Breaking Down 5 Minute Crafts “Viral” Beauty Hacks (Video)

5 Min Crafts Viral

I’ve looked at some more 5 Minute Craft beauty hacks – they’re a mixed bag. Some of them are awful, some of them are actually not that bad. This set includes a few beauty hacks I’ve seen around the place: Aspirin for pimples DIY glitter eyeshadow Activated charcoal for teeth Wasabi lip colour Dark circles and tea bags Check it …

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Bad DIY Hand Sanitizers (and a few good ones) (Video)

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic there’s a hand sanitizer shortage… and a ton of DIY hand sanitizer recipes. Will they actually work? (Spoiler: Most of them won’t.) I’ve made a video breaking down some of the good bad DIY hand sanitizer recipes out there. Check out the video on YouTube here. Key points: COVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2 (novel coronavirus …

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Easy (5 Minute) DIY Vitamin C Serum Recipe

I’ve mentioned my super-easy DIY vitamin C serum a few times before on social media, and some of you have been asking me for the recipe… but I’ve been so distracted with other things I never got around to posting it until now. I’m sorry! Please forgive me. I hope the results make up for my tardiness!

Here’s the video (you may need to disable AdBlock to see it) – scroll down for the recipe. Click here to watch on YouTube.

What Does Vitamin C Do in Skincare?

Vitamin C is a superstar anti-aging ingredient in skincare. It tackles anti-aging on lots of levels:

  • Can increase collagen, which plumps up skin and decreases wrinkles
  • Fades hyperpigmentation (brown marks like acne scars and sun spots)
  • Acts as an antioxidant, protecting against free radical damage from UV, pollution and natural aging

Who wouldn’t want this, right? It does a bit of everything!

Related post: Antioxidants in Skincare: What Do They Do?

The Problem With Vitamin C

The big problem with using vitamin C in products is that L-ascorbic acid is very unstable in water-based products. It turns into yellow dehydroascorbic acid (DHA or DHAA) and other products very quickly: at pH 3.52 and 25 °C in amber glass, 50% is gone in a week. Luckily, DHA can convert back to L-ascorbic acid in your skin, and there’s no evidence that it’s bad for your skin (there’s actually a product with an accompanying non-peer-reviewed study that actually uses it as a way of getting vitamin C into your skin more easily). But there’s not a lot of evidence that it’s good either, and it degrades further into products that can’t be turned back into L-ascorbic acid.

Related post: Why Vitamin C Can Stain Your Skin (and How to Avoid It!)

L-Ascorbic acid can be stabilised by combining it with vitamin E and ferulic acid (plus it makes it work better). This is the approach used in serums from SkinCeuticals, Paula’s Choice, Timeless, Cosmetic Skin Solutions and Ausceuticals, However, if you want to DIY with this combo, it not only requires buying vitamin E and ferulic acid, but you’ll also have to get an emulsifier because vitamin E doesn’t play nicely with water.

And if you’ve gone to the trouble of mixing all that, you’ll also want a preservative to suppress bacterial growth so it’ll last longer and you won’t have to remake it any time soon. The price of all these ingredients adds up quickly, and if you’ve done any DIY before, you’ll know that you’ll end up with barely-used bottles that will go off before you finish them.

L-Ascorbic acid can also be stabilised by altering its chemical structure. Some derivatives of LAA include magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP), and ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate (ATIP)/tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THDA). However, these are expensive compared to LAA, and they need to be converted back into LAA to work as effectively.

Related post: Mythbusting: Are Vitamin C Serums Bad for You?

The Solution: DIY Vitamin C Serum

Easy (5 Minute) DIY Vitamin C Serum

All these issues can be solved by using a DIY vitamin C serum that you remake every week or so. I generally find DIY a bit of a pain – the minimum orders of the ingredients are too large for me to use up personally so I end up spending way more money than using a pre-made product, and there’s the horrible feeling of wastage when you chuck out expired, barely-used ingredients.

There’s also the time required to cook up your product, the failed batches, and the dreaded washing-up afterwards. But it’s hard to find a downside to this DIY serum:

  • All the ingredients and materials are easy to get and inexpensive
  • It takes about 5 minutes to make with no special equipment required
  • It can be more effective than a store-bought product – you don’t have to deal with delivery times and distribution networks and having your vitamin C sit on a store shelf slowly degrading for an unknown period of time
  • You can easily adjust the amount of vitamin C in your serum – add more LAA to ramp up the effectiveness, or use less LAA to decrease irritation
  • It’s cheap enough that I don’t feel bad spraying it all over my face and chest and body

For an effective vitamin C serum, you need 5-20% LAA at a pH less than 3.5. Above 20%, the effectiveness of LAA doesn’t increase but the side effects (mostly irritation) do.

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Video: Fading Hair Dye With Low Damage

I had my purple hair for a while and loved it, but then I really wanted to switch to a warm peachy pink. Unfortunately the purple tones just… refused to leave despite lots of clarifying shampoo. I was hesitant to use bleach, since my hair was already bleached to death, so to avoid bleach I tried Katie’s Direct Dye Fading …

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Don’t Use Lemon Juice on Your Skin

There are more DIY skincare recipes on the internet than you can shake a stick at, and most of them really, really like lemon juice. According to these DIY tips you should be slathering it all over your face and hair. Lemon juice smells nice, and it’s pretty cheap. But is it effective? And is it safe? Let’s talk about …

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DIY Quick-Dry Scrunchable Shower Sponge on a Stick

DIY Quick-Dry Scrunchable Shower Sponge on a Stick

I’ve mentioned before that I love my netting-sponge-on-a-stick – it’s great for washing conditioner off your back, and for reaching your feet when you’re too sore to bend over (thanks, dance comp training). I’ve been using a sponge on a plastic handle from Daiso (which cost a whole $2.80) but recently it looks like they’ve decided to discontinue it, with no good replacement.

daiso-back-pouffe

So I grabbed one from Chemist Warehouse… but alas, the stick is made of wood, and the mesh sponge is super dense, which mean it’s not going to dry out properly, which is pretty much THE biggest issue for me.

