Left: Sheetal Rawal, scientist (human genetics) & founder of Apsara Skin Care
By: Marty S.
Every day, there is a new natural ingredient on the Internet that when used properly can provide a plethora of benefits for your skin. It really makes you wonder what else you can use on your skin to get ahead of Internet trends. “Can you get rid of athlete’s foot with a salt scrub?” Maybe! “Do whole grains help fade blemishes?” Who knows? “Is castor oil good for skin?” I don’t know, you tell me!
There are so many natural ingredients on the market, and a lot of them can be very rewarding. However, there are a few that do more harm than good. Even though these natural ingredients claim they do wonderful things for your skin, they also have a nasty reputation of being skin irritants. The point of a daily skin care routine is to reduce redness and inflammation, not amplify it!
Here is a list of five ingredients that you should never use on your skin. While they may give some skin benefits, they are not worth the negative side effects these natural ingredients have. We have given out hundreds of remedies at Apsara Skin Care over the years, but none of them have included any of these ingredients because we know how bad they can be.
Before you start reading, you should be aware that if you wish to start a remedy with any of these ingredients, you must do some research and then perform a patch test on a small area of skin. This is a guideline that you should follow with any natural ingredient you are unfamiliar with, but it is critical here.
1. Don't Use Cinnamon if You Want to Avoid Looking Like a Clown
Several people have experienced redness and irritated skin after applying cinnamon to their faces. Using cinnamon as a part of a skin care routine can cause burning, and
redness may persist for much longer than expected, even after the cinnamon has been washed off. While the impact of cinnamon depends on our skin’s sensitivity, it can be much harsher on the skin if you’re allergic to it. Cinnamon is one of the most common spice allergies. Even though spice allergies are rarer than regular food allergies, testing for spice allergies is more difficult because there are not a lot of reliable tests, and there are hundreds of spices. Extra caution needs to be taken in this regard.
However, for those that are less prone to skin irritations and redness, cinnamon might help with acne since it has antibacterial, antifungal, and (ironically) anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, cinnamon is an exfoliator; it removes the dead skin cells in order to improve blood circulation and cell regeneration. Often, people that use cinnamon are those that have dry skin because cinnamon helps them achieve soft, supple skin.
Still, you should avoid using cinnamon. There are plenty of safer natural ingredients out there that help improve your complexion without making you look like you're auditioning for the circus.
2. Clove Essential Oil Can Severely Burn Your Face
Clove essential oil is a very powerful natural ingredient. Sometimes, when people want to use clove oil, they hire a professional because when it is not used properly, it can be really dangerous to your health. You should never use clove oil when it is undiluted since it can severely irritate the skin externally and damage your stomach lining internally. Clove oil is not recommended for the use of children as it may cause side effects such as seizures and liver damage.
When used safely, though, clove oil may be beneficial because of eugenol, one of the major components of clove oil. Clove is commonly used in dental care; it helps deal with cavities, improve bad breath, and reduce toothaches because clove is germicidal and has a numbing effect. When it comes to skin care, clove oil is primarily used for acne due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties. In addition to that, clove oil is extremely rich in antioxidants, a critical element to slowing the aging process. At Apsara, we use very small doses of clove in our lotion.
Nevertheless, clove oil is a really risky ingredient, the most dangerous one on this list. Something that is used to alleviate pain from your teeth (which, to remind you, are made of calcium phosphate and are stronger than your bones) should not be used lightly, especially on your skin.
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3. Avoid Garlic if You Don't Want to Spook People with Your Face
Garlic has popped up recently in beauty skin care routines because it can deal with acne. However, it is important to know that garlic is a skin irritant. When you rub raw garlic
on your skin, you might experience redness, contact dermatitis, itchiness, and flaky skin. People with garlic allergies and/or sensitive skin should not use garlic as a result.
That being said, garlic contains allicin, a compound that has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. When it is used topically, garlic may neutralize acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation that is caused by acne. Garlic is also a good source of antioxidants, which protect the skin from free radical damage.
Yet, over the years, I’ve gotten way too many emails from women who burned their face using garlic and needed personal skin care advice as a result. If you want to try to use garlic to get rid of your acne, I can’t stop you but at least wait until it is Halloween. That way, people will think you’re trying to scare them when they see your face.
4. Stay Away from Onions Unless You Like Crying at the Sight of Your Face
Aside from its tear-inducing aroma and tendency to cause bad breath, onions can irritate the skin after prolonged contact. Like garlic, onions can cause redness and
burning sensations so it is not advised to use raw onions or onion juice if you have an onion allergy or if you have sensitive skin.
However, onions do have some health benefits. Onions are anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and rich in antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E. If you extract the juice from an onion and apply it to your face, it can reduce the inflammation of acne-prone skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines. Onion juice can even be used to handle annoying dark spots and acne scars.
Onions are great tear-inducing foods, which makes sense. You would probably cry too if you saw how red and sensitive your face got if you used onions to try and get rid of a few blemishes. Leave the onions where they belong: in a saucepan, slowly caramelizing.
5. If You're Lazy, Do Not Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Although we at Apsara Skin Care have extolled the virtues of apple cider vinegar (ACV) in many of the blog articles we have posted, we usually have stressed the importance of diluting ACV before using it. This is because if you use undiluted ACV, you are more likely to experience burning and redness. Plus, your skin might be drier and rougher than usual because ACV is an astringent; normally, ACV balances the skin’s pH and cleanses the pores of dirt, oil, and bacteria. However, ACV in a purer and more acidic form can strip the skin of natural oils, making it more likely to be irritated in the future. Unless you overuse your serum and lotion to counteract that dryness (which is something you should not be doing in the first place), it is not recommended to use ACV by itself. Although ACV provides major benefits for your skin such as reduced inflammation, fewer breakouts, and smaller pores, diluting it beforehand will help you get the most benefits from this natural ingredient.
Of all the ingredients on this list, ACV is the one we recommend the most. All it takes to make ACV usable for your face is one easy, simple step. Easy & simple.
* Just add water (3 parts water to 1 part ACV, to be exact) *
If you’re too lazy or you don’t have the time to just add water to ACV, then maybe you deserve the redness, dryness, and burning you can get when you use it undiluted.
To recap, for these particular ingredients, as well as any unknown ingredients you encounter in the future, you should do your research first, and then perform a patch test before you incorporate them in your skin care regimen.
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Go natural. It is good karma!