5 Mistakes To Avoid When Trying Natural Remedies

Karen Avidar

Natural remedies are effective and useful alternatives for treating various types of skin ailments. The trick is to understand how to use them properly so that you can enjoy their benefits instead of accidentally making your situation worse. Here are five common mistakes to avoid when using natural skin care remedies.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Burn

A quick Google search will enlighten you to the various benefits of apple cider vinegar in helping to tighten skin, eliminate acne-causing bacteria and make pores look smaller. It could be that all the excitement that ensues after arriving at a new and cheap skincare hack causes many to run straight to their local Whole Foods before reading the fine print. Namely, that apple cider vinegar is extremely potent and should be diluted with water. If you forget this small step, you will likely feel a rush of heat followed by a red face.  Furthermore, if you have any active or open pimples things could get even more complicated with stinging open sores, scabbing or even infection. So do yourself a favor, always mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 3-5 parts water before reaching for your face.

2. Bentonite Clay Overdose 

If you haven’t come across Aztec Healing Clay on the Internet, you must be a unicorn because this stuff has shown up on every blog, bathroom “shelfie” and curated shopping list. The truth is, bentonite clay really does help smooth skin by drawing out impurities and excess oils. However, the other truth is that since you’re purchasing straight up clay you better have some kind of idea as to how to correctly mix it into a paste and apply it. You want to avoid a mixture that is too runny or too chunky and dry. The trick is to slowly stir in small amounts of water (or some rose hydrosol and witch hazel) until you’ve managed to create a moist paste. The mask should be wet enough so that it can last longer on your face before it begins to dry. The next step is to know when and how to take this stuff off. What you don’t do is wait for your face to feel like it’s in a cast. Instead, once you feel the slightest sense of tightness wait no more than one to two minutes before washing off the mask with a warm towel or konjac sponge. You’ve just performed the equivalent of a skin vacuuming session, so you’ll want to rehydrate after with some rosewater and your choice of moisturizer or face oil.

3. Tea tree gone wrong

Similar to apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil is used and abused in the skincare community. Tea tree oil is an antibacterial and disinfectant oil but once again, it's also very potent. While, technically, tea tree is an essential oil that can be applied straight to the skin, most skin types in need of antibacterial help are already in a sensitive place and would benefit from a more gentle application. If you want to reap the benefits of this Australian remedy, mix one drop with your moisturizer or face oil in the palm of your hand. Start with small doses and see how your skin reacts in order to avoid skin irritation, burning, and sensitivity. 

4. Coconut oil craze

Coconut oil has been recommended by celebrities, influencers, and bloggers for use everywhere - the worst place being your face. While coconut oil is antimicrobial and antibacterial, it’s also considered to be a pore-clogging oil because of its thick chemical makeup. If you have sensitive skin, this oil likely won’t help banish acne and could potentially make the situation worse by blocking the pathway for dirt and oil to exit your pores smoothly. Keep it for use on your hair or legs (even though there are other botanical oils that you could use everywhere without clogging pores such as Argan, Hemp, and Sweet Almond oil.)

5. Avocado Face Toast

Similar to coconut oil, avocado oil is another of those oils that have a lot of nutrients but a tricky consistency. This oil is thick and pore-clogging. Places it works well include your feet, hands, and lips. Places it does not bode well include your face, chest, and back. Think about it this way, anywhere you usually break out is not a place for this oil to be applied. Eating avocado and absorbing its nutrients through the digestive system is also an effective way to gain its skin-strengthening benefits. 

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