
3. Baking Soda
Once again, your skin’s pH is sensitive, and baking soda is a 9 on the pH scale. So, if 2 and 3 were dangerous numbers for their distance from 5.5 (where your skin should be), imagine what a 9 is going to do. Nothing good, I can tell you that! “balancing” the pH with vinegar produces sodium acetate, which can irritate your skin, and is still alkaline. mixing baking soda and lemon produces sodium citrate, which is also alkaline. So, “balancing the pH” doesn’t work.
4. Coconut Oil/Shea Butter
This means straight, 100% coconut oil/ Shea butter. This does not include products with coconut oil in the ingredients list (or at least not if it is lower on the list). On this one I highly encourage you to do your research. If your pores don’t clog easily, you are probably okay to do this, If your pores are always clogged, putting these things on your face might not be a good idea. It all comes down to the idea of comedogenicity, if you are of the camp that accepts that comedogenicity is a thing that can be measured and accepted as consistent for all people.
Basically the idea is that some things are more likely to clog pores than others thus, some things are better to use on skin than others. Opponents of this idea argue that there are too many personal and environmental factors to say accurately what will and won’t cause an individual’s pores, so the idea of comedogenicity is flawed. Like I said, do you research and make your own decision on this one.
5. Hot Water
There is no controversy surrounding this one. Hot water can damage your skin’s moisture barrier! Hot water strips oil from the skin, causing it to dry out. It also evaporates faster. This can cause itching, redness, rashes, eczema or dermatitis and inflammation tepid water so your skin starts with less moisture during your skincare routine. Over time.
To avoid damaging your skin, do not wash your face in a hot shower. If you cannot stand your shower or bath water to be on the tepid side, wash your face before or after showering and keep your face out of the hot water.
Now, five things you should be putting on your face regularly!
1. Lukewarm/Tepid Water:
You should put water on your face twice a day. If you have prefer not to wash your face with cleanser twice a day, then cleanse in the evening with a cleanser and use water only in the morning. Exposing your skin to water adds necessary moisture. This is important both morning and night as we lose water both over night and during the day, and it needs to be replenished.
Toner should be used every time you put water on your face, which means morning and night. If you are not used to toner, or don’t know where to start, you can start with 100% aloe vera juice. Toning helps prepare your skin to better absorb your moisturizers and serums. It is a step you really shouldn’t skip! I love Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Lotion toner and Etude House Moistfull Collagen Toner.
Whether you use a chemical exfoliant such as an AHA, lactic acid or glycolic acid, or a manual exfoliant like a scrub, you should exfoliate at least once a week. The American Academy of Dermatology states that you can actually work your skin up to exfoliating every day if your skin can take it (please ask your dermatologist before doing this though.)
Exfoliation takes off the top layer of dead skin, and allows your skincare products to do their jobs more effectively! Exfoliate after cleansing and follow with toner! I like Skinfood Black Sugar Scrub (manual exfoliant) as well as The Ordinary 10% Lactic acid (chemical exfoliant)
PLEASE ALWAYS USE SPF AFTER USING CHEMICAL EXFOLIANTS as they can increase your skin’s sensitivity to UV rays. Also, never combine chemical exfoliants or use other acids with chemical exfoliants (this includes anything with Vitamin C) I use my exfoliants at night and my Vitamin C during the day.
4. SPF Sunscreen:
SPF is an absolute must every day! If it is rainy, use SPF, if it is wintertime, use SPF, if you are indoors all day, use SPF, if you are darker-toned use SPF! Solar radiation causes dark spots, ageing and cancer. It is present even on cloudy days and it comes indoors where there are windows. It also happens to be in fluorescent bulbs. Yep, all those spirally CFL bulbs that save us money and energy and are amazing, so don’t stop using them, also emit a bit of UV. So, slather on that SPF and don’t forget to reapply every 2 hours!
Fun Fact (and some skin science): Japan is one of the world-leaders in SPF technology! In the U.S. we rate our SPF as “broad spectrum” but that doesn’t really tell you how much UVA is being blocked. the SPF rating exists for UVB rays (the ones that penetrate the deeper layers of skin), but not for UVA, the rays that darken skin and cause hyperpigmentation. Japan came up with the PA+ system to rate UVA rays. PA+ can prevent darkening of pigment with lighter UVA exposure, like in the early morning or inside. PA++ is stronger, and UV+++ can prevent darkening and hyperpigmentation when UVA rays are very strong, like in the mid-day heat of summertime. I love Japanese sunscreens because there are so many formulas from creams to lightweight gels and they offer products for varying skin-types as well! I like Hada Labo 5 in 1 UV Gel SPF 50 PA+++.
If you have ever heard that oily people should skip moisturizer, I want you to put that thought out of your head right now. EVERYONE needs moisturizer. If you are oily, there are a multitude of moisturizers out there formulated just for you. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is a great one as is L’Oreal Hydra Genius Normal/Oily.
For normal, combination and dry, I am obsessing over the Too Cool For School Egg Mellow Cream. This is a Korean brand 5 in 1 moisturizer, eye cream, serum, neck cream and sleep mask all in one (I still use a serum under it). The smell is amazing and I want to bathe in it.
I hope this cleared up some misinformation and will help you think more about what you put on your skin. Any time you read or hear anything on the internet, it is good to give it a Google and see if it is true and what the experts say. Better yet, talk to your dermatologist!
Let us know if you enjoyed this post and what topic you would like us to cover, or what products you would like for us to review in the future.
❤ – Lynn