Skincare DIY to ruin the skin

5 Harmful Skincare DIYs That Can Ruin Your Skin

We are all looking for a solution to different skin issues varying from acne to dark spots and uneven skin tone. And who doesn’t want to save some bucks on those solutions/ treatments? 

And when you scroll through Pinterest you will find that every skincare issue can be solved by using kitchen ingredients. While some of those ingredients might work but a majority of those DIYs are harmful to your skin’s health.

Today I thought of talking about 5 most commonly known skincare DIYs that are famous in every household and why you should NEVER try them! While we’re at it, I’ll also try to suggest safer alternatives so you can still treat your skin the right way!


Lemon is my favourite thing in the world. I drink lemon tea daily and mixing it with warm water every morning really helps my gut. BUT what I don’t love is using lemon on your face.

Every other DIY treatment on the internet involves lemon because it has Vitamin C and citric acid. People use it often to reduce acne scars and uneven skin tone.

Using lemon on face
My Reaction When People Suggest Lemon on Face!

Can you all relate with this skincare meme made by yours truly on her Instagram? (Don’t forget to check out my profile)

Why Isn’t It A Good Idea?

For those who think citric acid in a lemon (an AHA) can exfoliate your skin, sorry to pop your bubble – it can’t penetrate the skin deep enough to remove dead skin cells.

Lemon has a very low pH ranging between 2 and 3. Remember sulfuric acid from Chemistry lab? Its pH is 1 and I think this would give you a better idea of how acidic lemon is.

To put things in perspective, our skin’s natural pH is also acidic (ideal being 5.5 but ranges from 4.8 to 6) and any product that has a pH below 3-3.5 should be a big NO.

What To Do Instead?

If you want to reduce uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation, there’s nothing better than Glycolic acid. It gets rid of the dead skin cells and also reveals brighter-looking, fresh skin.

Product Recommendations:

  • Pixi Glow Tonic (Contains 5% Glycolic Acid)
  • The Ordinary 7% Glycolic Acid Toner
  • The Ordinary 30% AHA + 2% BHA Peeling Solution (Very potent. Use only if your skin is used to acids)
  • Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum
  • Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial

If you’re confused between the Pixi Glow Tonic & The Ordinary Glycolic Acid, check out this detailed post where I’ve compared the two.


Not going to lie, I have done this as a teenager after reading an article in the newspaper that suggested to use toothpaste as an acne spot treatment

The simple logic behind this famous DIY is that Triclosan in toothpaste kills bacteria and whenever I used it, my pimple dried down. It was my go-to acne spot treatment as a girl who just hit puberty and didn’t know any better.

But consistent use of toothpaste left my skin dry, flakey and irritated. I don’t know when and how I stopped this “spot treatment” but I’m glad I did.

Why Isn’t It A Good Idea?

Ingredients like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, menthol and triclosan in toothpaste help pull moisture from your pimple but it also irritates the skin. If you don’t want skin that’s red, dry, flakey and itchy – stay away from toothpaste. 

Instead, use the same toothpaste to brush your teeth twice a day, this would help you stay away from cavities… isn’t that a revolutionary tip? LOL!

What To Do Instead?

There are plenty of acne spot treatments available in the drugstore so look for ingredients like Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid. You can buy a 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide ointment from any pharmacy and it’ll help you in reducing the size of the pimple really fast.

A 5% concentration is generally advised but its potent nature causes dryness too so check out what works the best for you.

Product Recommendations:

Harmful Skincare DIYs
Harmful Skincare DIYs That Can Ruin Your Skin


Skin fasting is the latest skincare trend that suggests you take a break from your usual skincare routine in an effort to improve the way your skin functions. This doesn’t involve any kitchen ingredients but I like to call it a “DIY Skin Destruction”.

The theory behind it is that skin fasting allows your skin to go on a reset-mode and take better care of itself. Yes, this means no cleansing, no moisturisation and no exfoliation. This trend is my biggest skincare pet-peeve!

Why Isn’t It A Good Idea?

Imagine the dirt and dust from surroundings, sweat, oils and dead skin cells just sitting on your face for weeks and you refuse you clean it. Would you do that to your body? Like not taking a shower for a month so that your body “resets” itself. Sorry, but that’s just gross!

If your skin is naturally oily or dry, skin fasting won’t change it. You see not using products can’t alter genetics.

What To Do Instead?

If your skincare routine is working just fine for you then continue it. You don’t have to try anything new because it’s trending and your favourite beauty magazine’s editors swear by it.

If you feel that your skin is acting weird and irritated then stop using a lot of products and switch to basics – a gentle cleanser, oil-free moisturiser and sunscreen. And notice how your skin starts reacting to it. Once your skin gets to a normal stage, start exfoliating it twice to thrice a week with a glycolic acid based exfoliator like Pixi Glow Tonic or The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toner.

And after all these things if you feel that your skin needs extra attention, visit a dermatologist.


Baking soda is used as a scrub for its “remarkable” exfoliating properties. You will find several easy DIY recipes that suggest using baking soda to get rid of dead skin cells.

Dead skin cells can get trapped in the hair follicles on our skin (pores) and when combined with sebum they clog pores and result in comedones – blackheads and whiteheads. So making sure you get rid of dead skin cells is important but baking soda isn’t the right way to do it.

Why Isn’t It A Good Idea?

Baking soda scrubs are abrasive and might cause tiny micro-tears in the skin which triggers various skin issues like acne and fine lines, to name a few.

Not just micro-tears, baking soda is highly alkaline and has a pH between 8-9. Remember when I just talked about our skin’s acidic nature? A highly alkaline product would strip your skin and make it very dry & dehydrated.

What To Do Instead?

Try including exfoliators in your skincare routine and your best bet would be to look for the ones that have glycolic acid and/or salicylic acid in them.

