5 min read


The problem with DIYing is that you acquire the interest to try anything and everything, just for the fun of experimenting and most times to save money. In the case and process of your face you risk so many things, may lose so much, and bring on unusual problems which you don’t realize at the beginning of your next DIY experimentation. One of the most common DIY things people try is face products like masks, scrubs, serums or any other quick fixes for the face. Most ingredients are found in your kitchen or garden, and can be put together to make DIY masks for quick or healing fixes for your skin. And many people do this! Unfortunately, most DIY face masks can do more harm to the face than good, and should be avoided for good reason. We wrote up a small guide which will help you understand why you should avoid most DIY masks on the skin and instead go for skincare that has been tested for bacteria, PH levels, acidity, and so much more.

What is pH, and how pH level of the skin matters?

pH is a scale, which determines the level of acidity, alkalinity, or neutrality of a composition. If you look into your skin as a composition, then it also has a pH level, and there definitely is an optimum pH range for the skin which keeps itself functioning at its best. When functioning at the right level the skin is also at its best. Hence if the skin is maintained at the right pH, the overall skin condition healthy and functioning at its optimum level, the same goes for health issues or other problems. Therefore you must see to it that your food and drink, lifestyle, and cosmetic applications etc. must not affect the skin’s pH balance too much and disturb the pH level.

Any disturbance to the skin pH level can bring on numerous problems like pigmentation, skin peeling, acne, wrinkles etc. Hence whatever skin product you use, it’s important that your skin’s normal pH level does not change, what looks beneficial to you may be harmful.

How can a DIY mask harm the skin?

A DIY mask is said so because you make it on your own using ingredients available near you. Normally the masks are made from ingredients available at home from produce, spices, sweeteners, dairy products, fruits, etc. Sometimes they are mixed or blended in different compositions from a popular recipe created by someone who isn’t experienced. Most people believe these at-home masks will help exfoliate dead skin cells, remove a skin tan, remove dark spots and blemishes etc. But with little knowledge on the composition of the mask you’re concocting you have the potential to harm your skin when you do not know the right concentration and amounts of each ingredient. Chemists spend weeks developing skin care products and they rarely pass tests the first, second or even third time around. Let’s discuss some ingredients which can give you trouble and harm your skin more than you think.

So what DIY mask ingredients can harm your skin?

Lemon is an important ingredient used in many DIY face masks. Lemon and lime juice contains vitamin C (aka ascorbic acid), which is a great healer of dark spots. But this does not mean you should put lemon juice on the skin directly! Instead of your dark spots getting lighter, you may get blotchy spots on the face due to the photosensitive ingredient in the juice, which will make the skin absorb more sun rays and UV rays. Also the acidity in the lemon juice is an irritant which severely irritates your skin.The acidic nature can sting yourpimplesand also cause it to bleed. Since lemons are natural ingredients, the amounts of acid in them can vary. The amount of each good ingredient in your lemon will depend on all sorts of things, like where it was grown, the time of year, if it’s ripe, the variety of lemon.There are millions of other chemicals in lemon juice, and some of these are not good for your skin. DIY lemon juice skincare has also been linked to chemical leukoderma, where patches of skin depigment – in other words, you end up with uneven lightened patches on your skin.

Many people also use baking soda on skin for exfoliating. This DIY mask item can actually cause the skin to break out, and ruin the moisture barrier of the skin, and also leach off some of the good bacteria from the skin, thereby giving you more skin problems after using it.

You may have seen DIY sunscreen recipes going around on blogs and Pinterest, promising safe sun protection with gentle, natural ingredients. The ingredients will likely be zinc oxide, a popular physical sunscreen ingredient (often in the form of diaper rash cream) and a plant oil. Now, I am partial to a bit of DIY skincare. But I will never, ever rely on homemade sunscreen. Why? Because it’s not safe. The vast majority of DIY sunscreen recipes have never been properly tested, beyond “I put it on little Timmy and he didn’t get burnt”. Even if a DIY sunscreen recipe had been tested to be a certain SPF, there’s no guarantee that yours would also be the same SPF. You can’t predict performance from a recipe! There are a few sun protection calculators on the internet where you can type in the amount of each ingredient you’re using, and it’ll spit out an approximate SPF value. Inconveniently, DIY sunscreen faves zinc oxide and titanium dioxide tend to clump in recipes if you don’t use high tech heavy equipment. This means you’ll get patchy coverage – some bits of your skin will be protected, while other bits remain unprotected!

What are some safe DIY ingredients to use?

Oatmeal is one of those rare traditional remedies your grandmother would tell you about – with scientific studies to back it up! There are a lot of things in oatmeal that make it a great choice for your face. It contains proteins, lipids starch, and β-glucans which protect your skin from water loss (occlusive effect) and hold water close to the skin (humectant effect). Oatmeal has also been shown to normalise the skin pH and protect from UV rays, and has antioxidant properties too. The FDA has approved the use of oatmeal to temporarily relieve skin irritation from eczema, rashes, insect bites and allergies. Dermatologists also often recommend oatmeal products for conditions such as rosacea, chicken pox and dry skin. Oatmeal is super popular on blogs and on Pinterest, this is one ingredient that is beneficial for you!

4 Responses

anonymous user
anonymous user

March 06, 2021

thanks but no thanks,

denying homemade products is a great marketing strategy to sell your own products :) I did some research and found my homemade product that works better than any creams I bought and does not damage my skin at all, and I started to see improvements


November 18, 2020

Is honey good for your skin?


August 19, 2020



August 19, 2020


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