Beauty hacks with ingredients you can find in your pantry — they might be convenient, but which ones work, and which ones can make your skin a whole lot worse? Here’s what I learned from our medical providers.
If you’re thinking of downing glasses of celery juice for clear skin, here’s the truth: while it’s unclear whether this trend has any scientific basis, it can’t hurt! Celery is 95% water, so if drinking celery juice helps you increase your water intake, it can definitely help your skin. That said, you can also just drink regular water to stay hydrated, and hydration is only one factor in achieving good skin.
Slapping on a collagen mask may make you feel supple and moisturized — which is a good thing! But if you’re trying to increase the elasticity of your skin, topical application of collagen won’t do much. This is because collagen is a protein that is too big to be absorbed directly into the skin. You can replenish lost collagen with products that kickstart your body’s natural collagen production, like tretinoin and vitamin C.
ACV is often touted as the holy grail for a wide swath of issues — the latest trend being skin lightening. But what’s the real tea? Apple cider vinegar is acidic — more so than regular vinegar — so it can burn sensitive skin. In my opinion, you’re better off using a vitamin C serum to help reduce the appearance of dark spots, as well as vigilantly applying a sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
If you must try this skincare hack, you can dilute ACV into a toner, which may encourage mild exfoliation in order to brighten your complexion. Dilute it first to 1 part vinegar 4 parts water and apply after cleansing. Then, wait for it to dry completely before applying your custom Curology formula.
Coconut oil is one of the most popular DIY beauty hacks — I personally love a good at-home hair mask with coconut oil. That said, our medical team gives coconut oil for acne a resounding “nay.” While studies aren’t totally conclusive, it appears that in most cases, coconut oil does clog pores. Some in the “yay” camp claim that lower concentrations of coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil, or cold-pressed virgin coconut oil won’t clog pores — but there’s no solid evidence. ⠀
We recommend just skipping it altogether to be safe.
Toothpaste as a spot treatment is practically a right-of-passage for anyone struggling with acne — but this is a misconception. Toothpaste can irritate the skin around the pimple, making it look redder and angrier — not smaller. Additionally, sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) is used as a foaming ingredient in many kinds of toothpaste, and it’s known to clog pores. If you’re looking for an overnight pimple treatment, try benzoyl peroxide or a hydrocolloid bandage.
Start your free trial (plus shipping and handling)
While skincare hacks might work in a pinch, you don’t have to do science experiments on your face in order to achieve better skin. There are plenty of both over-the-counter and prescription ingredients that have been shown to effectively treat acne and signs of aging, but which ones are right for you?
Instead of googling into oblivion for the quickest fix, Curology can take the guesswork out of skincare for you. Just take our quiz and snap a few selfies, and one of our in-house dermatology providers will prescribe you a custom cream for your unique skin. Sign up for a free month of Curology and pay just $4.95 (plus tax) for shipping and handling on your first bottle — we’ll even throw in our cleanser and your choice of moisturizer at no extra cost.