Avoid These Natural Ingredients


I don't really understand the importance some people place on using natural and organic products. While there are obviously some bad synthetic products out there, the chemicals used in skincare have generally been thoroughly tested and proven to be safe and effective, and I can't quite get my head around the idea of someone deciding to reject them all just based on some unsubstantiated idea that "natural is better".

Nowadays the market caters very well to those who do choose to stick to natural cosmetics though, and there's a wealth of "green" skincare options to choose from. There are heaps of great natural skincare brands out there now, and eschewing anything man-made no longer means having to pay extra or use inferior products. Brands like Antipodes and Trilogy, for instance, work hard to select ingredients that are natural and safe, and they combine them in formulas that deliver multiple benefits to the skin. And yet despite all these great options, people still insist on wandering into their kitchens and rubbing food on their faces, and then inexplicably expect it to perform just as well.

I realise some people who are into the idea of using natural products are concerned that the word "natural" or "organic" on product packaging sometimes doesn't actually mean all that much - the labelling guidelines aren't very strict and a lot of these products have a decent whack of man-made ingredients in them anyway - so I sort of understand wanting to be completely sure about what's going on your face. But the problem is that, while some household basics (like aloe vera, honey and yoghurt) are quite nice and soothing, a lot are totally ineffective or even harmful. These five in particular have no business going near your facial skin, and should be left in the kitchen where they belong:



1. Coconut Oil
I know coconut oil is everyone's darling at the moment, but its benefits have been massively overblown. It's great on your hair, perfectly nice on your body and has a high burning point which is useful for cooking with (don't eat loads though, there's a bit of evidence to suggest it has some fairly minor health benefits, though certainly not enough to be spooning it into your morning coffee!), but it's not something you want near your face. People with oily or congested skin should avoid it as it has a really high comedogenic rating and can seriously block your pores (and even those with dry skin would be better off with something else as it doesn't actually sink deep enough into the skin to be a particularly effective moisturiser). This isn't to say oils in general are bad on your skin - argan, hemp, rose hip seed and even sunflower oils are all much better skincare options that are unlikely to cause spots or blackheads.

2. Lemon Juice
Don't bloody put lemon juice on your face. Never put lemon juice on your face. I'm amazed and upset that there are still people out there advising others to put lemon juice on their delicate facial skin to lighten pigmentation. Lemons are highly acidic - way too acidic to use on your face without causing damage - and if you go outside after rubbing one on your skin then you're potentially doubling that damage as it can react to sunlight. There are tons of Vitamin C serums available that will brighten your complexion without burning  - Ishtar Skinlights make a decent one for just £11.90, or try Dr. Dennis Gross's brightening serum if you're feeling spendy.

5. Egg Whites
There are thousands of articles online claiming that putting egg whites on your skin will tighten it up and close pores. Firstly, the idea that pores open and close is a total myth - nothing is ever going to "close" them, at best you can minimise their appearance. Secondly, egg whites don't contain anything that will "tighten" your skin - sure, it'll feel tight when you have a layer of dried egg clinging to it, but once it's washed off there's no lasting effect. Smearing an egg white on your face won't do anything at all to benefit your skin, and deliberately exposing yourself to something that may contain horrible bacteria like salmonella (right near your eyes, nose and mouth, no less) for a prolonged period is, quite frankly, the action of an idiot.

4. Baking Soda
Scrubbing with baking soda is damaging to facial skin in two ways: firstly, it's far too abrasive and can cause irritation and tiny scratches and secondly, it has a very high pH which messes with your skin's acid mantle and damages the enzymes in its top layers, which means you lose a lot of your skin's natural defence system. Scratching your face up with an alkaline product is a bad idea unless dry and damaged skin is what you're aiming for. If you're after something that will exfoliate and clear out pores, get a BHA toner like Stridex pads or Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid.

