DIY Beauty Treatments: The Truth About What Really Works

What popular at-home beauty fixes are actually worth your time? Get the scoop from the pros!

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At-Home Teeth Whitening

The claim: A tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide swished around in your mouth for one to two minutes can whiten your teeth just as effectively as expensive whitening treatments.

The verdict: Skip it.

Why: “This method doesn’t work because you need something that sits on the teeth,” says Igal Elyassi, DDS, a Los Angeles cosmetic dentist. Instead, he suggests investing in a whitening kit or going to your dentist for a professional whitening treatment.
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DIY Acne Scar Mask

The claim: A mask of lemon juice, honey, plain yogurt and egg whites can lighten acne scars.

The Verdict: Do it.

Why: Lemon juice acts as a natural bleach to fade spots, and yogurt is packed with enzymes that also help fade marks, says New York dermatologist Marina Peredo, MD. Honey and egg whites help to moisturize and nourish your skin with protein.
Shutterstock The claim: You can make an anti-redness facial with egg yolks and lemon juice.

The verdict: Skip it.

Why: The acidity of the lemon juice can be irritating and cause more redness, says Joanna Vargas, founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection in New York City. However, the egg yolks in the mask are great for redness because they contain skin-hydrating and calming omega-6 fatty acids. For a better DIY mask, Vargas suggests mixing the egg yolks with cooked oatmeal and a mashed cucumber.
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Make Your Own Anti-Redness Facial

The claim: You can make an anti-redness facial with egg yolks and lemon juice.

The verdict: Skip it.

Why: The acidity of the lemon juice can be irritating and cause more redness, says Joanna Vargas, founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection in New York City. However, the egg yolks in the mask are great for redness because they contain skin-hydrating and calming omega-6 fatty acids. For a better DIY mask, Vargas suggests mixing the egg yolks with cooked oatmeal and a mashed cucumber.
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DIY Blackhead Remover Rub

The claim: Spreading honey on a halved lemon and rubbing it across blackheads will remove them.

The verdict: Skip it.

Why: Unfortunately, this concoction will not get rid of blackheads, which are caused by oxidized oil stuck in your pores, not dirt. Kathryn Slame-Carroll, an esthetician at Elysian Spa & Health Club in Chicago, says that the DIY remedy for blackheads is a mask of just honey, which moisturizes your skin. “When your skin is moisturized, your face doesn’t need to produce as much oil, and blemishes are less noticeable on hydrated skin,” she explains. Remove the honey mask with warm water and a washcloth.
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At-Home Brightening Facial

The claim: Apple cider vinegar, mineral water and crushed aspirin make a great skin-brightening mask.

The verdict: Do it.

Why: Apple cider vinegar is an excellent toner. Mineral water adds in moisture and can brighten the skin because of its silica content. Aspirin, a form of salicylic acid, improves discoloration and skin tone, and exfoliates dead skin cells, says Peredo.

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