11 Dangerous Makeup “Hacks” You Should NEVER Try

No one said being beautiful was easy, but it’s a whole lot more difficult if your beauty routine is literally ruining your skin. Beauty bloggers and vloggers swear by certain dangerous makeup hacks, and without knowing the science behind them, millions of their fans follow suit. That spells disaster for hapless novices attempting to paint their eyelashes with potentially carcinogenic petroleum jelly or burning their skin with seemingly harmless toothpaste.

Everyone loves a good , but the truth is that there are some cosmetic shortcuts you shouldn’t try. Don’t use wasabi on your face unless you like your pores feeling irritated, and avoid using Sharpies as makeup at all costs. And please, please stop squirting yourself directly in the face with hairspray – your skin will thank you!

By avoiding some common beauty mistakes and risky shortcuts, you can achieve the flawless skin and on-point looks of your dreams. Just don’t try these makeup hacks, even if you’re curious.

Dabbing On Nail Polish To Cover Cold Sores

Cold sores are hard to cover, and you may be convinced by a beauty vlog to try to make them disappear with the use of clear nail polish. Avoid this at all costs. According to the American Contact Dermatitis Society, clear nail polish often contains nickel, a common allergen. 

The only thing worse than having a cold sore is having a cold sore and a huge allergic reaction on your lip.

Swapping Sharpie For Eyeliner

You can thank pop queen Taylor Swift for this one, who apparently revealed she uses Sharpie as eyeliner in a pinch. Sorry Tay, but you should never, ever, ever put the felt-tipped pen near your eyes. While a Sharpie may give you a truly bold eye, the fragrance alone will make your eyes burn.

Eyeliner is specially formulated to be used near your eyes, so stick with that.

Subbing Deodorant For Primer

Deodorant is great for your underarms, but it’s a nightmare on your face. While some beauty bloggers claim it works as a great primer, the aluminum salts and fragrances in deodorant are extremely irritating. Don’t use antiperspirant, either; it works by clogging your sweat glands with aluminum, so imaging what it’d do to your face (hello, acne!).

You can also expect red, flaky patches and excess dryness.

Applying Wasabi As An Acne Spot Treatment

Wasabi spot treatments rose in popularity when Instagrammer Farah Dhukai shared a video of her performing the DIY hack that racked up millions of views. The truth is that wasabi has no anti-acne properties whatsoever. Zip. Zero.

In fact, it can actually burn your skin (the fact that it burns your mouth should have been the giveaway).

Applying Cinnamon

Cinnamon skin treatments gained exposure when French YouTube vlogger EnjoyPhoenix posted a delicious-looking, DIY, chocolate-cinnamon facemask. Who wouldn’t want to rub that all over their face? Unfortunately, cinnamon is best left in your baked goods.

The spice is dermocaustic, meaning it irritates the skin and can cause severe burns. While some people are more sensitive than others, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Setting Your Makeup With Hairspray

Tons of beauty blogs and online tutorials recommend using a spritz of hairspray to keep your makeup in place. Unfortunately, it’s a complexion killer. The lacquers and alcohol in hairspray are drying and irritating, and it could cause red bumps to pop up all over your skin.

As one writer put it, “If it’s not meant to be used on your face, then probably don’t use it on your face.”

Using Elmer’s Glue As A Face Mask

Elmer’s glue isn’t toxic, but if you think you’re doing yourself a favor by mixing it with charcoal and slathering your face in it, you’re sorely mistaken. Nearly everyone who has ever attended first grade knows the addicting feeling of peeling Elmer’s glue off of their skin like it’s a week-old sunburn.

Unfortunately, it clogs up your pores and causes the very acne you’re trying to get rid of. Plus, it apparently hurts a whole lot to remove.

Using Petroleum Jelly To Grow Lashes

Long lashes are always in style, but you’re better off sticking to falsies than using petroleum jelly to help your lashes grow. Not only is the beauty hack far from eco-friendly (it’s literally a byproduct of oil refining) but it can cause milia, little cysts under the eyes. If that wasn’t bad enough, petroleum jelly may be cancerous.

Though carcinogenic components are removed from oil during the jelly’s refining process, it’s hard to be sure if it’s truly safe. Petroleum jelly comes in different grades of purity, and while Vaseline is highly-refined and typically thought of as non-toxic and non-carcinogenic, not all jellies are purified as extensively.

Rubbing On Lemon And Baking Soda To Brighten Your Armpits

If you’re thinking of using lemon and baking soda to get rid of the dark spots under your arms, think again. This supposed age-old beauty hack was never any good. Yes, lemon and baking soda will definitely lighten your underarms, but it comes at a price – the mixture actually burns your skin clean off.

Even using baking soda by itself is dangerous; sodium bicarbonate is known to cause rashes, redness and dry, cracked skin.

Applying Toothpaste As A Zit Spot Treatment

The idea of putting toothpaste on zits has been around longer than anyone can really remember. Unfortunately, while beauty bloggers may tout toothpaste’s amazing healing properties, it can do a whole lot of damage. Toothpaste is chock full of irritating ingredients like peppermint, peroxide, fragrances, and alcohol.

It’s a cocktail of things that are bad for your complexion, and will lead to burning, peeling and redness. Yeah, it will get rid of that acne spot, but it will completely destroy the surrounding skin.

Lathering On DIY Sea Salt Scrubs

DIY sea salt scrubs rose to popularity on Pinterest, probably in part because of their appearance –  who can resist a mason jar filled with pretty, pink Himalayan salt? The truth is that these scrubs do way more harm than good. True, they exfoliate, but sea salt scratches the skin and causes micro-abrasions.

You may find your skin a whole lot redder and more prone to breakouts because of that scrub.

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