Social media is a great place for people to connect and learn new things. With the rise of social media, forges a path for beauty influencers to make their mark on gen Z. From DIY facial masks to quick and easy tips for getting rid of acne, many of these “hacks” do more harm than help the skin.
Many dermatologists have advised those to avoid any of the beauty and skin care hacks that appear on mainstream media, due to its potential harm to the skin. Some have even come out with content that debunks these so-called hacks. Doctorly, a youtube channel run by Dr. Shah and Dr. Maxfield, have videos dedicated to befunking any skin care hacks. They provide both an educational, yet internaing way of examining each hack and giving an in depth explanation of if the hack is worth your time.
In the spirit of debunking skin care hacks, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite “hacks” and why you SHOULDN’T use them.
DIY Face Mask
DIY is a very popular trend on social media. One DIY trick that is spread through the beauty community is the use of DIY facial masks. Using ingredients you can find from home, you can make masks that help get rid of acne, brighten the skin, or help with inflammation. However, while some ingredients are safe to use, many that are present within these hacks are not. For example, the use of baking soda is not recommended when making a DIY mask. In a tiktok, by Skinbydulce, she recommends using baking soda in a DIY under eye mask to get rid of dark circles.
The use of baking soda does not work as it has a pH scale of 9, while our skin has a pH scale of 5-6. What this means is that our skin leans more towards the acidic side while the baking soda is more alkaline. Any alkaline product has a pH scale above 7 and is known to cause more damage to the skin barrier than acids do. Our skin contains lipids and can be disrupted by alkaline substances, which cause the skin to feel irritated. The overall use of baking soda can lead to more inflammation and irritation of the skin.
If you do choose to make a DIY face mask, use ingredients that are natural and safe for the skin. Ingredients such as aloe vera, honey, turmeric and green tea are all great ingredients that can help your skin look great.
Potato Acne Hack
This hack has grown very popular on Tiktok and many dermatologists have already debunked this hack. The potato acne hack is where you cut a potato in half and put it against your skin where a pimple has appeared. After 7 hour the potato should suck out everything from the pimple and make it less inflamed.
In theory, the hack would never work. Potatoes have no properties to pull out any impurities from the skin. While potatoes are high in starch and starch is known to dry out the skin, it still isn’t strong enough to pull out the solid residues of a pimple through a thick barrier or skin. In practicality, you would have to tape potatoes to your face if you had other things to do in your life. You would never realistically walk out of the house with potatoes taped to your face.
Instead of using this worthless hack, you can opt for any spot treatments or pimples patches that are much more effective at getting rid of pimples.
Toothpaste on Pimples
This hack has been going around for a while, if you find yourself with the beginning of a pimple, you can dab toothpaste on the area to clear it up overnight. While generic toothpaste has many of the ingredients used to dry the skin and prevent acne, there is still a huge risk in using it. There are other better alternatives than toothpaste that actually work, why risk it? Keep in mind that toothpaste is made for cleaning the teeth so it would be bad if not useless to use on the skin. Many toothpastes contain a chemical called triclosan which kills bacteria but can potentially worsen a break out. ANd like we stated earlier, our skin has a pH level ranging for 5-6 and toothpaste is part of the alkaline substances. Using something that is alkaline on our skin can do more harm than using a carefully concentrated acid. We can blame this hack on the use of outdated and misinformation. It is best to keep toothpaste for your teeth and use specifically made products for your skin.
Egg Whites on Skin
With the trend of DIY facemask, a popular ingredient that people use are egg whites. The purpose of using an egg white is to fight signs of aging. People have looked for a cheap alternative to anti-aging products that doesn’t cost a fortune. This remedy promises that your skin will feel tightened and lightened after a few uses. However, while egg whites offer a short term benefit to tightening the skin, it is still more beneficial to use an actual anti-aging serum than this cheap alternative.
Using egg whites as an anti-aging mask or spot treatment presents more risk and is simply not worth it. Some potential dangers includes:
- Allergic Reaction. If you are allergic to eggs, you should definitely avoid this “hack”. Depending on the severity of your allergy, you can experience itchiness, hives and rashes, or difficulty breathing.
- Salmonella. Salmonella is an infection that occurs when you eat raw or undercooked eggs or meat. Once infected, you could potentially have gastrointestinal discomfort for up to 10 days. Alongside that you may experience nausea, cramps, and diarrhea.
- Skin Irritation. If you notice any itching or bumps while using egg whites, you should stop immediately. While you may not be allergic to them, many substances can cause skin irritation.