Oat scrubs, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and many other “natural” and “organic” remedies are just a part of the huge natural skincare trend that is on the rise.
Natural and organic products have taken the beauty industry by storm, and there is no going back. You can see it all over social media, where influencers swear that going all-natural has helped transform their skin.
Obviously, many of us are taking an interest in this because who doesn’t want their skin to look glowy and free of all the “bad stuff” such as pigmentation, blemishes, zits, and wrinkles.
So if you’ve ever complained about a skin concern and some of your friends told you to start using all-natural products you can mix up from ingredients found in your kitchen cabinet, welcome to this article which is the courtesy of Pinterest moms and Instagram influencers.
Here are 7 TERRIBLE skincare trends that drive me crazy, as an esthetician:
- Using coconut oil for “moisturizing”
- Treating acne with apple cider vinegar
- Using baking soda to get rid of blackheads
- Applying natural oils for “hydration”
- Using essential oils for acne
- Experimenting with homemade masks
- DIY scrubs
Coconut Oil For Moisturizing
Coconut oil has really built a name for itself in the natural skincare community and is considered by many as a miracle ingredient that can do no wrong when it comes to applying it to the skin.
This is for the simple reason that it works. There have been several studies done on this ingredient that show coconut oil can soften the skin and can be beneficial for wound healing.
Rightfully, it is one of the few ingredients you rarely hear a bad word about and it is often used as the main ingredient in many DIY beauty hacks.
But as it turns out, coconut oil is not the hero that is going to save you from all problems skin-related.
And in order to understand this, we need to get a little bit scientific around here, so here it goes.
Coconut oil is occlusive. This means it creates a barrier that traps moisture into the skin. And while you might be thinking where the heck am I getting with this, give me a chance.
There is one huge flaw in this claim as I am about to point out.
Your skin receives nutrients, oxygen, and “hydration” from the deeper layers of your skin and it reaps the benefits of having a great diet and good water intake in order to remain hydrated because these nutrients travel through your blood.
Your blood gives nutrients and oxygen to your cells so they can grow and reproduce and since your skin is made entirely out of cells, you should focus on improving your diet and increase your water intake in order to improve your skin concerns.
Additionally, your skin loves ingredients known as humectants that have the ability to pull moisture from the environment and into your skin.
What coconut oil is supposed to do it to create a barrier and prevent moisture from evaporating from the surface of the skin, but does it really help when there is nothing from the inside that can escape?
You do the math, but the answer to this equation looks pretty clear to me. Coconut oil does f*ck all when it comes to moisturizing and hydrating your skin. Yes, it softens it because that is what oils do, but it does NOT moisturize or hydrate it.
Besides this, coconut oil is highly comedogenic, which means it will clog your pores and lead to acne breakouts. It has been rated 4 out of 5 on the comedogenic scale, and it is definitely not a good idea to be turning to coconut oil to solve your skin concerns. I repeat:
CLOGGED PORES ARE THE CAUSE FOR BREAKOUTS.
You may blame it on your hormones or whatever other lies you’ve been fed by the online skincare community, but it all comes down to clogged pores.
Moreover, do you know what is the main reason for dry skin? Lack of moisture and oil. Not from the outside, but from the inside.
We use moisturizers to seal everything in and prevent moisture from evaporating through the skin surface, not coconut oil to “hydrate” or “moisturize” our dry skin.
Stop putting coconut oil on your face, for the love of skin!
Apple Cider Vinegar For Acne.
I just want to write that apple cider is the satan of skincare and leave it at that, however, for this article to achieve any readings at all, I need to give a little bit of an explanation of why I feel so strongly against it.
So here it goes.
Apple cider vinegar has been around for quite some time, and I admit to even trying it out on my fragile, acneic, and inflamed skin in combination with clay and hope that it will solve all my skin problems once and for all.
This dangerous ingredient is widely promoted on the internet as a natural chemical exfoliant that will remove the buildup of dead skin cells, bacteria, dirt, and keep your skin clear, bright, and glowy.
Right off the bat, I am going to say that this is a very dangerous thing to say about a burning acid in a bottle and I couldn’t care less about who will get offended by this.
By combining these claims with a $3 for a 200ml bottle, an online beauty guru will have tons of people swarming on their website, social media profile, or YouTube channel, eager to learn how to get clear skin with apple cider vinegar which (not surprisingly) will result in a recipe for a disaster.
Apple cider vinegar is an ingredient that is used as a salad seasoning and has a pH of 2.78 which is about the equivalent of professionally done chemical peels.
The thing is that apple cider vinegar is not a chemical peel, it is just a salad seasoning that is incredibly dangerous to be anywhere near your skin, especially if you suffer from inflammation and acne.
After doing some research, I found out that there have been reports of diluted apple cider helping with acne when applied to the skin as a toner, but there is not enough evidence or strong research studies to support this.
Until there is a piece of sustainable evidence that confirms it is safe to be used as an acne treatment on the skin, apple cider vinegar should never be considered a treatment of choice.
Additionally, check out my full article on why you shouldn’t use apple cider vinegar on your skin.
Baking Soda For Blackheads.
Baking soda is being championed as the “end-all skin concerns” by the natural beauty movement or whatever they call themselves.
From using it to wash your hair, to magically removing blackheads from your skin, soothing bug and mosquito bites and whatnots, you name it – baking soda has the answer.
