Home beauty hacks to be wary of in lockdown: The 5 biggest skincare mistakes you’re making

How many are you guilty of?

By Maddison Leach
At-home beauty hacks are a great way to pass the time in lockdown, but some of us are making major DIY beauty blunders.
Trying a different home-made skincare remedy or face mask every day may sound fun, but you could be doing more harm than good.
From dodgy ingredients to techniques that really should be left to the professionals, there are some things you really shouldn't try at home.
But it's not just DIY beauty hacks and home remedies that are wreaking havoc on our skin in lockdown.
Plenty of people are making some serious mistakes with store-bought skincare products while they're stuck inside.
Even those of us who haven't jumped on the DIY beauty craze are guilty of a few lockdown blunders when it comes to our skin.
Here are the five of the biggest lockdown beauty blunders people are making, and why you really should avoid them.

1. Rubbing raw sugar all over your face

Making a DIY sugar scrub sounds harmless and easy, but rubbing raw sugar crystals all over your face will do more harm than good.
The idea is that the sugar acts as a physical exfoliant to remove dead skin cells, but rough sugar scrubs – especially the homemade kind – are way too harsh for your face.
Using sugar from your kitchen just about guarantees microtears (tiny cuts) on the surface of the skin that can let bacteria in.
Raw kitchen sugar is way too harsh to be scrubbing on your face. Pexels
Sugar scrubs, especially the DIY kind, can also cause redness, irritation, dryness and contribute to breakouts.
So put down the sugar bowl and leave the DIY scrubs alone.

2. Using lemon juice or vinegar for DIY facials

Lemon juice has been a go-to DIY facial ingredient for years, but it and other acidic ingredients can be dangerous.
Acidic kitchen ingredients like lemon, yoghurt and vinegar (even the apple cider kind) are way too strong for use in their raw form.
When used incorrectly, they can cause sensitivity, redness, breakouts and even burns, and while you can dilute them to make them less harsh, it's still risky.
DIY face masks can be risky if you're using the wrong ingredients. Pexels
If you want to introduce acids to your home skincare routine, try ordering a product that was actually meant for use on the delicate skin of your face, like an AHA or BHA.
As for the lemons, vinegar and yoghurt – leave them in the kitchen where they belong.

3. Going overboard with a new skincare routine

It's tempting to fill the extra hours at home by trying out a new face mask, DIY treatment or fancy product every day, but that can actually wreak havoc on your skin.
The rule of thumb is that you should only try introducing one new skincare product at a time, using it for two weeks before trying anything else.
If a fortnight goes by and you don't see any adverse reactions in your skin, you can safely start introducing another new product and repeat the process.
Trying to load up on new products all at once can send your skin into meltdown, and make it hard to tell which product is to blame if you break out or have a reaction.
The same is true for DIY beauty treatments, which can be even more fickle as they often include ingredients that haven't been formulated specifically for your skin.
Space them out by a week or two as well to avoid overdoing it.

4. Ditching the SPF

Just because you're spending more time inside doesn't mean you can completely ignore sun safety and SPF.
Whether you're sitting by a window while working from home, going for a daily walk in the sun, or sitting in the yard for your morning coffee, your skin is still getting some sun.
That means you need to be protecting it with a daily SPF product designed specifically for sun protection (foundation with SPF doesn't count!).
Sun protection is important even in lockdown. Pexels
Sun exposure and damage can cause a whole host of skin troubles, from burns to premature ageing, and even skin cancer.
Investing in a good SPF is vital for Aussies, with an estimated 16,221 melanoma cased diagnosed in Australia in 2020, according to Cancer Australia.
Don't think you're off the hook if you're young either.
Dermatologist Dr Saxon Smith told Now To Love: "I see melanoma on all ages, and the youngest I've ever seen was a 10 year old."

5. Not washing brushes and cleaning out expired products

When was the last time you washed your makeup brushes? If your answer isn't "within the last week", it's time to give those bad boys a scrub.
Bacteria, product and other build-up accumulate on your brushes at a scary rate, so you should be washing them at least once a week, especially foundation and concealer brushes.
It's easy to forget about your brushes in lockdown, but cleaning them now ensures you won't be using grubby, bacteria-filled tools when lockdowns lift.
And you can safely DIY your brush cleaning routine.
Wet the brush, then pop some gentle soap or cleanser in your palm and gently massage the bristles in your hand to soap them up.
Rinse thoroughly, reshape the brush into its original form and lay it out to dry with the bristles over the edge of a counter. Avoid drying brushes on a towel as they can form mildew.
Lockdown is also a good time to go through your makeup drawer and toss any old or expired products.
This is the symbol that indicates how long a product will last after opening. Supplied
To test if a product is expired, check the label for a little symbol that looks like an opened jar with a number on it next to the letter 'M'.
This tells you how many months a product lasts after being opened, so a "12 M" product should be tossed a year after you open it.