We are the first to admit our eyes light up at every Farah Dhukai beauty hack, but in a world where social media rules and new 'hacks' surface daily, promising to give you the silkiest hair and clearest skin, it forces us to wonder, are these at-home concoctions actually safe? We weigh in on some of the most popular hacks and exactly what they're doing to your skin.
#1 Using hairspray to set your makeup
It can be frustrating doing your makeup for a special occasion only to walk out the door and find out half of it has already slipped off. However, despite its ability to extend the life of that perfect blow-dry, using hairspray should never be a part of your makeup routine.
Hairspray contains alcohol and lacquers that dry out your skin and cause irritation. As well as this, it often dries sticky and can cause foundation to settle into fine lines – making you look older.
If you only need to set your makeup on the odd occasion and can’t justify investing in a setting spray, we suggest finding a skincare product that doubles as a great primer. Those that contain zinc are our favourites as they dry matte and reduce oil- prolonging the life of your makeup. A setting powder can also prolong the life of your makeup. We love Rae Morris’ invisible mattifier, which can also be used on its own on makeup free days for a subtle airbrushed finish.
#2 Toothpaste to treat a breakout
Like most things, a consistent skincare routine with ingredients like retinol are great for controlling breakouts. If you still get the occasional pimples we suggest products containing salicylic acid (to dissolve oil and sebum) and niacinamide (for its anti-inflammatory properties).
If your acne woes are more than the occasional breakout, we suggest seeking the opinion of your GP or dermatologist.
#3 Exfoliating with salt
Making an at home scrub with salt is opening yourself up to an array of unwanted side effects. Although some physical exfoliants have gained popularity, salt grains are imperfect and do not have a smooth surface which can lead to physical damage and irritation to the skin. In acne prone skin types this can also spread bacteria leading to further breakouts. We suggest favouring chemical exfoliants such as AHA/BHAs or retinol which fight oil and remove pore clogging dead skin cells.
Besides this, in addition to simply whisking away dead skin cells and debris on the skin, acid exfoliators have can have long-term benefits for skin. Unlike physical exfoliants that can be harsh over a long period, chemical exfoliants smoothen, brighten and even out skin tone as they also stimulate collagen production to firm up your skin and reduce wrinkles.
So, as fun as home made face masks and reaching for everyday items to fill gaps in your beauty bag may be, we suggest investing in products that are designed for a specific purpose to ensure the overall good health of your skin.