Lime juice can burn the face.

Lime juice can burn the face.

Have you ever made a Do-It-Yourself raw mask from natural ingredients only to find out that your face looks worse than ever afterward? This is because some of the commonly found ingredients in your recipes have the potential to infect and damage skin, especially if you use them when they are “slightly off.”

In essence, you are best to buy store-bought products if you want ones that contain certain ingredients, because used alone or without proper sanitation or dilution methods, they could cause injury to your skin or cause it to be damaged over time.

Here is a look at some both low-risk and high-risk scenarios that could be the consequence of using certain ingredients in your homemade creams, lotions, scrubs, and beauty masks.

1.        Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is used as a general face toner for most people, as long as you are using it diluted. If you use it full-strength, as a toner, for example, you risk burning your skin, as any type of vinegar tends to be a caustic substance. Mostly it is used to boost the glow of your complexion. However, you are using apple cider vinegar to treat sores or acne on your face, itchiness, redness and even mild burns could be the result.

2.        Cinnamon

Cinnamon appears online in many DIY recipes for scrubs, cleansers, and masks and the theory is that the spice stimulates your circulation and makes your skin look younger and plumper. Cinnamon is also considered to be an anti-microbial agent. Some people feel mild tingling and reddening of the skin when they use cinnamon on their skin, but if you are hypersensitive to the spice or use too much, you could sustain a burn from the cinnamon oil.

3.        Clay

Digging up clay deposits from a nearby riverbank, lake or your back yard to create cleansers and facial masks may not be such a good idea if the area is contaminated by local pollutants. The minuscule scratches that the tiny grains of rock in dirt clay can scratch your skin and cause it to become infected. Try to buy pre-made and purified bentonite clay or as a powder.

4.        Egg Whites

Egg whites are usually added to homemade scrubs and masks with the worst consequence being that the egg you are using is contaminated with a bacteria called salmonella. If you have a small scrape, cut or bug bite you can be vulnerable to a localized infection, and if you get a contaminated egg white near or into your mouth you can contract an intestinal tract infection. Salmonella often causes violent bouts of vomiting and can even be fatal.

5. Lime and Lemon Juice

Lemon and lime juice are often used to fade freckles and other types of spots, but it can burn and discolor your skin if you use too much. Using lime and lemon juice on your bare skin just before it is exposed to UV light, such the strong UVA and UVB rays that come from the sun can cause a phototoxic reaction called hyperpigmentation. This results in brown patches on the skin that could take weeks or even month to disappear, but usually, they do fade with time. The biggest threat to your skin is a second-degree burn with a blister and ensuing scar as the juices from the citrus fruit actually “cook” your skin much like the process of ceviche.

Would you like a consultation about your skin health from a professional naturopath? At the Pinewood Natural Health Centre in Toronto, we have many ways of approaching skin health, including ways to diagnose and treat the issues that might be causing your skin to be dry, break out or prematurely age in the first place

Visit the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website that has a list of full services and products at or calls our Toronto Office at  (416)-656- 8100.  We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about any of the many services that we offer including weight loss, infrared blood analysis, acupuncture, homeopathy, and naturopathic services.

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