Celebrity skincare expert Renee Rouleau has seen some of the worst mistakes clients can make experimenting with DIY treatments. One woman rubbed a cut lemon and baking soda on her face every morning and night. Another buffed her face with a nail file to smooth down problem areas in hopes of reducing acne scars. A third woman suffered acid burns after layering an acid serum on top of an acid toner every night before bed.
Resulting damage to complexions leaves behind redness, scarring, discoloration and severe dehydration as well as wrinkles and premature aging. “You have to be incredibly careful when it comes to whipping up DIY skincare products at home in your kitchen — particularly where acidic ingredients are concerned,” warns Rouleau in her blog. “The skin doesn’t work the same way the digestive system does. Therefore, it isn’t really possible to put food on the face and expect the nutrients to easily get into the skin,” she adds.
“There’s a reason skincare products are carefully formulated in a lab!”
The beauty pro, who is best known for her work with acne- and blemish-prone skin, has counted Lili Reinhart and Demi Lovato among her clients. While the mistakes mentioned above are extreme, Rouleau also cautions against others.
Failing to protect your skin after a facial or a chemical peel.
Exfoliating treatments remove dead skin cells and expose young cells that can be 45% more sensitive to the sun. “I’ve had clients through the years that have ignored my warnings and suggestions concerning post-facial exposure and have gone into the sun or tanning bed and fried their newly revealed skin,” says the beauty pro.
Drinking alcohol after a facial.
“After a facial, you want the skin to take in all of the wonderful nourishing benefits, so not exposing it to instant dehydration is wise,” Rouleau says. Avoiding alcohol is a good idea even if you haven’t just left the esthetician’s chair. Drinking dehydrates skin and ages the complexion prematurely. Puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles, blemishes and redness can be expected.
Picking at your skin.
Rouleau is herself a reformed picker, and she says this is one of the worst habits for your skin. Blemishes, scabs, severe discoloration and scarring can result. Some may need professional help to overcome the behavior if it has developed into an obsessive compulsion.
Using too many exfoliants.
While she says exfoliants improve many texture issues with the skin, the beauty expert cautions against overusing these products. Traumatizing the skin by over-exfoliating and causing inflammation can lead to early wrinkles.
Using rubbing alcohol on your face.
The popularity of alcohol-based toners continued until the early 90s, and many people thought upping the ante by applying straight rubbing alcohol on blemishes would be a good idea. It is not. Applying alcohol to your skin will cause extreme dehydration and creates serious complexion chaos. Your skin will constantly struggle to repair itself and maintain a moist environment, and the resulting conflict won’t be pretty.
Heavy smokers are likely to be at least five times more wrinkled than non-smokers. Cigarettes can stimulate collagen-destroying enzymes that quickly age the skin. Collagen-producing cells create 40% less collagen when exposed to tobacco smoke. Rouleau says women are much more susceptible to these side effects than men, and those exposed to second-hand smoke suffer many of the same effects as smokers.