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Admit it, you must have tried out an at-home skin remedy or some unorthodox treatment at some point in your life to brighten your skin or get rid of annoying pimples. Recently a vlogger used feminine wash that she claims helped cure her pimples.

But don’t be too quick to try everything that your friends say works. Home remedies can turn out detrimental to your skin. Here are nine home remedies people have used – present and past – that may harm your skin instead. Make sure you stay away from it!

1. Lemon Juice


Myth: Lemon juice can be used to get rid of pimples and hyperpigmentation. In fact, lemon juice is one of the most used home remedies (even by YouTube beauty gurus).
Fact: Lemon juice as a once-in-a-blue-moon quick fix is harmless. However, frequent use of lemon could dry out your skin and make breakouts more frequent! In fact, if you’re out in the sun with lots of lemon juice on your face, you may even suffer from chemical burns.
Instead: Ensure you moisturise daily and apply pimple cream only on troubled areas.

2. Baking Soda


Myth: Mixed with water, baking soda can get rid of blackheads on the nose area. This is one of the more popular home remedies.
Fact: Baking soda (a.k.a Sodium Bicarbonate) could cause imbalance in your skin’s pH. Since it is alkali product, it could make the pH value of your skin higher and cause breakouts.
Instead: Exfoliate your skin weekly with a peeling cream or facial scrub.

3. Toothpaste


Myth: Toothpaste can reduce redness around pimples and troubled areas.
Fact: Toothpaste is extremely harsh on the skin and could cause the areas around the pimple to peel and dry out. In fact, it might make your pimple even redder!
Instead: Use the toothpaste only on your teeth and reduce the redness of your pimples with a pimple cream and cover with a concealer.

4. Nightingale Poop


Myth: Geishas used to use nightingale droppings to preserve their youth and keep their skin supple before the early 20th century. This was one of the best-kept secret home remedies that have recently been picked up by some spas.
Fact: Raw nightingale poop consists mainly of bacteria and harmful digestive chemicals.
Instead: If you really want to try this, use only sterilised and certified nightingale waste products and not raw nightingale poop.

5. White Lead Powder (Ceruse)


Myth: During the renaissance, white lead powder (ceruse) was used by numerous European women including the royals to get a fairer look.
Fact: Ceruse was corrosive to the face and made the skin thinner. Eventually, ceruse was found to be one of the root causes of death among women. Ceruse was reportedly the cause of death of Queen Elizabeth I!
Instead: To achieve unblemished skin, avoid excessive exposure to UV rays, and apply sunblock faithfully.

6. Mercuric chloride


Myth: Mercuric chloride was used by women in the renaissance to get rid of blemishes (ie. pimples and freckles).
Fact: Like ceruse, mercuric chloride is also poisonous!
Instead: Practise good skincare habits and use a pimple cream to soothe blemishes. To hide them, use a concealer.

7. Cat litter


Myth: Create a mask using cat litter to help shrink your pores and get rid of blemishes.
Fact: The size of your pores cannot be changed, although they can look smaller when you ensure they’re not clogged; pores that are clogged are stretched. You can help your pores unclog by exfoliating regularly. Using cat litter as a solution can dry out your skin because of its strong absorption power.
Instead: Stick to clay masks to help with unclogging pores and oil control.

8. Olive Oil


Myth: Olive oil removes dirt and impurities from your face. Like lemon juice and baking soda, olive oil is one of the more popular home remedies used by beauty gurus on YouTube. Olive oil is also used as a conditioning treatment for split ends.
Fact: Olive oil is a common ingredient used in many good skincare products, but don’t be too quick to grab olive oil from your kitchen table and apply it on your face. There are different grades of olive oil and you should only be using pure and refined olive oil on your face, which a lot of cooking oils aren’t. Split ends, unfortunately, cannot be salvaged unless you chop it off.
Instead: Cleanse your face regularly and faithfully remove makeup with a cleansing oil instead. If you like the nourishing feeling of oil, you can also get a facial oil to use as a moisturiser.

9. Turmeric powder


Myth: Turmeric reduces inflammation and makes skin softer and suppler.
Fact: The yellowish stain can be extremely stubborn to remove from your face and towel. If you are looking for a quick-fix and hassle-free solution, turmeric is not for you.
Instead: Good hygiene practices can help reduce inflammation. Moisturise regularly to help keep your skin soft.

If you really want to achieve radiant skin, do it the right way. Check out the Daily Vanity Radiant Skin Guide to get radiant skin tips and product recommendations.