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MythBusting: DIY skin care


Once again, it’s time to bust some skin care myths, correct a few old wives tales and shed needed light on some common and some not-so-common silly ideas about our skin and how to treat it.

This week, we’d like to talk to you about DIY skin care. That’s “Do It Yourself” skin care. You see, certain DIY projects are great, if that’s your thing. Landscaping the backyard yourself? Great. Knitting your own sweaters? We say go for it. But there are some things you leave to the experts, and just don’t tackle yourself. Like skin care. Unlike gardening, you can’t just throw it all away and start over when something goes wrong.

DIY skin care may be whipping up a homemade facial mask or scrub from food items you pulled out of your refrigerator. Truth is, rubbing cranberries on your face will not mimic the benefits of the cranberry seed oil in a product like Sleepwear. In fact, Sleepwear was created with a specific, scientific percentage and formulation of cranberry seed oil for maximum results. More simply put, food goes in your mouth, not on your skin. If you want advanced anti-aging, brightening, exfoliating or any other kind of skin care benefit, let the experts handle the natural ingredients.

DIY skin care could also be boiling a pot of water, and hovering your face over it to get the “steaming” benefits of a professional facial. This does not provide the same kind of steam generated during a facial. In fact, you could do more harm than good! You can learn more about why professional steam is so different than any you can recreate at home in our blog post about using steam during a facial. In the mean time, boil water for pasta only.

We’ve even heard of Skin Care DIY-ers who have applied mud (from their yard!) on their bodies to mimic therapeutic mud treatments.

We’ve saved the best one for last. A professional esthetics student student told us that she had a client who used burnt motor oil for moisturizer!  “Change the oil in the car honey, I’m out of skin cream!” Who could make this stuff up?

So here’s our advice to the Skin Care Do-It-Yourselfer: Leave your skin to the pros, leave the food on your plate, mud on the ground and motor oil in the car. Find a Bioelements Spa (and skin care expert) here.

What Skin Care DIY projects have you heard of? Ever try any for yourself? Let us know in the comments!


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Comments (15)

Kelly Howard says:
Dec 9, 2010

When I was a teen, someone told me toothpaste helps with breakouts. All that happened was that my skin became even more red, but smelled minty fresh.

gina says:
Dec 9, 2010

I have an acne one! This is the grossest thing ever, but applying your own URINE on your acne. Yuck! (I have never done this, just so you know)

Joan says:
Dec 10, 2010

Preparation H on your face. Uh, ’nuff said about that.

elizabeth says:
Dec 10, 2010

@ Joan – HA!
@ gina – disgusting. (And I’ve heard about it too)

for me, I agree with you Barbara! Good food is too delicious. And good skin care is too effective! (and the motor oil thing is just plain crazy!)

Leslie says:
Dec 10, 2010

Still, DIY skin care can be beneficial if you don’t have the money to foot for such a good product. I love BioElements, but I cant afford it. I’m lucky that I have a friend that works in a salon and gives awesome birthday gifts. Of course using a homemade sugar scrub isn’t as nice as Pumice Peel, but it works.
I love how your products make my skin feel, but when I run out, its all about the home made green clay masks.

Although I did have to explain to a friend that icing her dark circles would not make them go away.

Teresa says:
Dec 10, 2010

Hi Leslie,
I’m an esthetician that works for Bioelements. Although I understand the need to be frugal in this economy, my concern is that applying sugar on your skin to exfoliate may inadvertantly cause an irritation if your skin is dehydrated, or you have breakouts. Using sugar also doesn’t ‘feed’ the skin with any of the anti-aging ingredients that you get from a professional product like Pumice Peel. As for the green clay mask, again, you need to be careful about irritation or possible contaminants that might be in the clay that you are using. In any event, Thanks for letting us know that you love our products, and how nice to have a friend that gives you such great birthday gifts! Love your comment about icing and dark circles. 🙂

Kathryn says:
Dec 10, 2010

In college I tried an egg mask. Basically a raw egg on my face. It was cold, slimy and disgusting . . .would never consider that now with all the salmonella poisoning. I now cook my eggs instead of smearing them on my face.

Josh says:
Jan 7, 2011

hahaha love the, “boil water for pasta only!” I would never in a million years think to rub cranberries all over my face!! Great advice!

barbara says:
Jan 10, 2011

I just heard another strange DIY. A friend was applying cream cheese to help heal facial swelling after surgery!

shannon seidl says:
Apr 23, 2011

What do you think about olive oil??????I like using it around my eyes,on my feet etc.

Teresa Stenzel
Teresa Stenzel says:
Apr 25, 2011

Hi Shannon- Olive oil is a great ingredient. We actually have it as one of our main ingredient in our Sensitive Skin Cleanser. The issue is that it’s important to use a stabalized formula on your skin. Whenever you reach for a kitchen or food item, there’s always an issue with freshness, the quality of the ingredient, is it sanitary, etc. (all which can affect results). When you used a stabalized professional skin care formula, you have the wonderful benefits of the ingredient, but you can be sure the formula will be stable, and give you consistent results each time you use it.

Sio says:
Sep 1, 2011

I completely disagree! You CAN go to Israel and put the dead sea mud all over you body and you WILL get wonderful benefits from it, if you live in Israel then it is in your back yard. Many sea muds and professional body treatment muds come straight from the source. There are many things you can do at home like use honey, oatmeal, avocado, pumpkin, pineapple, sugar and olive oil etc., on your skin and get GREAT results from it. I am a licensed aestheticians with 15 years experience behind me, i do know what I am talking about. Steaming has actually be found to beneficial to skin and that is why they have outlawed it in a lot of areas ie: San Francisco. I alway give my clients other options they can do in a bind or if they can afford professional skincare at the time.

Inika says:
Sep 8, 2011

Cream cheese to heal facial swelling? Never heard of it! But the Egg Mask this is used in many “tightening” formulations to get that lifted and tightened look

Sio says:
Sep 15, 2011

*un-beneficial (steaming)

Amanda @ Bioelements says:
Sep 15, 2011

@Sio – thank you for your comments. We agree that many seek out dead sea mud for its beneficial properties (in fact, we use natrium mud from Germany in our professional-use-only product MudTherapy). But we want only to point out that there are vast differences in quality between those (often natural) sought-after ingredients like dead sea mud, and the dirt found in the typical back yard.

If you see Teresa’s post above (#11), she has a great explanation for why we caution against using kitchen ingredients on the skin.

Also – we have not heard about any outlaw of the use of steam in facials in CA. We have checked with both the CA State Board of Cosmetology and CA Consumer Affairs. Where did you hear this?

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