Bella Thorne’s all natural skincare routine is coming under scrutiny, as the actress revealed she uses lemon and sugar as a treatment for her post-acne complexion.
The Florida-born actress and singer, 21, detailed her ritual to Harper’s Bazaar, showing the homemade lemon, olive oil and sugar scrub that she uses nightly on her skin, on the back of a long-term struggle with cystic acne and a course of Accutane medication.
When the video made its way to Reddit’s skincare addiction thread, people were irate at the ‘cringe worthy’ skincare routine. And one prominent esthetician has even confirmed that using the citrus juice could potentially damage and burn the skin.
Controversial: Bella Thorne, pictured in April 2019, has detailed her ‘all natural’ skincare routine and people are outraged that she is advocating for the use of harmful lemon juice
Scrub: Bella told Harper’s Bazaar that all she uses is a homemade lemon, sugar and olive oil scrub every single night, claiming it transformed her skin
Renée Rouleau, a Texas-based celebrity esthetician and skincare expert who has worked with the likes of Demi Lovato and Lili Reinhart, told DailyMail.com that lemon juice should not be applied topically.
‘I would never recommend using lemon juice to get rid of acne scars, or for any other brightening or lightening benefit,’ she said.
‘I have seen the damage firsthand when a client of mine came in with acid-like burns on her face. After doing some investigating, I learned that she was using a cut lemon and baking soda on her face every morning and night as her only skin care steps.
‘Lemon juice is extremely acidic with a pH of around 2. This not only caused severe damage to this client’s moisture barrier, but was actually giving her burns. Yikes!
‘While lemons are high in Vitamin C, the skin doesn’t work the same way the digestive system does; therefore, it isn’t really possible to put food on the face and expect the nutrients to easily get into the skin.
‘There’s a reason skincare products are carefully formulated in a lab!’
However, these warnings do not appear to have been passed on to Bella, who happily applied the citrus to her face as part of her beauty regimen.
Travel: The 21-year-old singer and actress showed the homemade product that she has been using for at least a year after unfruitful efforts with other acne prevention methods
Caution: A leading esthetician has warned people that using lemon juice, like Bella is above, could burn the skin and damage its moisture barrier
In fact, in the video, the former Disney star said that her ‘skincare routine basically consists of one… ish thing as of right now’.
Bella explained that her skin is ‘oily underneath and dry on top’. The outspoken star also said that she is always trying to target milia: tiny white bumps that form as a result of keratin becoming trapped in pockets near the surface of the skin.
‘I’m constantly exfoliating to get the milia underneath that are dry and are trying to come out but they can’t because I have this two layers of super dry skin on top,’ Bella said.
Her solution is to scrub her face every night with her homemade product.
Bella talked about her skincare battles in the past. Over the years, she has been very vocal about her acne and often shared up-close pictures to social media.
‘I struggled with acne for a very, very, very long time; cystic acne. I was on Accutane for two years and nothing really worked for me on that level,’ she said.
Bella claimed that the only thing that made a difference after ‘getting everything done to her face’ was meeting a woman named Jennifer who ‘changed her skin’.
She noted that Jennifer is now designing her skincare line, although there are no details available regarding a product line yet.
Two watches? Skincare routine aside, commentors questioned why the star was wearing two time pieces – and had neglected to remove any of her jewelry before washing her face
Slap: The former Disney Star said she ‘slaps’ her face to ‘wake it up’
As for Bella, her current routine involves the aforementioned lemon juice, sugar and olive oil scrub and a hydrating mask if she’s feeling ‘fun and funky’.
‘I think so many times that we think that the chemicals will work because it says it will work and blah blah blah, but it does work for a short amount of time but what if you stop using that product? Is your skin reliant on that product? Do you become reliant on it? I think that’s one thing that chemicals will really never fix for us so,’ she said.
Bella, who also revealed she brushes her teeth with coconut oil, said that her scrub ‘takes the texture down to a more even playing field’.
She is seen ‘working it into’ her pores ‘in a circular motion’ – something she said ‘helps her activate the skin to become alive again’.
Then, she slaps her face ‘really hard to wake everything up’ before bringing the scrub ‘right in under the eye’ – the most delicate skin on the face – to target ‘wrinkles and pigmentation’.
But what Bella likely doesn’t realize is that the homemade concoction – although natural – could well be doing serious harm to her skin, and that there are many other treatments available to treat her scars that are approved by experts.
