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A Dermatologist Weighs In on Popular DIY Skin Treatments

Searching for face masks on Pinterest is honestly overwhelming. There are thousands upon thousands of options promising to treat every skin ailment out there. But do any of them actually work like they promise?

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The internet is full of information, but it’s no match for a real doctor. We chatted with celebrity dermatologist Dr. Marina Peredo of Skinfluence in New York City. She weighed in on some of the most popular DIY skin treatments on Pinterest, so before you mix ’em up, you know if they’ll actually work. Here’s what she had to say.

1. For treating acne: Grapefruit face scrub

According to Peredo, grapefruit can actually help treat acne, but not in every case.

“The use of grapefruit for acne can work well, but it depends on the severity of breakouts,” she explained. “If you have mild acne, you will likely see improvement, but if you have severe acne, including cysts and pustules, this home remedy could actually irritate your skin further. Additionally, take caution with scrubs, as the granules can also take a toll on sensitive skin.”

2. For brightening your skin: Turmeric and lemon DIY face mask

The lemon in this face mask can actually be dangerous, Peredo said.

“Turmeric is a great antioxidant, especially when taken orally, and lemon is a notorious skin brightener, so in theory this home treatment is a great way to brighten skin,” she explained. “Do take caution when using lemon on your skin, though, as it can cause severe hyperpigmentation when exposed to the sun. The medical term for this is phytophotodermatitis, which is a reaction to putting lemon or lime on your skin and then exposing it to the sun, usually in the form of red blotches. It’d be best to test this on a small area of skin initially. Risks aside, this treatment is a good idea, but you’d need to do it frequently for true brightening results.”

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3. For treating dry, red skin: Yogurt and oatmeal face mask

This one gets the go ahead from Peredo.

“This treatment is a great idea,” she said. “An old remedy for sunburn is actually to compress the affected area with milk-soaked towels. That being said, milk contains lactic acid and qualities that soothe the skin, so this DIY treatment is great to try on dry and red, irritated skin.”

4. For oily skin: French green clay mask

This isn’t so likely to treat oily skin, Peredo said. Instead, she offered this alternative: “When looking to treat oily skin, employing the use of a dry mask is your best option. I think a more effective alternative to this treatment would be egg white mixed with oatmeal and honey.”

5. For hydrating your skin: Green tea face mask

According to Peredo, this mask is a great mix of ingredients, but she offers one caution: Watch out for allergies.

“Matcha is a great nutrient to have in your diet; I drink it in tea frequently,” she said. “If you’re looking to hydrate your skin, this mask seems like a good trick. However, I’d caution people on the major ingredient here — aloe — which can frequently cause allergic reactions. Test it on a small area of skin first.”

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The takeaway here? It’s important to be careful with skin treatments you find on the internet. While some of them are fine, others contain ingredients that could be downright dangerous under the right circumstances. It’s always a good idea to check with your dermatologist before starting any kind of skin regimen, especially a DIY one.

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