Cooking ingredients classified according to whether they are safe for DIY

Everyone seems to be riding the “natural beauty” wave these days, and home remedies for skin, made with cooking ingredients, are more popular than ever. But not everything you read in WhatsApp or watch in YouTube videos is good skin care advice. Just because it seems easy to grab things from the fridge and slap them in the face doesn’t mean it will work or help you.

So, if you love DIY skin care, these are the cooking ingredients that are safe to apply on the face, and the ones that are not.

The safest cooking ingredients to put on your face


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Not only is yogurt filled with probiotics to help maintain the acidic mantle on the skin’s surface, it also contains lactic acid to help chemically exfoliate the skin gently. The lipids in this ingredient nourish dry skin and its high protein composition helps repair broken skin areas where you have old scars and flaking. So, anyone with damaged and dull skin has an interest in mixing a little curd into their face masks, as it smooths out the texture of the skin.


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Oats are said to be soothing, even though they seem to be really tough and rough. Once you mix it with liquid and apply it, however, it becomes gentle and the effect it has on the skin is simply miraculous. Ideal for sensitive skin, oatmeal baths are often recommended for people with rashes, sunburns, and many skin sensitivities. We would say that applying oats to irritated skin is much better than using scented masks!


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Sweet, pure honey is a rarity these days, but in its true form, it’s great for giving skin a glow. This is mainly because honey is a humectant, which means that it draws water to the surface of the skin. So if your skin is dehydrated, this is what you need. Honey is also loaded with antioxidants, which help replenish skin ravaged by free radicals. If that wasn’t enough, it also contains enzymes that lightly exfoliate the skin and renew it.

Green tea

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We all know that green tea is high in antioxidants and great as a drink, but it also has benefits when applied topically. Green tea, whether it’s the infused leaves or the liquid itself, are both good for the skin. Massaging the leaves or mixing them together to make a face mask surprisingly brightens the face, making acne scar spots less noticeable. The tea itself is an astringent, yet mild which does not dry out the skin. So, if you soak cottons in this liquid and place them all over your face, your skin will be hydrated, plumped and refreshed.

Cooking ingredients that you should NEVER put on your face

Lemon juice

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Lemon juice is a HUGE contact irritant due to its high acidity. Many DIY recipes for skin lightening masks recommend it, but it’s literally one of the worst things to put on your skin. Just because it contains vitamin C doesn’t mean it doesn’t also contain a myriad of other ingredients that can cause chemical burns. The worst part is that most people ignore the stinging when applying it and think it means ‘it works’, only to find a few days later that the place where they applied it looks burnt. This is because lemon juice causes photosensitivity. So, once you expose yourself to the sun, your skin becomes discolored due to the damage caused by the juice.


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For some strange reason, cinnamon, a spice, is included in many acne masks. This is a very illogical idea, because it irritates the skin massively. For the background, understand this: Cinnamon is included in many lip plumping products because it irritates the skin, causing slight swelling, which makes the lips look bigger. Can you imagine the damage this would cause to sensitive parts of the face that have acne and blemishes?


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Using garlic as a spot treatment for pimples is an overnight hack that the internet must stop promoting. The main chemical in garlic, diallyl disulfide, can literally burn the skin. Of course, this could dry out the pimple. But, it will leave that part of your skin scarred and broken, damaging the skin cells in that area worse than the pimple you were trying to get rid of.

Sugar crystals for exfoliation

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Have you ever looked closely at a sugar crystal? It contains sharp and jagged edges which can cut the skin. When you apply it to the face, where the skin is really thin and delicate, it causes a whole bunch of micro-tears. This worsens scarring in people with acne, in addition to causing redness. Later, this can turn into hyperpigmentation, as skin cells produce excess melanin when part of the skin is damaged. Why not use a mild chemical exfoliant and use the sugar for tea and baking, instead of your face?

Main image credit: Dharma Productions, Red Chillies Entertainment

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