Limes In Place Of Deodorant
The idea of rubbing a lime under your pits is zesty and earth-friendly, right? But Joshua Zeichner, MD, says it could quickly take a turn for the worse (lime is acidic, after all). “Limes can cause skin irritation and red, burning, scalding rashes,” he tells us. Even a splash of the highly sun-reactive citrus from a poolside margarita could be majorly bad news.
Try Instead: Regular deodorant is your best bet (here are some options, including a more natural alternative). But you can also use a cleansing towelette and a mist of fragrance if you’re in a pinch, he says.
Using Mouthwash To Combat Dandruff
Another hack on the nope scale, some claim that the ingredients in a product like Listerine (menthol, thymol, eucalyptol, and methyl salicylate), are prime for banishing tiny, white flakes. Not so, Manhattan dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD, says.
“There is no scientific data to support this. Dandruff is caused by an overgrowth of yeast and is often accompanied by a compromised skin barrier,” she says. “I’d worry that use of a strong alcohol-based mouthwash could further disrupt the scalp’s skin barrier, only exacerbating the problem.” She adds that the solution could also alter color-treated hair.
Try Instead: Sometimes, it’s best not to mess with a good thing. “The most effective way to combat dandruff is with a clinically proven zinc pyrithione shampoo-and-conditioner regimen,” Dr. Fusco recommends. You can get started here.
Using A Stiletto, Knife, Or Plunger To Contour
The list for why this is a bad idea is pretty lengthy, but at the tippy-top is the unsanitary and dangerous nature of these “tools.”
Try Instead: Literally anything else with a straight line. Here are some obvious suggestions: A piece of paper, ruler, pencil, book, notebook, credit card…should we keep going?
Read More: How To Get Pink And Soft Lips
Deodorant To Combat Shine
“Not a good idea!” warns Dr. Zeichner. “Antiperspirants work by blocking your sweat glands from producing wetness, but they don’t do anything for oil-producing cells.” If you tend to get a really sweaty face, a transparent antiperspirant is a fine idea — with the asterisk that it can congest pores and cause potential breakouts.
Try Instead: For shine, try an oil-absorbing primer (this one comes formulated with SPF for good measure). And to prove that we’re not above all hacks, here are some blotting items you probably already have handy (cough, rolling papers, cough).
Diaper-Rash Cream For Breakouts
While Dr. Zeichner says diaper-rash cream can help soothe and calm inflamed skin (and can mellow an angry pimple), it’s not something you should be smearing all over your face. For already sensitive, acne-prone, and oily skin, a pore-plugging ingredient like zinc oxide (often found in diaper-rash creams) can trigger further breakouts.
Try Instead: “Look for an acne product with benzoyl peroxide that fights acne-causing bacteria,” Dr. Zeichner recommends. Neutrogena’s Stubborn Acne Leave-on Mask is great for an all-over situation, while Clearasil’s Acne Treatment is good to dab on specific spots.
Using Onions To Speed Up Eyebrow Growth
“Onions are rich in sulfur, which may help kill bacteria and yeast on the skin, to help improve dandruff, but [this] likely does little to regrow hair,” says Dr. Zeichner. Is anyone else not that sad to keep onions away from their eyes?
Try Instead: Rather than risking a tear-stricken face in the hopes of bushier brows, Dr. Zeichner says to reach for topical minoxidil. We’re also fans of Province Apothecary’s brow serum, which includes botanicals like castor, argan, and jojoba oils, and is formulated to stimulate hair growth while also deepening hair color (with the help of coffee).
Garlic For Pimples
Because pimples are like vampires? Another no-no, according to Dr. Zeichner. “Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce the size of a single, big pimple,” he says. “But, it will leave you smelling like an Italian restaurant.” Basically, file this one under not dangerous, but also not so pleasant.
Try Instead: “It’s not as memorable, but a dab of a 1% over-the-counter cortisone cream is pretty effective,” he says.
Read More: 11 Best Versatile Foundations Of 2017
Cornstarch For Baking
If you’re not privy, baking is a technique popularized by YouTube vloggers to set your base makeup, create a poreless finish, and accent the high points of the face. Sounds harmless (though time-consuming) enough, right? But things took a turn for the weird when one YouTuber recommended using cornstarch in place of regular ol’ powder.
According to an article from Cosmo, you definitely don’t want to go down that road. “I would not recommend cornstarch on the face,” Doris Day, MD, tells the outlet. “It’s food for yeast that live on the skin.”
Dish Soap For Lipstick Removal
You’ve probably heard about using dish soap to remove lipstick stains on your favorite white blouse — and it totally works. You know what doesn’t work? Putting that same dish cleaner on your mouth. Hate to break it to you, but we would more likely suggest that $40 cleansing balm to remove your most stubborn liquid lipstick than your favorite Dawn detergent.
Here’s exactly why you should steer clear: While your dish soap of choice won’t make your lips fall off, it will dry the hell out of ’em. Also, accidentally ingesting that kitchen staple isn’t an accident you should be willing to make just to remove your new lippie.
Try Instead: Find a really good micellar water to help you out. Not a stitch of product will be left behind.
Petroleum Jelly For Your Acne
We once saw an overwhelming amount of people on Instagram suggest putting petroleum jelly on top of a fresh breakout — kind of suspect, right? While skin doesn’t literally need to breathe, a heavy petroleum isn’t our first choice of action. You’re better off using the jelly on top of other acne medications, like a BHA or salicylic acid, instead. That way you’re sealing in potent ingredients that will help battle your most inflamed spots.
Try Instead: These acne stickers are infused with acne-fighting ingredients. Your week-long breakout will be gone in two days.