If you’re having any sort of skin troubles, chances are a friend or family member will come to you with some sort of natural wonder cure. There are some home remedies that work wonders for some, but there are plenty of substances no one should put on their face. They can cause dangerous skin reactions, worsen the problem you’re having or decrease skin’s health over time. Here are some regular household products that Delray Beach dermatologist Janet Allenby says you should never use for skin care.
Lemon Juice and Citrus
Put this in your tea, not on your skin. Citrus is highly acidic, very drying, and can cause contact dermatitis, a skin condition that can result in dryness, itching, loss of moisture, and itchy rashes. Not to mention that going out in the sun after having citrus on your skin can cause blistering.
The drying sensation of toothpaste is often suggested as an remedy for pimples because it dries out the pore, and triclosan, a common antibacterial agent, can kill acne bacteria. Unfortunately, the harsh detergents that are perfect for teeth can really irritate the skin around it. Not only that, it can cause the sebaceous glands to overcompensate and produce even more oil. If you’ve got a pimple, keep your hands off it, and use an over-the-counter spot treatment to cure it gently.
Baking soda may sound like an obvious choice for a natural exfoliate because of its gritty nature when mixed with small amounts of water. Unfortunately, this is a poor choice, because its high alkalinity can break down natural skin barriers, allowing more acne-causing bacteria to enter pores. Some studies have shown that baking soda is too harsh to brush your teeth with, which means it’s definitely too harsh for your skin.
This is a common remedy for acne and wounds, but the bubbling action of peroxide that is supposed to indicate “healing” is actually living cells being destroyed by the peroxide damaging their DNA. Repeated use of peroxide for skin care can speed aging because it inhibits cells from regenerating. In the short term, it can also cause dryness, itching, and irritation.
Somehow, slippery nature of butter became rumored to be a cure for a burn. Unfortunately, butter, grease, and other ointments can actually trap heat under the skin, worsening the burn, making it more painful, and slowing healing. If the burn results in a blister or broken skin, butter can cause infection by providing a food source for bacteria. It’s best to rinse it with cool water and keep it clean (and seek medical attention if the burn is moderate to severe).
Unlike baking soda, vinegar (acetic acid) is highly acidic, even in kitchen-use concentrations. It’s long been touted as an acne spot treatment, but it can cause dry patches, itchy red blotches, and worsening acne over time. At best, vinegar is ineffective, and at worst, it can cause early aging, uncomfortable dry and red spots, and poor skin condition over time.
Having beautiful, healthy skin is something many people strive for, and so-called natural home remedies can be tempting. But it’s important to remember that not all folk remedies are actually good for the skin. Avoid the culprits listed above, and do your research before trying any home concoction. You should also do a spot test before using any home remedy to ensure that a large-scale reaction will not occur.
Allenby Dermatology in Florida has treatments for your skin problems so you don’t make any home remedy mistakes.