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Chemist tests ‘viral’ beauty hacks to see whether they really work

An Australian scientist has given her honest opinion about ‘viral’ beauty hacks circulating on the internet and revealed whether they actually work or not.

Chemist Michelle Wong, who is the face behind YouTube channel Lab Muffin Beauty Science, reviewed a video put forward by 5-minute crafts containing 40 of the strangest DIY cosmetic creations on the market.

While some of them do work in practice others were more dangerous than they originally seemed, and are best approaching with caution.

Chemist Michelle Wong reviewed a video put forward by 5-minute crafts containing 40 of the strangest DIY cosmetic creations on the market

1. Creating nail art out of hairspray, a bowl of water and varnish

This technique involves pouring a small amount of nail varnish into a bowl of water and letting it ‘pool’ into a large puddle.

You then spray the puddle with hairspray or perfume so that gaps appear. Place the finger you want to colour into the puddle and when you pull it out there will be some art on your chosen nail. 

‘This is a legitimate nail art technique that I’ve used before. The only thing I’m a bit worried about is that they use a gel polish, so it might be one that you need a UV light to set,’ Ms Wong said.

‘If you’re going to do this hack it’s safer to use a normal nail polish with it.’

This technique involves pouring a small amount of nail varnish into a bowl of water and letting it 'pool' into a large puddle

This technique involves pouring a small amount of nail varnish into a bowl of water and letting it ‘pool’ into a large puddle

Place the finger you want to colour into the puddle and when you pull it out there will be some art on your chosen nail (pictured)

Place the finger you want to colour into the puddle and when you pull it out there will be some art on your chosen nail (pictured)

2. Aspirin as a pimple treatment

There are plenty of DIY beauty videos on the internet that claim crushing up Aspirin in water and making a paste, before smearing it over a pimple, will help alleviate the inflammation.

Aspirin is an acetylsalicylic acid. Normally a salicylic acid is used to gently exfoliate dead skin and clear out pores, making it a long-term acne preventative.

It’s not chemically known whether the acetyl aspect of the Aspirin is able to convert into salicylic acid on your skin – although it is able to in your digestive system – but it likely has some ‘anti-inflammatory properties’ when applied to the face, Ms Wong said.

The safest option is to find a salicylic acid ointment that is made to be applied on the skin, rather than trying to apply a highly concentrated acid Aspirin paste in the same way.

3. Mixing Vaseline and glitter to make a DIY eyeshadow.

If you combine Vaseline or petroleum jelly with glitter, microwave the mixture for two minutes and then apply it to your eyelids it becomes a beautiful – and bold – eyeshadow.

But there are a few things to be careful of with this beauty hack, Ms Wong said, namely with placing anything containing glitter this close to your eyes.

‘Some glitters are made of little flakes of metal. Metal is sharp and your eyes are fragile,’ she said.

If you combine Vaseline or petroleum jelly with glitter, microwave the mixture for two minutes and then apply it to your eyelids it becomes a beautiful - and bold - eyeshadow

If you combine Vaseline or petroleum jelly with glitter, microwave the mixture for two minutes and then apply it to your eyelids it becomes a beautiful – and bold – eyeshadow

But there are a few things to be careful of with this beauty hack, Ms Wong said, namely with placing anything containing glitter this close to your eyes

But there are a few things to be careful of with this beauty hack, Ms Wong said, namely with placing anything containing glitter this close to your eyes

If a piece of glitter falls onto your eye it can scratch the delicate cornea, leading to a nasty infection.

On top of this petroleum jelly doesn’t have a very good staying power and is very greasy, so the likelihood that the eyeshadow would be able to stay on for lengthy periods of time is unfathomable. 

It’s far safer to buy a gold eyeliner and draw on flecks, like glitter would make, if that’s the overall makeup look you’re going for.

If a piece of glitter falls onto your eye it can scratch the delicate cornea, leading to a nasty infection

If a piece of glitter falls onto your eye it can scratch the delicate cornea, leading to a nasty infection

4. Using whipped cream as a hair mask

The 5-minute crafts hack of rubbing whipped cream into your hair for 20 minutes as a smoothing treatment isn’t the worst idea, Ms Wong said.

‘Pretty much any oil is going to help with dry hair but I do think it’s a waste of perfectly good whipped cream,’ she said.

Coconut oil, sunflower oil and olive oil work in a similar way although you will need to properly shampoo and conditioner your hair after letting it set to remove the greasy texture.

The 5-minute crafts hack of rubbing whipped cream into your hair for 20 minutes as a smoothing treatment isn't the worst idea, Ms Wong said

The 5-minute crafts hack of rubbing whipped cream into your hair for 20 minutes as a smoothing treatment isn’t the worst idea, Ms Wong said

5. Using pomegranate tea to remove dark eye circles

The method for making this infusion is very simple, you’ll just need to place a pomegranate tea bag in hot water, add gelatin and refrigerate until the mixture is like jelly.

Then you simply hold it over your face like a face mask to brighten your under eye circles.

While pomegranate fruit does contain antioxidants, in tea form it’s probably not as strong as if you were to eat it fresh, and as it’s sitting in a ‘jelly lump’ it’s going to be difficult for any antioxidants to reach your skin in high concentrations.

Then you simply hold it over your face like a face mask to brighten your under eye circles

Then you simply hold it over your face like a face mask to brighten your under eye circles

Mixing pure activated charcoal and water into a paste and rubbing it all over your teeth and tongue is proven to reduce bad breath

Mixing pure activated charcoal and water into a paste and rubbing it all over your teeth and tongue is proven to reduce bad breath

6. Using activated charcoal to freshen your breath

Mixing pure activated charcoal and water into a paste and rubbing it all over your teeth and tongue is proven to reduce bad breath.

However the charcoal doesn’t contain fluoride like regular toothpastes do, which hardens your teeth, and the tiny flecks might actually scratch the surface of your enamel.

Brushing your teeth and tongue with a regular toothbrush should remove bacteria that causes bad breath. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk