4 Skin-Care Hacks You Shouldn’t Try
Beauty hacks are beloved by many not only because they’re cost effective, but also because they typically involve ingredients already in our possession. But some viral beauty “hacks” making waves on the internet can actually pose some major skin-care consequences. They may be clever, but that’s not to say they’re necessarily good for your skin. To put the claims to rest, we tapped board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dendy Engelman, MD, to discover the beauty hacks you should never try.
Using Glue to Remove Blackheads
Of all the beauty hacks you should never try, using glue to remove blackheads ranks at the top of the list. “This is a smart idea in theory, but these products aren’t designed or made in a place that is meant for facial application,” Dr. Engelman says. “That alone means that the product can be contaminated with other ingredients that could be dangerous, particularly if you have any open lesions on your skin. There are many better ways to help unplug pores, like applying a clay mask or visiting your dermatologist for an extraction with sterile tools.” For more tips on how to deal with blackheads, read this.
Using Diaper Rash Cream to Clear Up Acne
Acne can be bothersome and painful, so it makes sense that you’d be willing to apply just about anything onto your skin to help clear yours…even diaper rash cream. But Dr. Engelman urges you to reconsider. “I’m always in support of multipurpose products,” she says. “That said, I would not suggest tossing your acne treatment just yet. The design of diaper rash creams is to provide a barrier seal, usually with the presence of other emollients. In hindsight, this can actually worsen conditions for acne-prone skin if applied all over the face.”
Applying Toothpaste to a Pimple
You may not have heard of using diaper rash cream or glue on your skin, but chances are you’ve heard about applying toothpaste onto your pimples. For whatever reason, this beauty hack is one that many people follow, but it’s wise not to do so, warns Dr. Engelman. “Like rash cream, the ingredients in toothpaste are not meant to be on the skin,” she says. “Baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol and other elements can dry out the skin. It can also lead to peeling.”
Applying Lemon Juice to Lighten Areas of Hyperpigmentation
Dealing with discolored spots on your skin? A quick scan of the internet will list a number of kitchen staples to use to help, including baking soda and lemon juice. The truth is, you’re better off leaving those items where they belong, and that is in your pantry. “There are great uses for lemon and lime, but applying them on dark spots is not one of them,” Dr. Engelman says. “The biggest factor being that it is too hard to control where the acids are going and you risk a negative reaction, whether it’s darkening of the surrounding areas due to increased photo sensitivity or hypopigmentation.” The good news is that there are ways to help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation on your skin. Dr. Engelman suggests starting with retinol. “Studies show that retinol helps diminish the appearance of age spots from both environmental and intrinsic aging,” she says. “Additionally, retinol helps minimize the appearance of pore size.”
Editor’s note: If you’re new to retinols, be sure to ask your dermatologist if your skin is a good candidate. Since the ingredient is potent and powerful, you should always start with a lower concentration and slowly work your way up to help build your skin’s tolerance. Also, be sure to limit your retinol use to the evening hours — the ingredient can cause skin sensitivity to sunlight — and wear broad-spectrum SPF 15 or higher during daytime hours.
The key takeaway here is that it’s wise to visit your dermatologist for the best advice on how to target your skin concerns. It’s just not worth the risk. Looking for beauty hacks that actually do work? We asked a top dermatologist to share seven skin-care and beauty hacks you should try here.