‘My suggested alternative to fade acne scars and dark marks is a three prong approach that includes exfoliation, brightening/fading and protection steps,’ Renee explained.
‘First, use an acid exfoliator like my Post Breakout Fading Gel, or a gentle facial scrub like my Mint Buffing Beads.
Eyeball: Bella, pictured, said she ‘eyeballs’ the ingredients, left, for her homemade cherry, honey and coconut oil mask, which she mixes with a whisk, right,
Tint: The actress uses cherries as a natural color tint before she goes to bed
Mask: Bella will leave her ‘anti inflammatory’ mask on for five to ten minutes before wiping it off with ‘a rag’
‘Then, integrate a Vitamin C product to help brighten the mark and settle down active melanin to accelerate healing and fading.
‘Lastly, you need to protect to prevent UV light from keeping pigment cells active. Choose something appropriate for blemish-prone skin types that won’t clog pores.’
Later on in the video, Bella does admit that she still gets microneedling treatments, an in-office procedure which involves a dermatologist using a dermaroller containing small needles which prick the skin.
The purpose is to generate new collagen and skin tissue for smoother, firmer skin. The minimally invasive treatment, which costs around $500 in many top clinics, is also said to majorly help acne scars. The main result is an improved texture of the skin.
The Accutane that Bella mentions she took for two years refers to the prescription drug used to treat severe acne.
According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, four to five months of the potent treatment usually leads to the clearing of acne.
‘It is very effective for nearly all types of breakouts. Accutane is needed for moderate to severe acne that has failed other treatments. It should be used for a severe, scarring acne. Is also used for acne present for many years that has not respond completely to antibiotic pills and creams,’ the website states.
Bella said that her other face-cleaning step is to use a coconut oil or Vitamin E oil to remove makeup, if she has been wearing any.
Skin: Bella, pictured left and right in 2018, has always showcased her struggles with acne to her millions of fans online
Bullies: The Florida-born star previously went on Instagram Live in 2018 to address cruel taunts about her skin
She finishes the routine with a mask made from honey, coconut oil and cherries.
‘Listen to the product, if you’re mixing it and its not a good consistency, add what’s missing,’ she said as she ‘eyeballs the ingredients’. She’ll then leave it on for five to ten minutes to reap the ‘anti inflammatory’ benefits of the cherry’s antioxidants before wiping it off.
The also stated that the cherries tint her lips too and that she no longer wears lipstick.
Bella has previously been accused of having lip fillers, though she has never commented publicly on the matter.
After her routine, she neglects to use an moisturizer – unless she’s feeling ‘fancy’ and decides to add a Vitamin E oil.
‘I had so much acne and I did so many things to try to get rid of it, now I don’t wash my face in the morning, I just do this at night,’ she told the camera.
‘I think the more we try to do with our skin, just pushing it and pushing it and trying to get it to work, the body is also like..sometimes it’s too much and the skin can’t concentrate and relax,’ she said.
The comments under the video on YouTube run the gamut between perplexed and angry, with many people saying ‘please don’t do this’.
Red carpet: Bella’s skin is routinely flawless on the red carpet these days, as evidenced in this picture from March 2019
Dragged: Bella’s routine proved extremely controversial on Reddit, above, and YouTube with social media users incredulous about her rituals
‘Just Bella teaching you how to torture your skin,’ said one user.
‘Lemon and sugar? Arghhhhhh!!! my face would breakout. You don’t even use moisturizer?! That’s why you have dehydrated skin sis,’ said another.
One woman commented, ‘Oh wow, please tell me this entire video is a joke and this is not really her skin care routine?’
‘What kind of dermatologist told her to do all that ? Like all celebs, she does weird things with her skin then their facialists fix their mistakes before red carpets,’ another comment read.
Her questionable routine has also been the subject of much speculation on the popular Reddit thread, Skincare Addiction.
‘That 10 minutes video could easily be a [two] min video. No cleanser, no moisturizer… nothing. Just a sugar scrub and a coconut oil face mask. It was honestly the most cringe worthy skincare video on [Harper’s Bazaar],’ one irate commentor said.
‘Honestly the [two] years of accutane is probs why he skin is as clear as it is now,’ a user suggested.
‘I got two minutes into this and was actually recoiling from my phone. I am disgusting someone would treat their skin this way,’ someone else responded.