5. Cider Vinegar
Cider vinegar isn't quite as bad as the rest of these. It contains AHAs and has antimicrobial properties, so it's understandable that people think it's a good option as a toner. The problem with using vinegar is that, like lemons, it's a bit too acidic to be regularly using on your skin. While it's true that it can help to exfoliate old skin cells and kill spot-causing bacteria, it can also cause damage to your skin. You're better off picking up one of the hundreds of AHA products that contain soothing ingredients alongside the acids and have loads of research and testing behind them to prove their safety - Liquid Gold by Alpha H is a great glycolic acid product to use a couple of times a week, and First Aid Beauty's Facial Radiance Pads contain lactic and glycolic acid in low enough concentrations to use daily.

Have you ever tried any of these kitchen cupboard ingredients on your skin? Which "natural skincare" myths wind you up?
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30 comments:

  1. All so true! The other way you can find coconut oil is as capric/caprylic triglyceride, its a clear liquid and has none of the Lauric acid which causes coconut oil to break out people prone to spots! Can't imagine putting lemon oil on my face (just owch!Lol), that's going to make you ultra sensitive to the sun!!!

    www.honestyforyourskin.co.uk

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    1. Useful to know! (And also proves that sometimes tweaking ingredients in a lab is a lot better than just slapping the raw product on your face!) X

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  2. i love a good skincare post, great to have some new tips, thank you for sharing these :D ! x x

    millieerosee.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks lovely! Hope it's of use :) X

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  3. Omg, this post is everything. You're the first person I know who condemns (too strong a word?) natural ingredients. I'll be honest and say that when I first got into skincare (which is not that long ago...) I was ALL for natural ingredients because I didn't have a budget to invest in skincare. Eggyolks and lemons were my go-tos, but gosh, you should've seen how my skin reacted. It was terrible! I've started properly taking care of my skin now, investing in proper skincare and leaving my natural ingredients to appease my stomach.

    What a great post, Misia!

    May | THE MAYDEN | Bloglovin'

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    1. Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed :)
      I definitely did a few of these in my younger years - it's annoying because the internet is so full of misinformation that loads of people are just seeing it, believing it and then really screwing up their skin, because most of us start out not knowing how ingredients really work!
      There are definitely loads of natural products I like, but yeah - definitely happy leaving these in my stomach and getting my skin naturals from companies who've perfectly blended and balanced them! X

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  4. Thanks for sharing these tips! all are so true!

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  5. Interesting to hear someone with a very different take on organic products. I think that we just need to be making smart decisions when it comes to skincare and organic or diy does not necessarily always mean good or safe.

    Rae | Love from Berlin

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    1. Definitely! There are loads of natural products I love - Antipodes is a big favourite for instance, and I really like the Lush fresh face masks - but yeah, just because it's natural doesn't automatically mean it's good, and there's definitely a LOT of misinformation out there! X

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  6. this post really makes me giggle, mainly because I have been dealing with horrific Acne for months, wondering why my face is just constantly breaking out when my skincare routine was really good. Finally clicked yesterday, and this post has just clarified it. I wash my makeup brushes with Dr Bonnars Magic Soap... which is just oil, mainly coconut oil, all over my already oily face, damn you all natural product. ha serves me right, but at least I can work on clearing my face now that I know it isnt my Oskia or DayWear!

    http://www.makeerinover.co.uk

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    1. Ah no! But yeah, I guess it's good to have figured it out at least! I had a similar issue when I was using an ELF brush cleaning spray - took me way longer than it should have to figure out why my face was so red and dry! X

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  7. Thank you, thank you and thank you again for this post. It's crazy how this whole natural and organic madness has gone to a whole new level. I do use some organic stuff but not everything. The way some preach about natural and organic is THE ONLY WAY is just bonkers!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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    1. Yup, totally. There are plenty of organic products I love, but that doesn't mean that everything natural is gonna be okay on your face! X

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  8. You've covered two of my pet hates in one here! It drives me MAD when people talk about not putting "chemicals" on their face - YOU'RE MADE OF CHEMICALS. EVERYTHING IS A CHEMICAL.
    And if you're daft enough to put these things on your face - well, I say it's natural selection... Is that cynical!? Haha!
    Brilliant post, though :D

