A lot of patients ask me if natural home remedies like Aloe extracts, olive oil, turmeric etc, work better than formulated creams on skin.
I must be honest here and tell you that albeit natural products can work for some skins, just because they are natural or organic doesn’t deem them completely harmless. These substances can change the natural pH balance of the skin and cause irritation.
But despite the risk, people continue to try these at home and I must admit that at times they do show effect. These home ingredients from our ‘dadi ki potli’: which consists of applying turmeric powder when there is a cut or applying lime juice to brighten the skin, have shown magic time and again.
A lot of modern day creams incorporate these natural ingredients and I thought of sharing how each ingredient actually works towards creating this magic and also some of their side effects (yes, these too can have side effects).
Helps in reducing skin pigmentation by inhibiting the enzyme (tyrosinase) that causes pigment synthesis
Helps in fighting infections due to certain bacteria and viruses
Prevents UV B induced decrease in skin immunity
Can cause eruptions and rash on the skin
Can cause mutagenicity
Acts as an Antioxidant
Wound healing actions
Stains the skin
Can cause irritation on dry skin
Antifungal and antibacterial activity
Can be effective against acne
Can be used for pigmentation disorders
Irritation and rash
Neem oil when ingested can cause toxicity
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
Anti carcinogenic activity
Can cause comedones/ blackheads in acne prone skin
Can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles
Is used in Cellulite treatment
Coffee berry extracts in creams can cause acne
Can be used for acne
Has Antiscabetic activity as well
Should be avoided in sun exposed skin or in burns as it can hamper healing and cause severe irritation due to its sensitizing potential
Here is my suggestion: that you make a habit of reading the ingredients of the creams and lotions that you are using.
I have mentioned this earlier that just because a product is natural or organic or home based doesn’t mean it will suit your skin!
Every skin is unique and it is imperative that you choose a product that suits your skin and gives you long lasting and sustainable results. And how do you select your product?! why are we dermatologists here for?
-Dr Pradnya Shastri