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DIY Skincare: Ingredients to Avoid

As the holidays approach, many skincare companies are releasing holiday-themed products and gift sets aimed at bringing the festive spirit to your skincare routine. You may be tempted to recreate some of these items at home, like DIY masks and facial scrubs. While this can be a great way to save money, it’s important to know what to avoid adding to your DIY skincare repertoire.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Touted frequently for its health benefits as part of a varied diet, Apple cider vinegar can be incredibly helpful to aid healthy digestion and boost your metabolism. However, it’s recently become a popular recommendation for use as a toner or cleanser due to its astringent nature. This can be very damaging to the skin, ACV is incredibly acidic and may cause serious skin damage after even just one unadulterated use. ACV can cause inflammation and burns, as well as longer-term impacts such as worsened sunburns, depigmentation, and permanent skin damage.

Before reaching for something as acidic, try a milder alternative such as rose water or diluted witch hazel.


Cinnamon appears in lots of DIY skincare and wellness ideas around this time of year, but despite its many health benefits when ingested, it should not be applied topically. Cinnamon is recommended as an exfoliant and anti-fungal treatment (especially for those tiny forehead pimples caused by a kind of yeast buildup) -- but like ACV, it is much too harsh to be used on your skin directly. Cinnamon can quickly cause superficial chemical burns if applied in high amounts topically, and can also be much too abrasive as an exfoliant even in small amounts. Some people are even hypersensitive to the spice, and may quickly get burns or blisters from skin contact with it.

To address dead skin build-up, opt for a gentle chemical exfoliant from a trusted skincare brand. Or, if you want a DIY option, look into gentle sugar scrubs you can make at home. Remember to always patch test any home remedies on a small area of skin on your arm or elsewhere before putting any new ingredients on your face.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has soared in popularity in the plant-based skincare community, and it does boast a multitude of benefits for hair, skin, and nails when used topically. However, always exercise caution before using coconut oil on your face. Given its comedogenic properties, coconut oil can very easily clog your pores and lead t breakouts, blemishes, and inflammation. Though it does have antimicrobial properties and is frequently recommended for acne, it can often do more harm than good.

Coconut oil is a great natural option to boost your skin’s moisture on less sensitive areas, as well as to encourage hair growth and a healthy scalp. It is best to opt for something lighter on your face such as grapeseed oil, which even has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that might actually help prevent acne without sitting quite as heavily on the skin.

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