Here at Jan de Vries, we’re all in favour of homemade DIY face masks and moisturisers, however, there seems to be a lot of worrying rumours about what you should be putting on your skin and sometimes these myths can end up doing more harm than good. That’s why today I’m going to take a look at a few of these so-called skin saviours and what they’re actually doing to your dry skin.
1 – Hairspray
Hairspray, as the name may suggest, is formulated exclusively for your hair. How then, did it end up being used as a way of setting your make-up? Some people seem to believe that hairspray will enhance the longevity of their make-up but the reality is that it’s drying out your skin.
Most conventional hairsprays are loaded with abrasive chemicals such as alcohol which will not only dehydrate and irritate your skin, but will also clog your pores resulting in red, inflamed skin that’s susceptible to spots. Worse still, some hairsprays also contain propylene glycol, a carcinogenic that you’re potentially inhaling with every spray, irritating your respiratory tract.
Our simple swap: PHB's Pressed Finishing Powder is a lightweight powder pressed with nourishing ingredients like organic Jojoba. Never formulated with harsh ingredients, it’s ideally suited for dry or sensitive skin and provides a flawless finish for your make-up!
2 – Undiluted vinegar
Okay, so hopefully none of you are putting malt vinegar (the stuff we’d normally recommend for your chips) near your skin. This product is sometimes used as a quick-fix spot treatment but undiluted vinegar is very acidic and can burn your skin. Even apple cider vinegar, which we sometimes recommend as a DIY toner, should never be applied directly to your skin without diluting first with some water.
Our simple swap: If you are going to try using vinegar as a natural toner, I’d definitely recommend Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar. Not only is this product 100% organic, it also contains ‘the mother’, a cloud residue that’s chockfull of valuable nutrients and acids. However, please remember the rule for any vinegar – always DILUTE with water!
3 – Toothpaste
Toothpaste – an essential cleaning product for your teeth. NOT an answer to your recent spot problem. Somehow this dental hygiene product has become a makeshift solution for pimples, with many applying it to the offending blemish and leaving it on overnight, hoping it will dry out their breakout.
And sometimes, yes, it can work but it definitely isn’t a long-term solution. You have to remember that it’s not just your pimple that toothpaste is drying out – it’s also your skin too! You see most toothpastes contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or SLS, an abrasive ingredient that is notoriously harsh on skin and can dry your epidermis out very quickly. This makes it easier for bacteria and pathogens to permeate your skin, leading to repeated episodes of spots and blackheads.
Our simple swap: Salcura’s Antiac ACTIV Gel Serum is specially formulated for troubled, spot-prone skin. Containing soothing extracts of Aloe vera and Tea tree oil, it gently cleanses that affected area and prevents bacteria from irritating any open spots, reducing their appearance and protecting vulnerable skin.
4 – Baking soda
The darling of homemade exfoliators everywhere, baking soda is such a versatile product that it’s not really that surprising skincare would come into the equation at some point. However, just as undiluted vinegar is too acidic, baking soda falls at the other end of the spectrum, being far too alkaline.
Your skin relies on a delicate alkaline/acid balance and on the pH scale, it sits around 4.5-6.5 (anything above 7 is considered alkaline). If you apply a product that is too acidic or too alkaline, this balance can become disrupted, damaging your natural skin barrier and changing the activity of the enzymes and bacterial flora that naturally inhabit your skin.
This can result in weaker, drier skin that’s more prone to damage and bacterial infections so next time you see a DIY recipe that calls for baking soda, make sure you give it a miss!
Our simple swap: Baking soda is usually incorporated into face masks to help combat spot-prone skin, but I’d definitely advise using PHB’s Gentle Face Mask with Avocado & Camellia instead! It’s bursting with antioxidants and soothing ingredients, including Aloe vera, Kaolin Clay and Avocado Oil, helping moisturise dry skin as well as fight off pathogens for a clearer, brighter complexion!
From one DIY exfoliator to another, sugar is definitely not the answer to removing dead skin cells. It might be ok to use it on your lips but when it comes to your skin, the jagged edges of sugar crystals are far too harsh and can cause tiny micro-tears, scratching your epidermis and stimulating an inflammatory reaction – not exactly what you want if you have dry skin.
These scratches can also upset your lipid barrier, making you even more prone to bouts of dryness, punctuated by flakiness and irritation. As with baking soda, if you see this on any ingredient list avoid it like the plague and instead stick with a natural exfoliator.
Our simple swap: Exfoliating should be an important part of your skincare routine if you suffer from dry skin. Exfoliating regularly helps to prevent a build-up of dead skin cells which can clog your pores, leading to redness and spots. However, rather than using harsh sugar crystals, I’d recommend PHB’s Brightening Jojoba Bead Exfoliator with Grapefruit and Kukui! Extremely gentle, this formula lifts away dead skins cells, helping to revitalise dry skin with extracts of Aloe Vera and Organic Argan oil. There’s no harsh ingredients, no unwanted chemicals, just natural goodness to help hydrate and refresh your skin!