Do's and don'ts for DIY skin care

Story highlights

  • Honey, olive oil and tea are great pantry products for your skin, dermatologist Doris Day says
  • Citrus and spices can irritate skin, the "Forget the Facelift" author says
  • Salt, sugar and baking soda are effective exfoliants, Day says
Perhaps you've come across a recipe or two on Pinterest for perfect skin. We've seen them too: banana and orange facials, spicy acne masks, olive oil cleansers and more.
But whether you're holistically-minded, frustrated with drugstore finds or having a beauty emergency, it's not always wise to experiment on your face with that thing you saw on the Internet.
We wondered, should you ever put your skin and hair at the mercy of your kitchen pantry?
"For the most part I prefer drug store or department store or cosmeceutical products from your dermatologist because they're actually tested on the skin and they go through certain quality control measures," said New York dermatologist Dr. Doris Day. "But in a pinch, there are things you can use at home."
You just have to pick carefully and learn a little bit from the past. People have been using substances like olive oil, yogurt, vinegar, honey and aloe for skin care for ages, Day said, and now there are scientific studies that explain why they work.
We asked Day, who has a few DIY recipes of her own in her book, "Forget the Facelift," to guide us through the "dos and don'ts" of homemade beauty treatments.
Think different
Here are some of Day's favorite pantry beauty ingredients.
One of Day's go-to products is honey. "Honey is published widely in medical literature for its use on wounds and diabetic sores," she said. It is antiseptic and creates a barrier on wounds that's breathable, like skin, she said. Honey also helps preserve homemade salves, so you can use them for more than one application. She includes honey in her recipes for acne treatment, eye de-puffing and exfoliating scrubs. It's excellent for treating eczema, she said.
Aloe, like honey, is great for treating wounds, Day said, and other skin irritations. It is anti-inflammatory, she said, so it's great for the pain associated with burns and poison ivy. Just pop off a piece of an aloe house plant and rub it directly on your irritated skin, she said.
"But it can sting when you first put it on the skin, so you have to be a little patient that way," she said.