I’ve suggested a few product recommendations for the same under the first and second point. Apart from those, there are a few more salicylic acid based treatments I’ll list below.

Product Recommendations:

  • Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid
  • COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
  • Paula’s Choice Advanced Pore-Refining Treatment 4% BHA

Note: It’s advisable to start with 2% salicylic acid.


neosporin in DIY

Neosporin has been used as a spot treatment for pimples for years. The logical explanation is that neosporin is an antibiotic used on cuts, scrapes and burns to prevent infections. 

So it basically kills bacteria and since acne is caused by the bacteria P. acnes, Neosporin will make you acne-free (or would it not?)

Why Isn’t It A Good Idea?

While Neosporin does kill some bacteria, it won’t kill the bacterias that cause pimples. So it’s great for healing cuts and wounds but is not effective to kill acne-causing bacterias.

What To Do Instead?

The same as toothpaste. Use over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide gel and include salicylic acid in your routine.

To sum it up, you might find a lot of miraculous ingredients in your house that claim to solve your skin issues but it’s always advisable to do a little research. Some harmful DIYs are being recommended by everyone on the internet but that doesn’t mean it’s safe for your skin.

Don’t Forget to Pin it on Pinterest

Skincare DIYs That Can Ruin Your Skin


  1. Oh WOW, especially about the lemon thing! YES, I used to do it myself too…

    1. Sadly, we’ve all done that but not anymore.

  2. Lasonia says:

    I don’t typically do DIY, and I know these items can be really harsh on the skin. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. That’s being really smart of you because a lot of consumers blindly follow these DIYs and end up hurting their skin. Congrats on being a woke consumer!

  3. I had no idea that lemon was bad for your skin! Thanks for the tips!

    1. You’re welcome. Next time when life gives us lemons, we’re gonna make lemonade out of it!

  4. I was holding my breath while reading…please dont’ let any of my skin care habits be on this list ! Thankfully, I’m good!

    1. Hahaha I can understand your fright, it’s good that you’ve been doing your skincare right👍

  5. I’ve been looking at DIY remedies for my breakouts, and these are most of the suggestions. Thank you for these warnings!

    1. I’d absolutely advice you to stay away from those hacks. I’ve mentioned the alternatives too in the post so you can give them a try and if you have any questions about skincare feel free to ping me.

  6. Mudpiefridays says:

    I am so much concerned with my skin now that I used to be. Proper skincare is really important.

  7. Thank you for the tips. Some of these are new to me, but I have used toothpaste like that in my teen years, but not any more.


    1. Gone are the teenage days, now we’re wiser and smarter haha 😀

  8. Oh my… some things out there that are recommended are not good at all. And one needs to devote time to research before purchasing and using anything.

    1. Of course! We need to do our research before playing with our skin. xx

  9. Interesting things that people have believed which help with skin. I have heard people talk about using lemon more than once. Had no clue there were issues with it. Good to know.

    1. Thanks so much! I think lemon belongs to lemonade only, haha and definitely not face.

  10. Toothpaste as a beauty tip makes me cringe. First of all main stream toothpaste is full of chemical that we shouldnt even be injesting so I dont know why people would use it as a skin treatment.

  11. I have sensitive skin and thank you for sharing this now I have an idea Lol! it helps me a lot! Love your blog!

    1. Thank you so much! Ooh I also have sensitive skin so we guys have to stick together and stay away from these potentially harmful things 😛

  12. Omg I’ve tried a few of these disasters before! Lemon and skin fasting (didn’t know that was what it’s called though) and they really did more harm than good! Wish I had this post before I went and experimented!

  13. I haven’t used any of these items as DIY skincare. I didn’t realize the baking soda was something that was used on skin! Thanks for the information!

  14. I love this post! I have been seeing those DIY hacks for years and have tried a few of them before. I have been doing the Neosporin one most recently. But I never knew this was harmful! I’m going to take your recommendations and switch things up.

    1. You can definitely find better options than Neosporin in the drugstore that work and won’t cause much harm 🙂

  15. Good post and important is the awareness you have spread across about skincare. One should not apply whatever he or she feels, it may completely harm their skin and may not recover fast. I am too very careful with my skin.

    1. Absolutely! When we’re too desperate we use anything & everything that does more harm than good. Trusting a product formulator is always a better option.

  16. Sondra Barker says:

    I used toothpaste when I was a teenager, and unfortunately I still do today. Time to find other alternatives. Thank you for the advice!

    1. You should definitely go for over the counter benzoyl peroxide gel, it’s cheap and works!! We’ve all done that in teenage 😛

  17. Sundeep says:

    Thanks for sharing informative post with us. I am sharing with few friends who do this at home. I need to stop them

    1. Haha, they definitely need to be stopped! 😀 Share your heart away.

  18. Joanna says:

    Very useful post. I honestly have never tried any do-it-yourself skin care, I always relied of products I bought from the store. I try to buy as natural products as I can find.

    1. Thank you so much. Even I leave it to the experts to formulate a product for me instead of trying to do everything on my own. With so many good options available even in the drugstore, I don’t think it should be an issue with anyone. But for some reason, DIY seems to be trending a lot!

  19. What a great list that provides useful skincare alternatives to the diy that ruin your skin.

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂

  20. I’ve never tried DIY skincare because I was not really sure if it would work. I mostly use Korean brands that have organic ingredients for my skincare products

    1. Oh yes! I absolutely love Korean brands, my favourite are Klairs and By Wishtrend but I’m soon going to try Purito now 🙂

  21. himika says:

    What an innovative post!! Loved it!

    1. Thank you 🙂

  22. Shivani says:

    It was indeed helpful❤️
    Keep creating content
    Love xoxo

    1. Thank you so much! Comments like these make me want to work harder :))

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