Mention homemade skincare remedies and the image of cucumber slices as eye masks comes to mind. Hold that thought, because it does contain scientific truth. The humble cucumber contains ascorbic acid and caffeic acid, both of which calm skin irritations and reduce swelling; hence its use for alleviating dark eye circles.
A quick Google search for “homemade skincare remedies” will reveal that a well-stocked kitchen could come in handy for head-to-toe care; there are natural recipes for each step of your grooming routine.
Starting with cleansing, mix cold milk with ground orange peel and wash per usual. Milk contains natural enzymes and acids to wash the grime off from the daily grind while orange peel acts as a mild exfoliant. Then, use raw apple cider vinegar mixed with water to tone the face. Despite its acidity, apple cider vinegar helps to normalise the skin’s pH and prepare it to absorb moisturisers better. For moisturising, honey is the best ingredient as its hydrating, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties yields a glowing complexion.
The above is not an exhaustive list, but it has been recommended as the raw materials required are easily found in most kitchens.
Especially appealing to green warriors, there are also no artificial additives and plastic packaging involved that might potentially harm the environment. Ultimately, it addresses the biggest issue that has plagued the beauty industry in recent years – parabens. Used as a preservative in cosmetics, its absence in homemade skincare recipes eliminates the worry of its causal link with cancer.
However, the question to ask here is: “Just because we can, should we?” The mantra of men’s grooming has always circled around convenience. Although the above mentioned have their benefits, skincare remedies require consistent usage for them to be effective. Therefore, it might take numerous trips to the supermarket and several man-hours to prepare and mix the ingredients to ensure freshness. This writer believes that this would push men back to using the primitive soap (as an all-in-one wash) and do away with any three-step grooming routine.
Efficacy-wise, homemade skincare remedies usually lack the potency of commercial or clinical products. They generally disregard an individual’s skin type, which can range from dry to combination and oily, and needs specialised attention.
Moreover, not all “unnatural” ingredients are cancer-inducing or bad. They can be utilised to target specific skin problems at an idealised level. The Clinique iD, a personalised moisturiser, makes use of a patent-pending Custom-Blend Chemistry Technology to create 15 possible combinations to cater to an individual’s skincare needs. The end result would be a clearly visible consistency, which in turn will encourage men to continue with the three-step skincare.
On the other hand, there is also the issue of quality control of DIY recipes. Take the use of apple cider vinegar, for example. There is no guarantee that every bottle would have the same level of beneficial acidity. This might have consequences that outweigh the benefits of “natural” remedies.
Essentially, homemade skincare remedies are good for the maintenance of already good skin or when one runs out of a certain product, especially during travels. Being more conscious of personal shopping habits could be the bridge between taking good care of the skin and looking after the environment – choose products that are not tested on animals and brands with the best eco-practices. At the end of the day, having the best of both worlds is a myth.