The risks of homemade products
DIY skin care recipes are all over the Internet, boasting to miraculously transform your skin. Most dermatologists, though, are skeptical of how those claims hold up. “Lots of things that are in our kitchens are likely to break our skin out, and you can be allergic to ingredients,” says board-certified dermatologist Tracy Evans, MD. For instance, the lemon in skin brightening recipes can make your skin extra sensitive to sunlight, leaving you with blisters or a rash, says board-certified dermatologist Esta Kronberg, MD. Even if a homemade product doesn’t do damage, it probably won’t do as much good as you’d hoped, Dr. Evans says. She recommends sticking with products that have been through clinical trials for your big skin problems, but says DIY recipes can be fun and feel good. Before you smear anything on your face, she recommends doing a patch test. Hold a bit of the product to your arm with plastic wrap for a few days. If you don’t get any bad reactions, you’ve got the green light to use these dermatologist-approved recipes on your face. Check out what happened when one writer put homemade skin products to the test.
Oatmeal for a cleanser
If harsh retinoids from anti-aging products have left your skin sensitive, swap your usual cleanser for this gentle oatmeal and honey scrub from board-certified dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD, founder of SKINxFIVE. Oatmeal and honey have anti-inflammatory properties, and honey has the added bonus of being an antiseptic. The lactic acid in yogurt, meanwhile, acts like a mild exfoliator. Grinding sunflower seeds packs a one-two punch too—the grounds have scrubbing power, plus you’ll release their moisturizing oils. “You want to add a little oil to it because you’re stripping the skin, so you leave it smooth but moisturized,” says Dr. Shamban. Grind a tablespoon each of oats and sunflower seeds in a blender. Combine the mixture with two tablespoons of yogurt and one tablespoon of warm honey. Gently scrub it onto your face, neck, or chest, and leave on for three minutes before rinsing off with warm water.