DIY Beauty: 5 pointers on using homemade recipes

Okay, I love trying out homemade beauty recipes and writing my DIY Beauty features. And I know many of you like to read them too. In fact, a number of you have written to let me know that my recommendations have worked for you and I really appreciate that. However, I’ve been a tad concerned with some readers with rather serious skin issues and are trying to resolve them with some of my recipes. First off, let me just say that while these recipes are full of natural goodness, they aren’t for everybody. So today, I’ll discuss five points to note when using DIY ingredients.

1. Some ingredients irritate sensitive skin
As you may have noticed, a lot of my recipes are made with raw vegetables or fruits. Now, some of these can actually cause problems for those with sensitive skin. One of my most popular post is the cinnamon and nutmeg acne mask and I did caution within the entry that the ingredients are too strong for those with sensitive skin. So if you have such skin type, be careful what ingredients you put on your skin. Even honey, which is supposed to be gentle, can cause problems for some people! If you really like to try, please conduct a patch test first.

2. Some ingredients cause photo-sensitivity
It is quite tempting to go DIY for the reason that it’s cheap in a sense and it’s fun. But if you have little knowledge about skin care, I’ll advice you to read a bit more before attempting any of these recipes. For example, rice powder and citrus fruits like lemon are always said to be a great skin lightener but if you don’t use sunscreen, these ingredients can cause photo-sensitivity that result in pigmentation. This is why I usually do not recommend lemon that much for the face and if I do, I will always qualify with a disclaimer.

3. Most ingredients work on epidermis only
Generally, while some DIY beauty recipes can work for the skin, especially those with exfoliating properties, they usually take a longer time to show results. In addition, note that the molecules of these unprocessed ingredients are large and hence, they cannot penetrate beyond the epidermis. So the point is, don’t expect miraculous results overnight.

4. All ingredients only help to eradicate superficial problems
I have young girls who write to ask me to recommend them DIY recipes for their acne issues. For such cases, I usually advice them to seek professional help to determine the causes for their acne issues. If it’s an internal issue, no ingredients slatherde on the face is going to help much. While some of the homemade recipes may reduce inflammation, they can’t eradicate the problem. This is also the case for remedies that promote the reduction of dark eye circles. If your dark circles are a result of an internal health issue, then no topical ingredient can help eradicate the problem.

5. Natural ingredients can go bad without preservatives
Most of my homemade beauty recipes are for a one-time use. This means, I don’t recommend making large batches unless they are only using oils. Personally, I make all my DIY recipes fresh and the longest I’ve kept them is about a day. Although I’ve tried making toners and keeping them in the fridge for about three days, I actually don’t feel so safe using them in the end because water-based products are prone to bacteria growth.

So a rule of thumb for those with sensitive or problematic skin types, proceed with caution when it comes to experimenting with DIY recipes. I know it’s tempting to try but you certainly don’t want to create more problems for your skin. And finally, if you have a health condition or if you’re pregnant, I beg you to be really careful in what you use. In fact, I would advice you to abstain from experimenting with DIY recipes and seek professional recommendation on what you can or cannot use.


  1. Arthi says:

    A good piece of information about DIY !!!

  2. Pranali says:

    even excess use to papaya causes photo sensitivity

  3. Sesame says:

    Glad you find it useful. ?

  4. Sesame says:

    Papaya too? Oh geez…but I don’t use this ingredient at all…don’t like the smell.

  5. fatima says:

    i once used a grape and i think it was plain flour mask….i got a rash on my face,
    not good lol

  6. Carl says:

    Hey Sesame! This is such an informative post especially to those who are really into homemade skincare recipes like me. Kudos to you! ?

  7. Sesame says:

    Oh dear…the grape could have gone bad…or maybe it just doesn’t work for your skin.

  8. Sesame says:

    Thanks Carl! I just want to make sure everyone don’t go crazy with the recipes. I love using them cos for me, they’re gentler, they do work and they cost less. But as with everything else, it’s best to exercise some caution.

  9. Amanda says:

    Like points 3 and 5! For point 3, I find what works best for me is what goes into my stomach. For point 5, the only DIY recipe I ever made that went beyond one day is toner. But if I could choose, I would have used it up immediately. I feel overnight DIY recipes are less potent.

    On the other hand, though I’m a proponent of natural beauty, I do agree that it’s troublesome to make DIY recipes whenever I want to have them ?

  10. fatima says:

    urm also beacuse i use a rice powder about 2 a week, does that mean ill get photosensitivity?? i dont usally get sunburnt, my skin colour isnt light.

  11. Sesame says:

    I find DIY recipes great for exfoliation purposes – cos those really work. Some of the remedies to heal scars also work well.

  12. Sesame says:

    It really depends on your skin type…not necessary so for everyone. Plus, you use twice a week so that sounds sensible. If you protect your skin well in the day, it shouldn’t be an issue.

  13. Swati says:

    great post, Sesame…its really very very necessary for people to really know how to approach home remedies and DIY skin care!!!
    Swati last post is: SOS Organics Wild Mint and Herb Garden Handmade Soaps {Product Review}

  14. Sesame says:

    Yeah, this is to prevent some from rushing to use the remedies without considering their own skin conditions.

  15. kaithlin93 says:

    using rice flour alone causes photosensitivity?

  16. Sesame says:

    Yes, it does to some extent but if you use sunscreen daily, shouldn’t be a big issue.

  17. Meg says:

    The honey part is true—it can trigger quite a strong reaction. However, I’ve found it’s temporary and harmless, at least with me. It itches like crazy and I get REALLY red. But a good, soothing moisturising and 20 minutes later I’m back to normal, no damage to the skin—short- or long-term as far as I can see—and the desired results in full effect.

    No pain no gain, I guess.

  18. Sesame says:

    Oh…you’re brave to keep at it because most ladies I know will give up at the slightest irritation. But do you get that itching sensation all the time with honey or only at times?

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