    Jess xo
    http://just-jesss.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you!
      And ha, yeah, the lemon especially - who bloody thinks that's sensible??
      The "chemical" thing annoys me too - this site proves the way in a pretty funny way :p
      X

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  9. great post dear! I love your blog:)

    www.theprintedsea.blogspot.com

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  10. This was definitely an enlightening read. I'd be interested to know the sources of your information seeing as there's always so much hype on natural ingredients. I do know that since my skin is oily adding coconut oil is just a terrible idea. I do you like using it with some sugar as a scrub for my arms & legs but that's about it. Wishing you a great weekend! :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

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    1. Yeah, I love a sugar scrub for my body too - arm/leg skin copes with scrubs and coconut oil way better! Good point about sources though, I'll see if I have a chance to update and include some references over the weekend :) X

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  11. I like using coconut oil on my hair and body, also used it a few times on my skin (it wasn't good for me-oily skin). Once I remember making my own baking soda&lemon juice mask, it had exfoliating effect but then my skin got so dry. Thanks for this post, I will make sure to stay away from all these :) x

    www.elabellaworld.com

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    1. Yeah, for hair and body I think it's fab - facial skin is just so fussy though that you're better off going with products that are carefully designed for it (and there's loads of totally organic ones that are!). Thanks for your comment, glad you enjoyed the post :) X

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  12. great post
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    http://www.mosaictrends.com/

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  13. I really enjoyed this post! I tend to prefer natural options but my bathroom drawer is a mixture. There are great natural brands out there (REN, DrHauschka, Weleda, Trilogy, etc.) that research and use good quality products, but there are also lots and lots of brands that are pretty mediocre.
    The only product that you mentioned and I actually use on my face is coconut oil. I use it to remove my eye make up and have never had problems with it, but it is also true that I have never used it all over my face.

    Inma x
    sunshineandglow.blogspot.com

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    1. Totally agree - plenty of great ones, plenty of rubbish ones - I try to just not factor it in and go for whatever works! And yeah, I basically think there's a time and a place for coconut oil and it's a bit of a YMMV one - I know some people who do use it all over don't even have an issue, but given that so many do, I cringe when I see people advising others to use it as a moisturiser! X

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  14. Yeah, last year around this time I tried cleansing with coconut oil and it just added and clogged pores. So I stopped. I cleansing my face with olive oil, and I don't know if it's me but it seemed to make my lashes longer. I tried using olive oil on my hair and it was just a huge mess. Great post! I enjoy reading this blog to learn more about skincare!

    By the way, I nominate you for the Versatile Blogger Awards! Please check it out here and participate: http://floraful.blogspot.com/2015/10/versatile-blogger-award.html and have fun!

    Hannah

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    1. Ooh, thanks lovely! :D I'll get my nominations up soon :)

      I quite like olive oil on my hair, but yeah - messy business! Haircare is definitely one of the areas in which I wholeheartedly endorse coconut oil! X

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  15. This is such a great informative post! I did try the Coconut oil on my face a handful of times as I used to put it in my hair but I actually found it made me breakout. I heard about the Lemon juice ones too but thankfully I'm now using the Garnier vitamin c cream. Unfortunately there was a lot of articles going on about the benefits of these products and I probably did fall for them a bit :)

    Velvet Blush

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    1. Same here! The reason things like this bother me is that unless you really go read up on everything you use first, you have to learn the hard way that people who are proper purists about using all natural ingredients might actually be giving out some really bad advice (I'm sure they have fully good intentions though!) X

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  16. I am all about the "scientific" skincare, but I don't think Coconut oil breaks out everyone with oily skin. I have absolutely no problem if I use it on my face (which happens once in a blue moon), but am fairly sensitive to shea butter, even in its laboratory twitched form.
    I guess the main message is that "natural" doesn't equal "good" or "harmless".

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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    1. Yeah, I feel like I probably should have clarified a bit on that point - it's not guaranteed to break everyone out of course, and lots of people use it and are fine - but it's not any better as a moisturiser than any other oil and most of the amazing properties people say it has have no evidence to back them up! So basically, it's more that it's potentially problematic, and people are probably better going for a different oil just in case!

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