The World Wide Web is a vast and wonderful place, equally full of views and guidance that you never knew you wanted or asked for. Conflicting views are to be expected when we speak about the internet here. One person swears by a certain exfoliator, while another swears that their skin has been destroyed.

The reasons why you may want to remove from your skin care routine the following scrubs, equipment, and masks vary; some are too extreme, some are ineffective, some just don’t live up to the hype.
But all of these have one very significant thing in common: they have little to do with being close to your skin.

  • Toothpaste for acne: In the expectation that it will vanish, most adolescents who consult about their acne have already tried dabbing toothpaste on their pimples. This is an old hack that’s not going to work anymore. An ingredient called triclosan, which destroys acne-causing bacteria, was used in the older toothpaste formulation. So, it was helpful to dab the acne with toothpaste. In children who were exposed to antibacterial at an early stage, however, triclosan was found to decrease immunity. As a result, newer toothpastes have ceased to use it as an ingredient. Any of the current ingredients will potentially lead to discomfort and rashes.
  • Scrubbing Blackhead away: The channels that take oil from the gland to the skin’s surface are blocked much like a jam due to excess traffic when too much oil or sebum is secreted by the sebaceous glands. It gets oxidized and becomes a blackhead when this clogged oil, combined with dead skin, hits the skin’s surface. It’s not dirt at all, which is why you cannot absolutely clean it away. All you can do is extract the blackhead’s upper part, and then it comes back really easily. You must use a lotion or facewash based on salicylic acid or lactic acid that will exfoliate the pore lining and remove the oil, thereby completely eliminating it. Scrubbing vigorously would just interrupt the skin’s protective layers.
  • Using all-natural products: Whatever preconceived idea someone may have or media-induced fiction, someone might assume that natural ingredients are better for the skin; it’s not true. For that belief, there is no empirical basis or scientific validity. The meaning of ‘natural’ is not only hazy, but the term is loosely governed, so it can be used by any cosmetics company to mean whatever they want it to mean. It doesn’t make it inherently good for the skin just because an ingredient grows out of the earth or is contained in nature; and the opposite is also valid, just because it’s synthetic doesn’t make it bad.
  • Using lemon for skincare: No. More. More. With lemons. I repeat: lemons no more! This citrus fruit is, for some reason, the favorite of DIY beauty gurus, but most dermatologists’ nightmare. Touted as the lightener of Mother Nature, lemons have a pH of about 2, which can really mess up the normal pH of 4 – 5 for the skin. Plus, they are way too acidic and eat away at our protective shield, literally. Worse still, they make the skin more sun-sensitive, which can lead to blistering or very bad discoloration that can last for months. Stick to use the lemon in your tea, not on your head.
  • Baking Soda as Exfoliator: There are plenty of household items that can act as an expensive exfoliator. Sugar combined with a little water, for instance, will give you radiant skin. But baking soda is not one of them, considering the sheer number of DIY recipes suggesting it online. It has a basic pH much higher than where healthy skin can live. Keep this orange box in the fridge and away from your face to prevent allergic, rashy skin.

Kritika is a freelance content writer with