One of the major skincare mistakes dermatologists recommend staying away from are “handy hacks” like reaching for a dab of toothpaste to banish a sudden blemish or trying to score a salon-like glow with a heavy-duty peel. We’re all guilty of falling victim to these seemingly quick fixes at some point that can cause havoc on our skin.
According to experts, here are 4 skincare mistakes you can avoid at home:
1. AVOID: Using chemical peels at home
Dr. Madhuri Agarwal, Founder and CEO of Yavana Aesthetics Clinic, says, “Chemical peels, especially those which contain 20-35% glycolic acid or TCA (trichloroacetic acid), should not be done at home. A patient who tried using a 35% glycolic acid peel she bought online ended up with multiple burns that resulted in hyperpigmentation, which I’m now treating. Remember, chemical peels are acids of strong concentrations and work by controlled tissue destruction. It requires careful skin preparation and thorough post-peel care. At home, you can opt for chemical exfoliators or gentle, mild strength home peels in place of chemical peels. These cosmeceuticals are not very potent, have low concentrations and, thereby, have less risk of causing skin damage.”
2. AVOID: Microneedling your skin
Dr. Prateek Sondhi, MBBS, MD-Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, says, “With the easy availability of derma rollers and other devices online, attempting microneedling at home has become quite easy. For it to work, you need to reach the correct skin depth, which is impossible to do at home and without the right training. The depth varies according to the specific area of your face. Lastly, if you use the same needles repeatedly on your face, you could cause an infection. So, it’s best to let your dermatologist do this properly.”
3. AVOID: Using toothpaste on spots
Dr. Ankur Sarin, MD Dermatology, Sarin Skin Solutions, says, “Toothpaste often has cooling agents like menthol, which can temporarily reduce redness and inflammation. But both the redness and inflammation will come back. In addition, toothpaste dries out the skin, impairs healing and can lead to dark spots after the pimple heals. It is meant for teeth, a tough human tissue and applying it on sensitive areas like an active pimple can cause dermatitis. Instead, use a salicylic acid serum which can work wonders on active pimples.”
4. AVOID: Using citrus juice or citrus essential oils to brighten skin
Aastha Khandelwal Jain, Founder of Tvachamrit, who is certified in Organic Skincare Formulation and Facial Care, says, “While we all know that lemon and any other citrus fruits have brightening properties; lemon juice and its essential oil have phototoxic properties, which can cause rapid tanning, redness and irritation. It contains compounds such as furocoumarin, limonene, citral or citronellal, which are known allergens and sensitisers. Lastly, lemon juice is far too acidic for our skin. Instead, you can reap the benefits of this rich vitamin C botanical source by drying its peel at home, grinding it into a very fine powder, and then using this as a scrub.