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The five beauty hacks you should never try

by Vanessa Brown / Tuesday, 03 October 2017

WE ALL love a useful beauty hack, because anything that cuts down the time we spend on our face is a blessing. But some cheats will come at a cost.


The skincare and beauty hacks you should never try at home.Source:Supplied

WHEN it comes to a beauty routine, most of us will do whatever it takes to cut down the time we spend on our face.

But while the internet is flooded with great advice on how to contour correctly, extract effectively or shape your brows in half the time — some of these hacks can be incredibly harmful to your skin.

With many ideas coming from bloggers who have no medical background, it’s imperative that you take Instagram #beautyadvice with a grain of salt.

So to prevent unwanted rashes, burns and even scarring — the following five are definitely not worth the risk:

1. Using deodorant as a face primer:

Roll-on deodorant keeps your armpits matte and dry, so surely it would work wonders to combat shine and oil on your face, right?

“Deodorant contains aluminium salts and strong fragrances that can be super irritating to your face, causing red, flaky patches and inflaming acne and bumps,” Yale University dermatologist Dr Mona Gohara told Marie Claire magazine.

Think deodorant will combat shine? Think again.

Think deodorant will combat shine? Think again.Source:Supplied

“Under no circumstance would I advise this; stick with the real deal when it comes to primer, and leave the antiperspirant for your pits.

“Antiperspirants work by blocking your sweat glands from producing wetness,” Dr. Joshua Zeichner, from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, added in an interview with Refinery 29.

“But they don’t do anything for oil-producing cells.”

2. Applying toothpaste to a pimple.

It’s the night before an important day, and you’ve sprung a big old pimple in the middle of your forehead.

You’ve heard about putting toothpaste on it as a quick fix, but is this method actually good for your skin?

Sadly, using toothpaste on pimples is detrimental to your complexion in the long run.

Why you shouldn't use toothpaste on your pimples.

Why you shouldn’t use toothpaste on your pimples.Source:istock

Boston dermatologist Dr. Ranella Hirsch told Glamour magazine that putting toothpaste on a pimple can actually cause pigmentation, and other irritations to occur.

“Skin with more melanin tends to be more “reactive”, meaning there’s often a darkening of the skin at the site where an irritating ingredient is applied,” she said.

“These spots and patches can take quite a while to fade (long after the irritation has subsided).”

3. Using Mouthwash To Combat Dandruff

Some bloggers claim that the ingredients in a product like Listerine (menthol, thymol, eucalyptol, and methyl salicylate), are prime for banishing tiny, white flakes like dandruff.

But while mouth wash does wonders to make your breath fresh, the same cannot be said for your hair.

If you suffer from dandruff, don't consider mouth wash as a solution.

If you suffer from dandruff, don’t consider mouth wash as a solution.Source:istock

According to Manhatten dermatologist Dr Francesca Fusco, there’s “no scientific data” to support mouthwash as a successful dandruff hack.

“Dandruff is caused by an overgrowth of yeast and is often accompanied by a compromised skin barrier,” she told Refinery 29.

“I’d worry that use of a strong alcohol-based mouthwash could further disrupt the scalp’s skin barrier, only exacerbating the problem.”

4. Limes in place of deodorant

Whoever thought of rubbing limes in place of deodorant gets points for creativity.

But with their acidic compound, doing so puts the delicate skin under you arms at great risk of irritation.

“Lemons and limes contain a chemical called psoralens, which make the skin photosensitive,” Dr Debra Jaliman told

Sure, lime has a great citrus scent. But as a way of stopping odour? Maybe not.

Sure, lime has a great citrus scent. But as a way of stopping odour? Maybe not.Source:istock

“That means that when the skin comes into contact with the sun, it is more sensitive to the sun. It can cause bad burns with redness and blisters.”

Dr Jaliman said using limes can also make the skin darken to a level that’s difficult to reverse, a condition called hyperpigmentation.

“It takes a lot of time and effort to get rid of this hyperpigmentation,” she says. “It can be treated with topical treatments, but may even need lasers.”

5. Nappy-rash cream can clear up acne.

In 2016, US beauty vlogger, Farah Dhukai, went viral after using baby nappy rash cream to cure and soothe her acne.

In the video, she outlined how she used the cream as both an overnight spot treatment and as a full mask.

But while it may sound like a clever idea, using nappy rash cream should be avoided at all costs.

“Zinc oxide, found in diaper rash cream, forms a protective barrier that soothes the skin, keeps it dry and wards off the effects of bacteria or irritants,” Dr Shereene Idriss, of Wexler Dermatology in New York told Glamour magazine.

“The drying properties of zinc oxide can be helpful for those affected with oily skin and acne.”

New York City dermatologist, Dr. Leslie Gerstman agreed — saying that the cream’s petroleum ingredient is the biggest problem with this fad.

“Petroleum is a protective agent, which is why it’s good for babies — it protects the skin,” she told Instyle.

“It’s almost like having cellophane on the skin. The problem is that if you have skin that has acne you’re completely closing the pores when you apply petroleum. That’s why it’s not a good idea.

“Basically you’re taking oily, inflated and potentially infected skin and putting a barrier on it and potentially making it worse.”