Anti-aging products — particularly serums — have come a long way in being able to treat dark spots, fine lines, and crepey skin. Despite the availability of conventional products though, there’s a growing preference for home remedies, many of which are being spread around the internet.

One such remedy that promises to tighten and lighten your skin is the use of egg whites.

While egg whites may be more affordable than a skin serum, there’s little proof that such a concoction will actually work. In fact, there are more reasons why you should never put egg whites on your skin than there are potential benefits.

The use of egg whites on your face, either as an anti-aging mask or a spot treatment, simply isn’t worth the risks. Among some of the potential dangers include:

  • An allergic reaction. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t eat eggs if you have a known allergy to egg whites, but you shouldn’t apply them topically either. Depending on the severity of your allergy, you could experience symptoms such as severe itchiness, rash, hives, and breathing difficulties from using egg whites on your face.
  • Symptoms of egg intolerance. Unlike an egg allergy, an intolerance to eggs may cause inflammation and gastrointestinal discomfort when you eat them. If you use an egg white mask on your face, you still risk getting a small amount of the food in your mouth.
  • Salmonella infection. You might recall warning signs about eating raw foods and how these can lead to a salmonella infection, all for good reason. While relatively uncommon, this type of infection is caused by salmonellosis bacteria, which is sometimes present in raw eggs and meats, as well as contaminated produce and water. If you get infected, you can have severe gastrointestinal discomfort for up to 10 days, including diarrhea, nausea, and cramps.
  • Skin irritation. Virtually any substance can cause skin irritation, even if you don’t have an allergy or an intolerance. If you notice mild itching, redness, or bumps after using egg whites, stop using them immediately.
  • Other infections. It’s never a good idea to apply raw food to your skin, especially if you have any recent cuts, scrapes, or wounds. Raw egg whites could potentially cause a secondary infection.
  • Surface contamination. Using egg whites can contaminate surfaces, such as sinks and counters, as well as any other places the mask could run off your face and drip around the house.
  • Putting others at risk of a reaction. If you have loved ones in your household with egg white allergies, you can potentially cause them harm with a homemade egg white mask. If you do use one, be sure to apply it with gloves and to stay put in one area so that you don’t spread the proteins around your home.

Aside from the potential risks, using egg whites on your face simply doesn’t work. Your skin might feel soft at first, but these effects will quickly dissipate once you wash the mask off your face.

If you’re looking to reduce hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and other signs of aging, you’re better off using conventional products that have been clinically tested and proven to work.

If you still want to try an egg white facial, you can help minimize skin reactions by choosing the safest eggs possible. This means using organic, pasteurized eggs or egg white cartons, rather than eggs from your backyard chickens.

It’s also important to minimize the risk of contamination by applying the mask over a bathroom or kitchen sink. Be sure to disinfect the sink and surrounding surfaces and to wash your hands immediately after use, too.

Other products (and even some home remedies) are far more useful and safer than egg whites. As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to exfoliate and hydrate in order to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and dark spots.

Here’s a short list of ingredients to look for in anti-aging serums, moisturizers, and masks:

Egg whites are purportedly used as facials to help make your skin smoother and lighter. However, if you’re looking for an anti-aging remedy that can guarantee results, you may consider looking elsewhere.

Egg whites are on our do-not-use list because they simply aren’t safe or effective skincare ingredients.