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate (am I the only one that doesn’t like the sound of that?), is commonly used to relieve acidic heartburn and rightfully so because of its whooping high pH of 9.
It is a basic alkaline chemical that helps neutralize acids. Acids. Acids as in neutralizing and disrupting the acid mantle on the surface of your healthy acidic skin.
Washing or exfoliating with sodium bicarbonate can remove your skin’s protective barrier, alter your skin’s pH, disrupt the good bacteria that live on the surface of your skin, and leave your skin exposed to infections, acne breakouts, inflammation, dryness, and all hell.
Baking soda can severely irritate the skin and it is especially notorious for causing armpit rashes, redness, and burning for some people that use it for a long time as an ingredient that is supposed to banish odor in homemade natural deodorants.
Is it really worth mentioning that you should stop putting yourself at risk from these uncomfortable side effects just because someone told you that a natural deodorant is better?
Using baking soda to wash, exfoliate, and get rid of blackheads isn’t worth the damage you cause to your skin.
Natural Oils For Hydration.
Carrier or natural oils such as avocado, jojoba, almond, and whatever are big right now amongst the natural skincare craze you see whenever you log into Pinterest or Instagram.
These are used to make DIY face masks, homemade essences, and moisturizers, and the same principle goes for them as for coconut oil.
Oils are occlusives that are responsible for softening the skin and there are countless of them you can just purchase for $10 on Amazon and use them in your homemade skincare experiment.
No, they are not good for your skin and no, they do not moisturize the skin. They soften the skin, which is not the same thing as bringing hydration and moisture into it.
If you are someone with a dry skin type, you might find oils such as rosehip oil slightly beneficial, however, oils have the tendency of clogging the pores, and I have had the chance of working with several clients with extremely dry and dehydrated skin that also suffer from acne.
All of them had told me that they are using oils in their skincare routine as an attempt to relieve it from dryness. This proves my exact point that oils can clog pores and cause acne breakouts even for people with dry skins.
Yes, your favorite influencer may be trying to convince you that certain oils they are trying to sell are perfect for your skin. But can you really trust them…with your skin?
Еssential Oils For Acne.
Here comes one of the biggest bulls*it I’ve heard from the natural skincare community/Pinterest moms/Instagram influencers/Wannabe skin experts.
Essential oils in their purest form can be extremely irritating if not diluted properly and brought down to the pH our skin can tolerate which is, by the way, 4.2-5.5.
Some essential oils such as tea tree and lavender have mild antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe and heal acne, however, this is almost always the case when essential oils like these come in a properly formulated product.
Something which you cannot do from the comfort of your own home.
You need a vast understanding (and a certificate in aromatherapy) before you jump on the crazy wagon and start using essential oils as a treatment of choice for various skin concerns.
You don’t know what that bottle of essential oil you bought from Amazon has inside and what is the concentration. So, how are you supposed to know how much to dilute it? And with what?
Just do your skin a favor and purchase a product that contains tea tree oil that can help you a ton with your acne, instead of playing a mad scientist inside your kitchen.
Homemade masks are big right now because they are quick, easy to make, and are made with ingredients that all of us have access to.
All you need to do in order to whip up one of these is go to your kitchen and throw in random items such as banana, avocado, papaya, eggs, or whatever in a blender and keep it on your skin for several minutes in order to have that Instagram-worthy glowing skin.
While it sounds easy and quite worth it, it really isn’t and I am going to tell you exactly why.
Because food is not meant to be used on the face.
Yes, I understand the convenience, however, there are really no significant nor long-term benefits a DIY mask made out of fruits, vegetables, os spices can give you.
The skin is our largest organ that is meant to protect our inner and more complex organs from all the bad that’s in the environment such as dirt, pollution, bacteria, etc.
Therefore, food (which is meant to go in the stomach, by the way) cannot deliver any significant benefits for our skin while sitting on our faces, because it doesn’t contain anything that would potentially address our existing skin concerns.
Your skin will benefit significantly more if the same beneficial fruit such as banana, avocado, papaya, blueberries, etc, goes into your stomach and delivers the vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants into your system.
Yes, you will have much nicer skin if you ate the damn thing, instead of wasting a portion of perfectly good food while applying it on your face.
PS: The Aztec Clay Mask is terrible!
I don’t care what brand it is or how much you paid for it, all scrubs are evil.
And, do you know what is more evil than paying money for a scrub? Making one yourself.
Homemade scrubs are, most of the time, made with sugar granules and even oats, which, again, is food that shouldn’t be wasted on the face but used for what’s intended to be used – food.
Scrubs made out of sugars or oats have tremendously large granules that increase inflammation when being rubbed across the face as well as help for all that pus and bacteria from your acne to be spread around quicker than your skin has the chance to recover.
Constant inflammation equals more acne, which then results in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, post-inflammatory erythema, and damaged tissue that is nearly impossible to fully treat and get rid of, even with laser treatments.
Want A Simple Skincare Routine?
It’s not as hard as one may think.
Skincare doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here’s a quick guide for beginners explaining how to create a simple skincare routine that works according to your skin’s needs.
My name is Simone and I am a certified skin specialist. I created this website to teach my readers how to take great care of their skin and I also like to occasionally share my honest opinions on skincare products I’ve tried. You can learn more about me here.
The Acne Solution: Your Ultimate Guide To Flawless Complexion
An extensive, no-nonsense course showing you how to never have acne again, from a licensed Esthetician specializing in oily/acne-prone skin.