The Don’ts of DIY and Why You Should Trust the Professionals

People often believe they know what is best for themselves, and while that is often true, matters get more complicated when it comes to DIY beauty. Shania O’Brien spoke to Biologi‘s Dermal Specialist Lucy Macdougald and Sothys‘ Sandi Daley about what home remedies to avoid, and when it is time for a trip to the salon.

Can you tell us why using pantry ingredients for DIY beauty and skincare products is harmful?

Lucy Macdougald: In short – we don’t always know what they do to our skin! For example, if we look at a common ingredient used in DIY skincare like lemon, this can cause long-lasting damage to skin. Since lemon is highly acidic, it can change the natural pH of your acid mantle which can lead to an array of side effects like irritation, sensitivity to the sun, pigmentation, or in some cases, chemical burn.

There’s also the physical implications of DIY skincare, such as using oats etc. in face masks or scrubs – this can potentially cause micro tears of the skin, leading to other issues. DIY pantry ingredients also don’t often have preservatives in them, so bacteria can easily develop (again, causing issues for the skin like breakouts).

Sandi Daley: Everyone loves the idea of making their own skincare with cucumber, yogurt, honey, oatmeal and more … but the challenge can be how these products interact with your skin.

Professional skincare products are designed keeping absorption of helpful molecules in mind. They are formulated in balance with multiple other carriers and active ingredients that are tailored to skin needs.

Biologi Bqk Radiance Face Serum in Kakadu Plum + Quandong

What specifically should our readers avoid in terms of DIY?

Lucy Macdougald: I am happy to provide a comprehensive list of ingredients and all the reasons to avoid them.

Raw eggs – these can contain bacteria like salmonella and if we have micro tears in the skin, this bacteria can easily penetrate.

Baking Soda – Baking Soda is extremely alkaline and therefore can disrupt the pH level of the skin, resulting in moisture loss and other skin damage. It can also be physically abrasive, which can lead to micro tears on the skin.

Lemon – As mentioned above, while it’s great as a food ingredient, it is highly acidic which can really mess with the skin’s acid mantle. 

Apple Cider Vinegar – Like lemon, Apple Cider Vinegar is highly acidic and can also lead to skin irritation or chemical burns. 

Spice – Various spices are often used as ingredients in DIY skincare, such as cinnamon in face masks. However, some people’s skin can be hypersensitive to the spice, which can lead to irritation and often chemical burns. 

Mayonnaise – Because mayo is mainly made up of oil and fat, it can clog the pores which might lead to breakouts or acne.

Sothys Organics Revitalising Emulsion

How will people know when it is time to consult a professional?

Lucy Macdougald: It really depends on the individual circumstances, however as a general rule, any sort of burn, rash or blisters will require the attention of a professional. I would say in all instances it is better to seek the advice of a professional before trying to fix it yourself as there is a chance you can make things worse.

Sandi Daley: Professionals look at the overall health of the skin, the types of lesions or inflammation zones and where they appear … all this knowledge and data collection can support a better understanding of what might be triggering any skin issues as a result of DIY beauty treatments. Professionals are also best suited to recommend products that can help balance skin along with general health practices. 

Biologi Bf Restore Face & Body Serum in Finger Lime

Can you tell me about the longevity of professional products and why they are safer than homemade solutions?

Lucy Macdougald: It all comes down to the preservatives. Most professional products have to contain preservatives which means they typically have years of shelf-life. At home DIY beauty products however usually contain ingredients that can expire really quickly (which means it’s a real gamble putting these on the skin).

Sandi Daley: Professional products are also much less likely to grow mould or bacteria which can aggravate the skin and can potentially cause reactivity and even damage skin tissue. This is why they have use by dates as a guide for people to know when they are safe to use.

Can you provide examples of some green products you stock and why they’re the best option for our readers?

Lucy Macdougald: All of Biologi’s products can be considered ‘green’ because they all contain one natural plant extract and a 0.2% of a preservative, that’s it. At Biologi, we never dilute or alter the natural ingredients that we put in our products, which makes them safe for most skin types.

A favourite product of mine is Biologi’s Bf Restore Face and Body Serum which is a perfect all-in-one serum for those needing the ultimate hit of hydration. Made from Australian native finger lime extract, Biologi’s Bf Restore Face and Body Serum is a hydrating bottle of goodness that nourishes and protects skin.

Formulated to treat a range of skincare concerns, Bf is suitable for full body, face and hair hydration, repairing the skin barrier, reducing cellulite and dimples, antioxidant protection from damaging free radicals and reducing damage caused by long-term over-exposure to the sun. Suitable for all skin types (recommended for baby’s skin over 2 years old) Bf is especially ideal for anyone with sensitive, dry and irritated skin.


Sandi Daley: Sothys have just released a range of vegan-friendly, organic products and a professional treatment which appeals to fans of natural formulations and especially a younger clientele. There has been an enthusiastic uptake of this new range both by existing stockists and also new businesses looking for an organic product that not only smells amazing but performs beautifully within the elegance of this iconic French brand. 

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