Weeks spent locked down at home saw the DIY trend move into overdrive as people craved a quick fix while unable to book an in-clinic appointment.
However, some at home treatments can be unsuitable, hazardous and even risky if you don’t know what you are doing. So what should you ease up on, and what treatments and procedures should you be leaving to the experts?
EASE UP ON
SluggingThis TikTok moisturising hack, which requires you to cover your face in a thick layer of petroleum jelly at night before bedtime, has blown up recently with over nine trillion views, 307 million hashtag views and 42k global searches.
But did you know that the slimy ritual has actually been around for far longer, with one iconic blonde movie star reported to be a regular fan of slathering her face and body with the skin product.
Today’s reincarnation originated in South Korea, however unless you have dry skin, experts frown upon the K Beauty trend as extended use can lead to oily skin and spots, as the oil settles in the pores, triggering breakouts. And it goes without saying that if you have acne-prone skin you might want to give this one a miss.
ExfoliatingAnother easy mistake to make is over exfoliating your skin. There’s no doubt that most people’s skin benefits from exfoliation, however the ‘clean’ aesthetic trend that’s gathering pace on social media, along with the increased popularity of abrasive scrubs and toners, has resulted in many people exfoliating too often and too harshly.
Overdoing this skincare ritual can lead to redness, breakouts and upset, irritated skin – and could be a disaster for people with sensitive skin or rosacea – so go easy and not so often for best results.
RetinolIt’s one of the most effective actives out there, but when it comes to retinol don’t think you can apply it like a non active product, as things are going to get ugly – literally. The retinoid ‘uglies’ – when skin purges and gets worse before it gets better – is a thing, and most people will have to go through it, even if they are fairly conservative with their retinol use.
However, if you go all in, things are likely to be even worse than if you take it slowly and get skin used to it. Or try 'sandwiching' – applying moisturiser underneath and on top. It will be worth it, we promise.
Squeezing spots and blackheadsWe know it’s tempting, but if you want your skin to stay clear, even toned and scar free, try not to squeeze spots, blackheads or whiteheads.
This is one that should ideally be left to the experts, however if you do want to attempt it, then make sure you have clean hands and clean skin.
LEAVE TO THE EXPERTS
Mole removalNo matter what you’ve seen or heard, there is no safe way to remove a mole at home. Moles should be checked by a professional before removal; this is a minor procedure that should be performed in a medical environment by a qualified dermatologist or doctor.
Attempting to physically remove or scrape off a mole, or use 'natural remedies' or chemicals on the skin to burn off a mole, is a definite no-no and could lead to bleeding, scarring and infections.
Chemical peelsMillions of people have tuned into watching 25 per cent TCA peels being performed at home. Many beauty addicts are quite happy to purchase aggressive chemical peels online and, in the process, will end up damaging their skin.
While there are some milder home use peel products out there, using the wrong medical grade chemical peel can result in burns and hyperpigmentation, and in some cases, this may not be able to be corrected.
Dermarolling/microneedlingWhile it may be tempting to try microneedling or dermarolling at home, there is a marked difference between cosmetic epidermal-needling and clinical dermal-needling. Home use devices tend to vary between 0.1mm-0.3mm in terms of needle depth; these are primarily designed to enhance skincare ingredient absorption.
When you undergo a professional treatment, say for scarring, the depth increases to 0.5mm-1.5mm or even deeper – up to 3mm – as your clinician’s aim is to create a wound to trigger skin regeneration.
Scarily, professional-depth rollers can now be bought online for anyone to use – you don’t need a medical background or to be trained in microneedling to be able to buy one.
However, there is a risk of infection when using an unregulated device or attempting to micro needle or dermaroller your skin in an environment that is not clinical or sterile. Professionals will use a new and sterile roller on each client, whereas your home device may be reused multiple times. Not only that, the needles can become blunt when used regularly, which compromises technique.