Interestingly, beauty enthusiasts can be broadly divided into two factions – those who believe in the power of home remedies and those who don’t. The rest of us are under a cloud of doubt about the whole thing. Does a DIY with ingredients borrowed from your pantry really cut it? And if they do, are they completely safe to go all out with? Or are cosmeceuticals/products a better bet when it comes to skincare? These are the questions we posed to pro dermatologist Dr. Mukta Sachdev – a member of neither beauty faction – to give us an unbiased judgment on the matter.
“It is quite tempting to use all those colourful natural ingredients from your kitchen on your face – and they definitely have been shown to have some benefit – but it should also be kept in mind that anything you put on your face can penetrate the skin’s surface only to a certain extent, so the effects are short term. However, regular use of these remedies will surely go a long way in maintaining a healthy complexion.”
And what of the safety aspect? Can an overuse of natural ingredients be justified just by virtue of them being natural? “There are some ingredients that can be quite caustic when used in their concentrated form; they can even cause burns and lead to pigmentation. I’ve had patients come to me with irritant reactions to lime, turmeric and vinegar, which only means that just because they’re natural doesn’t mean they aren’t completely harmless. Quantity and quality of the skin plays a key role here.”
For a deeper understanding, we rounded up the most common ingredients used in at-home beauty fixes, and had the dermat clear the air about each.
That oatmeal mask you were planning this weekend? Approved.