Common 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 ending up with unwanted results. Here are five common mistakes to avoid when using natural skincare remedies.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Burn

A quick google search will teach you that apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help prevent signs of aging, eliminate acne-causing bacteria and improve skin tone. Maybe it's all the excitement that ensues after discovering a new skincare hack that causes many to run straight to their local Whole Foods before reading the user instructions. ACV is an acid and extremely potent. Because of this, it is recommended to dilute it with water. If you forget this small but critical step, you could end up with a chemical burn or severely irritated skin. So do yourself a favor, always mix one part ACV with three to five parts water before reaching for your (reusable) cotton pads.

2. Bentonite Clay Overdose 

If you haven’t come across Aztec Healing Clay on the Internet, you must be a unicorn because this product 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, you should also take in mind that you're purchasing packaged clay and therefore will have to 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 next step is to know when and how to take your mask off. 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. Rehydrate your skin 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 in a sensitive state 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, but its thick chemical composition makes it less-suited for most skin types. While coconut oil is antimicrobial and antibacterial, it’s also considered to be a pore-clogging oil. 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 and use a more skin-friendly oil, such as Argan or Hemp, for your face and body.

5. Too much avocado 

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 a more effective way to gain its skin-strengthening benefits. 

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