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Skincare FAQ with @Skinchemy: Natural Skincare Alternatives

Q. I’ve been thinking about using more natural kitchen ingredients in my skincare routine, but are they actually better than synthetic ones?

A. This can be problematic for your skin. Most of these “natural” ingredients have barely any scientific research behind them!

Many kitchen ingredients are used in skincare just because they are “natural” ingredients. However, using these natural skincare alternatives could actually do more bad than good for your skin! Let’s go through some kitchen ingredient alternatives that are much more effective, with loads of scientific research!

Tea Tree Oil

Studies have shown that conclusive research has not shown tea tree oil to be significantly better than benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. It’s best to stick to one of these alternatives instead!⁣⁣


While honey does have some antibacterial properties, it can also cause infections due to its high sugar content. A better alternative is to use BPO (Benzoyl Peroxide) or sulfur. ⁣⁣

Coconut Oil

This oil is very heavy on the skin and can clog pores. A more effective alternative is jojoba oil, which mimics sebum and thus helps control oil on your skin.

Rubbing Alcohol

Instead of rubbing alcohol, witch hazel is a good alternative. It has anti-viral effects and anti-inflammatory properties. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣Unlike rubbing alcohol, it is a lot less drying and sensitizing. 

Baking Soda

This ingredient is often used as an exfoliator. However, baking soda actually has a high pH level, so it can disrupt your skin barrier. Glycolic acid is a better alternative. 

Brown Sugar 

Bacteria feed especially well on any type of sugar, so a good alternative is mandelic or lactic acid, which is a lot gentler on the skin. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can help acne, but it is also extremely acidic, so it can disrupt your skin barrier. This can lead to irritation. A better alternative is salicylic acid. 


Lemons have lots of Vitamin C, but they also have a lot of other chemicals that are unknown to us. There aren’t enough studies to say exactly how effective lemons are. It’s best to use niacinamide instead, a great alternative for lemons.

Ready to find some skincare products with these synthetic ingredients? Head over to the Picky app and search for ingredients to find products that are best for you! Make sure to follow us on Instagram and learn more skincare science on our blog!

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