There are SO many strange products people find with similar ingredients to high end beauty and skincare products and everyone seems to want to slather it on their face like it’s magical. Here are 5 products not meant for skincare. We have all heard about those household products that are cheap dupes (and I use that term VERY loosely) that are supposed to work FABULOUSLY as makeup/skincare (and maybe they even do!) but realistically, they aren’t meant for those purposes and the damage in the end will outweigh the short-term benefits.
I think it’s important that people pay really close attention to what they’re putting on their face, and what ingredients are in these products and how your skin will react to them. Anyone can have a reaction to an ingredient in a product, and even if a product you use has one of these ingredients or another harmful one, they’re always at varying concentrations -you may be able to tolerate it at a lower concentration as opposed to a higher one. Keep in mind, products also have additional ingredients that are used to carefully balance out others.
So please refrain from using the following products as cheap dupes for actual skincare products.
Lemon/Lemon Juice in Skincare
I have seen lemon or lemon juice recommended everywhere – beauty magazines, YouTube, Beauty Bloggers, Instagram, Pinterest. I have seen it recommended to clear acne, as a blackhead treatment, to lighten hyperpigmentation, reduce oil – you name it. I have seen it recommended in different forms – add lemon juice to moisturizer, put it on a cotton ball and use as a toner, I have seen someone recommend rubbing half of a lemon on your face. Um, what?
Here’s some insight.
Everyone’s skin has an acid mantle which is a film that is meant to keep things (like, bacteria and viruses) from penetrating the skin. This is, essentially, your skins barrier from everything that’s harmful to our skin. The normal pH balance of human skin is between 4.5-5. Going below 4.5 makes your skin too acidic and above 5 makes it too alkaline. These changes in pH could make your skin more susceptible to bacteria and can result in irritation or make a person more prone to break outs.
Why is this relevant? Lemon carries a pH level of 2.5 which will bring your skin to an unhealthy, acidic pH level. While I understand that some products do have a pH of 2.5 and we still comfortably put those products on our face, we have to remember that these products are carefully formulated by chemists for a very specific purpose and….a lemon is just a lemon.
If that doesn’t convince you – lemon can also be used as a hair lightener in the summer, put it on your hair and sit in the sun and it will turn those beautiful caramel locks of yours lighter. It will also dry them out beyond belief. Imagine what it’s doing to your healthy skin.
Milk of Magnesia
This is actually a MIRACLE product to use as a primer under your makeup. It works fabulously. It’s dirt cheap in comparison to high end primers and works 10 times better. I definitely see the appeal. It’s also extremely disgusting when you actually think about it. I read about this as a primer in so many places, and the beauty blogger in me told me that I HAD to try this out to see what all the hype was about. I have really oily skin. Makeup and my skin just don’t mix – they separate, and then my makeup slides down my face. It’s so attractive. I read that a lot of professional makeup artists use this trick for bridal makeup to keep makeup from sliding around. I wouldn’t believe everything you read though, that’s probably not true.
Using MoM kept me absolutely OIL FREE all day – not a drop of oil broke through that solid barrier in 12 hours. It was quite honestly just MAGIC – left my makeup beautiful and flawless.
Funny side story: This was at least 5 years ago that I tried it. I used it before going into work one day, to see how my makeup held up and my FedEx guy looked at me and said, “well look at you all fancy today and wearing makeup” I always wear makeup to work. Yup.
Would I ever use it again? Not if you paid me!
The beauty (see what I did there?) behind this product is that the ingredients create a solid barrier – that my friend, is the purpose of the product when you use it correctly.
Remember that pH spiel I gave above, where the normal and healthy pH of human skin is between 4.5 and 5? Well, the pH level of milk of magnesia is about 10, highly alkaline. Let me put this in to a little better perspective for you…Milk of Magnesia is only ONE – just one, ladies – step down from PURE AMMONIA which has a pH of 11.6. In other words, it’s fairly damaging.
This product doesn’t have DUAL purposes. It has just one and it’s not as a primer.
On your facial skin – this product has absolutely no place. Your facial skin is very delicate and rubbing alcohol is VERY harsh and drying. I personally try to avoid alcohol in my skincare – even diluted. However, I can’t imagine using it straight up on my face. That’s a disaster. However, alcohol is contained in most skincare ingredients (as a preservative) and some people do have a sensitivity to it, and most times it’s a lower concentration.
I use this as a stain remover with Dawn to scrub stains out of clothes – works fabulously. This has been recommended so many times as an excellent facial scrub to slough off dead skin but only if you want to take the healthy skin with it! Sounds legit. Not only are the baking soda crystals very rough and harsh – it will irritate your skin, make it red and angry (it may not forgive you!). The pH of baking soda is also very high between 8 and 9. It will eventually damage your moisture barrier with continued use. There are other fabulous products on the market that will also effectively exfoliate your skin – try those!
*Disclaimer: Physical exfoliation in any way can be harmful to your skin. I wholly recommend considering chemical exfoliation for the purpose of removing dead skin cells.
Please. Please. Please don’t put this on your skin. This is absolutely not an effective method to lightening acne scars, or curing acne. Using this is beyond damaging to your skin. There are other perfectly safe, and perfectly effective methods to lightening acne scars. This is NOT one of them. I honestly can’t even comprehend putting something so harsh anywhere near my skin.
Right back to the pH spiel I was on about earlier – this product is one step ABOVE Milk of Magnesia. By using bleach, even diluted, for long periods of time you are damaging that moisture barrier and will make your skin susceptible to gross bacteria. Not only that, it will surely dry your skin out beyond belief.
I wrote this post with a permanent cringe face – the whole time, every second. It astounds me every time I see them recommended – I’m literally like…
My face. Every. Time.
Please be very careful with the products that you put on your face, if you’re unsure…google it and find out how harmful it could be. I get it, some may be miracle products…short term, but they truly are bad things to put on facial skin.