DIY Quick-Dry Scrunchable Shower Sponge on a Stick

Why Do Shower Sponges Need to Dry?

We tend to think of soap as clean, but bacteria can still thrive even with regular soaping of your sponge!

The number one thing that makes bacteria grow is water. That’s why there’s a robust preservative system in every properly formulated water-based beauty product.

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DIY Mattifying Face Powder: Just a bag of corn starch

DIY Mattifying Face Powder: Just a bag of corn starch

The latest high-impact addition to my make-up stash has been a $2 sack of corn starch. No, I haven’t turned into a “if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your face” woo-meister… here’s the lowdown.

DIY Mattifying Face Powder: Just a bag of corn starch

Why Am I Putting Corn Starch on My Face?

I am an oily beast. My skin is generally hydrated and non-irritated, so it’s not my skin overproducing oil – it’s just naturally oily.

This means I tend not to wear moisturiser during the day, and even them my make-up will generally slide around and bunch up during the day. There are a few things I’ve found really handy for dealing with it, and one of the most effective things has been using a starch-based face powder.

DIY Mattifying Face Powder: Just a bag of corn starch

I’ve tried a lot of different translucent powders to try to soak up oil, but the one that have worked best for me so far have been Williamspro Zero Powder, Jurlique Rose Silk Finishing Powder and Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder. Their top 3 ingredients:

  • Williamspro Zero Powder: Certified Organic Arrowroot Powder, Australian Green Clay, Australian White Clay
  • Jurlique Rose Silk Finishing Powder: Zea mays (Corn) Starch, Oryza sativa (Rice) Starch, Silica
  • Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder (now slightly reformulated and called Matte Mineral Setting Powder): Silica, Corn Starch Modified, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer

So you can see – the top ingredients all include some form of starch.

There’s also been a trend of people using talcum powder on their face, so I unearthed this from Amazon:

Johnson’s Pure Cornstarch Baby Powder With Aloe Vera & Vitamin E

Ingredients: Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Tricalcium Phosphate, Aloe Barbadensis, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Fragrance

Note: no preservative. So why not try corn starch from the grocery aisle?

Issues with Corn Starch as Face Powder and Solutions

These are the most common objections to using food-grade corn starch as face powder that I’ve come across:

Corn starch can grow bacteria/fungus while in the container

This is probably the most common one: corn starch is food, and can breed fungus and bacteria while in the container. If you put that on your face, it can give you breakouts.

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DIY Hair Tie & Bobby Pin Organiser: Tutorial

DIY Hair Tie & Bobby Pin Organiser: Tutorial

Like most people with long hair, I have a million hair ties and bobby pins that end up strewn all over the bathroom. I’ve tried organising them with jars and hooks, but it never seems to stick.

I recently saw two life hacks for how to keep everything neat: a magnetic strip for bobby pins, and carabiner clips for holding hair ties. Why not combine the two into a not-entirely-ugly organiser and stick it to the wall? Yeah, that’s what I did. I’m a low-key genius.

DIY Hair Tie & Bobby Pin Organiser: Tutorial

To put hair ties into the holder, you can just press the hair tie in and it’ll click into place. Taking the hair ties out is slightly more effort but much less than scrambling around trying to dig one out of who-knows-where.

DIY Hair Tie Organiser

You want one too? You’re in luck, I have instructions!

DIY Hair Tie Organiser

What you need

  • A5 piece of perspex (Amazon, eBay): You can go larger or smaller depending on your hair accessory holding requirements, but this works great for me. Shiny works best with the suction cups. I went for opaque because I didn’t want to see the cups, and black because everything matches it.
  • Double sided suction cups (Amazon, eBay): This is what I’m using to fix the perspex to my wall. I like this because it doesn’t leave any marks on the wall or the perspex, but unfortunately the quality of these is pretty variable so in the pack of 10 I received I had 2 deformed ones. I also considered using a double-sided pad covered in tiny suction cups but it didn’t work at all.
  • Adhesive magnetic strips (Amazon, eBay): I got the 15 mm wide strip with adhesive already attached.
  • Carabiners (Amazon, eBay): I used carabiners that were around 4 cm (1.5 inches) long. I bought these specifically because the non-clip side was completely flat, so it would have a larger contact area when I stuck it to the perspex. The number will depend on the size of your perspex but I found that placing them around 6 cm (2.5 inches) apart was perfect.
  • Gorilla glue (Amazon, eBay): I’m sure other glues will work, but this is what the guy at the hardware store recommended and he knows more than me. I suspect that a slightly less brittle glue might actually be better. (Edit: I’ve since replaced it with silicone glue and yes, it does work better!)

I bought everything except the glue off eBay, but it took weeks to get to me. If you aren’t rushed, at current eBay prices it works out to be less than $15 AUD. Bargain!

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