Common sense should be the key ingredient in any DIY face mask

Slathering natural ingredients that might not be suited to your skin type onto your face can sometimes do more harm than good

09 July 2017 - 00:01 By Daniel Jardim & Shanthini Naidoo

It's become a hot internet trend to make beautifying face masks at home using natural ingredients. But there are hundreds of concoctions out there, and while it may be tempting to whip up cinnamon and honey to stamp out spots, or blend turmeric with coconut oil to revive a dull complexion, one should always add a dash of common sense to the mix.
Natural does not always mean safe, and slathering on ingredients that may not be suited to your skin type may turn hopes of rejuvenation into calamity.
Cinnamon, for instance, is known to cause inflammation and redness in sensitive skins, and turmeric, even though it is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, can stain skin yellow.One DIY video in particular, dealing with two-ingredient face masks, has been popping up on our timelines repeatedly.
The concoctions featured include lemon juice and honey, coconut oil and turmeric, lemon juice and egg white, lemon juice and yogurt, and coffee and honey.
Coffee may work as an exfoliator, and caffeine has been shown to constrict blood vessels, which could reduce the appearance of inflammation. But honey can clog pores, as can heavy coconut oil.Sometimes it is not the ingredient but the quality of the product that may be an issue. Adulterants added in lower-grade products can cause a reaction.
Organic certification ensures greater purity, but the safest bet is to perform a patch test behind the ear or on the wrist to ensure that no adverse reaction will occur.
The claims made for many of these preparations are also highly inflated, so it may be wise to opt for natural ingredients, like aloe vera gel, which have a proven track record in skin care.
Try the root version of turmeric, soaked and ground into a paste, rather than powder. And wear gloves.
The ultimate route to radiant skin is to nourish it from the inside out, and that means eating more of the good stuff.
It may be on-trend to ply your face with smooshed avocado, but the greatest benefits can be reaped by simply piling more of it on to your plate.

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