Are these things REALLY good for your skin?

January 13, 2015

Recently I feel like I see a lot of posts about homemade masks, where people are recommending things that are really not that good for your face and I felt that something should be written about it!

I didn't know well why those things where so bad, so I decided to educate myself on the subject!
It was quite funny actually, I first shared something similar on a Icelandic FB group that is supposed to be for makeup tips and stuff like that, although the girls post absolutely ANYTHING there! Name it and they most likely have talked about it (Even though some members go down to 10 years of age...)

When I posted on that group I immediately got a reply from one girl I know telling me that lemons are OK once in a while on your face and so was white toothpaste! (Ironically when I answered her with cold hard facts she deleted her comment!)
Well, I decided to check better into it to know my facts as well as I could (Did some light research the first time). And now I want to share with you all what I found! So I hope you like this post! What I want to talk about are lemons, sugar, toothpaste, baking soda and Vaseline (Or to be exact the main ingredient, patroleum jelly).

When life gives you lemons, use them???

So lets start with talking about what the beauty gurus say about the qualities of using a lemon as an ingredient in your homemade mask! Or more correct how they advise you to use it! (Sources are in he hearts)

  • Cut a lemon in half dip it in sugar and rub over your face, works as an exfoliate.
    ----The person that wrote this said that you could use lemon as an everyday cleanser...
    ----Aaaand lighten/ even out skin tone.
  • Mix with honey and oatmeal for a thick mask, use it 2-3 times a week for 3-4 weeks and get rid of those pesky facial hairs!!!
    ---- The writer calls it a "gentle mask".
  • Minimize pores by mixing lemon and honey.
  • Lemon- olive oil hand scrub, for softer hands.
    ---Other masks with lemon and olive oil for the face also include oatmeal and egg.

And many more!
There are endless recipes and advices about how to use normal household items in your home made masks!

The biggest reason is the pH value!
But what is the pH? According to FutureDerm pH is:
The skins pH value is usually between 4.5-6.5. Making in slightly acidic. While the lemon is usually from 2-3 (most common is 2.3). Making the lemon as well acidic. So you might wonder why it would not be OK to use lemon on skin. That is because the pH level of the skin is already doing its job of killing off bacterias and protecting the skin, it doesn't need an extra hand from the lemon. That said people suffering from acne often have their pH level to high meaning it needs to be brought down to fix the problem, but not from the lemon.

This means that if the skin gets too acidic or too alkaline, it disrupts the skins natural pH, and can cause you all kinds of trouble!

Lemons and other citrus fruits can cause:

But the acid in citrus fruits is about 5-10% which is high enough to cause those problems!
There are a lot of benefits to the lemon, seeing as it has a lot of Vitamin E, and it can lighten your skin, help it retain moisture and even strengthen it! However if you want those qualities you are better off sticking with beauty products containing lemon, as they are formulated to be good for your skin and not cause any irritation. Also intake of Vitamin C everyday is really good for your skin as well as it helps your body fight off against cold.

My conclusion:
Lemon straight on your skin causes more harm than benefits! If you want the benefits of the lemon stick to products than have lemons as one of their ingredientsas they are formulated to have the correct pH level.

I think second to my dislike of lemons in homemade masks is my dislike of using products intended for the mouth on your face or feet! With that I mean toothpaste and mouthwashes! Although I am not going to go into mouthwashes for now, but I have seen foot baths that have Listerine in it, and I read upon it once in the past and deemed it not worth the trouble, so read WELL upon it if you ever decide to try it! (Meaning LOOK for the bad stuff)

Why does it "work"? Toothpaste most often has sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium fluoride, the former one dries out the skin! However both of these are skin irritants. Toothpaste of course also needs an antibacterial and antimicrobial agent and that is triclosan, ALSO a skin irritant! 
It also contains calcium carbonate, which can be helpful to oily and acne prone skin. That is because it helps absorbing excess oil, and dry out the skin. In the past toothpastes also used to, USED to being the key word, have zinc as an ingredient. Zinc works as an antioxidant when applied to skin.

Check these links for researches about toothpaste as an skin irritant:

Often it doesn't even dry out the pimples. Not to mention putting toothpaste on olive skin or darker can give you dark spots! This is most likely due to the melanin as it tends to be more reactive, and it takes these spots a long time to go away! Even after the skin irritation goes away!

Admittedly white toothpaste is supposed to be not as bad, but why use toothpaste to get rid of pimples when there are already products DESIGNED for that exact purpose!?

 My Conclusion:
Toothpaste most likely started to be talked about being good for pimple while it still had zinc in it, and now that it doesn't have any anymore there are no good qualities. Toothpaste is more likely to do something bad on your face than helping anything. If you have problems with acne, go to a dermatologist, they will help you more than toothpaste ever can.
Granulated sugar is as far from fine as something can be! With lot of rugged and sharped edged it cuts into your skin, and not in a fine way. Sugar on your feet is OK, however the skin on the face is so fine that sugar holds no benefits for it.
Even many exfoliates and scrubs designed for the face are too harsh, so watch out.

My Conclusion:
hahAH! NOPE!
Remember how lemons were 2-3 on the pH scale compared to the 4.5-6.5 of the skin?
Well baking soda is pH 9!!!! It disrupts the skins barrier making it more suspect-able to bacterias and causes moisture loss! 

Must read about Baking Soda and its pH value!!!

Really recommend reading this article! A really good read!

My Conclusion:
Keep it in your baking!
The main ingredient of Vaseline is petroleum jelly, also called petrolatum. Believe it or not petroleum jelly is a byproduct of the oil industry. It has been used to cure dehydrated and flaky skin, and diaper rash.

What Vaseline does is is seal in what already is there. Meaning it will seal in the moisture, sweat and dirt. While also effectively suffocating your pores, according to one source it also breaks down collagen! Yikes!! It also aggravates acne and rosacea, and if for those who like to rub Vaseline on and inside their noses, it can be bad if done too often as if patroleum jelly gets into the lungs it can cause lipid pneumonia. 

My Conclusion:
I used to used Vaseline ALL.THE.TIME!!!!
Usually only on my lips, but I dare say I will quit it from now on. It seems that Vaseline only makes you FEEL like it is working, while not really doing so much for you...

My thought about the use of these ingredients is that people only see the immediate result of the item they used, instead of the long term result. Like I often say, it might SEEM like it works, but did it leave your skin in good condition in the long run? 
I so hope you all can learn something from this and I highly advice you all to READ, READ, READ about the stuff you are putting in your homemade masks and be extra careful about what you put on your face!

Other stuff to keep away from your face:
Hairspray, Rubbing Alcohol, Body Lotion, Hydrogen Peroxide, Hot Water 

This was a bit more serious post than what we usually do. But we want to be able to make some posts like this from time to time and hopefully that will be well received^^
Thank you all for reading and I hope I got this off my chest in a good way!♡

All sources

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