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The Risks and Realities Of Dermaplaning, Microdermabrasion, Hydrafacials And More.

The statements and opinions expressed in this blog post are based on my personal experiences, opinions and research, intended for informational and educational purposes only, and do not constitute professional medical advice.


I am not a huge fan of trends. From a very young age I always wanted something that was a bit 'different'. As I've got older, this has never really changed. I've tried to follow fashion trends - and I do to some extent, but with skincare...? Absolutely not.


man having a facial

Treatments in my clinic are completely bespoke and so you will never find me with a Hydrafacial machine or God forbid, a dermaplaning tool! Why? Because these treatments, albeit 'trendy' are just not great for the skin and do not suit everyone. I spend my days treating clients and working to repair or maintain a healthy skin barrier using products and treatments with ingredients that do just so. Some of the following treatments can basically obliterate the skin's barrier in my opinion and are therefore not recommended by me whatsoever.


In recent years, the beauty industry has witnessed a surge in popularity of what is often dubbed as the "influencer facial." These treatments, often endorsed by social media influencers and celebrities, promise transformative results and glowing skin. However, what bugs me is beneath the allure of flawless ring light selfies is a world laden with potential risks and misconceptions. Today I want to discuss these trendy treatments and all the potential risks that may arise.


1. Hydrodermabrasion: Also known as the Hydrafacial in some clinics. It combines exfoliation and hydration and uses water pressure to remove dead skin cells and impurities. While hydrodermabrasion may offer temporary improvements in skin texture and radiance, it's not without its drawbacks. The high-pressure jets of water can be so aggressive on sensitive skin, leading to irritation, redness, and even damage to the skin's protective barrier. In essence you're 'jet washing' the face and the amount of clients who have come to me after having one vowing to never have another is quite astonishing. Also, that bottle of 'dirty water' that they show you isn't 'dirt', it's skin cells and sebum. It will never be clear because your skin cells and sebum are not naturally clear - therefore don't be fooled by marketing gimmicks.


2. Dermaplaning: Dermaplaning involves using a sterile surgical scalpel to scrape away dead skin cells and fine facial hair, leaving a very smooth surface of skin. While proponents tout its ability to enhance the effectiveness of skincare products and makeup application, dermaplaning may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with acne-prone or sensitive skin may experience increased sensitivity and breakouts following treatments. It also is physically removing the skin's barrier which is the worst thing you can do. This can lead to so many further problems and let's not talk about the amount of times I've seen folliculitis as part of the aftermath of this treatment.



3. Medium Depth Peels: Medium depth chemical peels (sometimes know as Perfect Peels) penetrate deeper into the skin than superficial peels, targeting moderate skin imperfections such as fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven pigmentation. They can show some great results for some, however, these peels carry a higher risk of adverse reactions, including redness, swelling, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. I understand why they were so popular back in the day (think Samantha from Sex & The City) but treatments have evolved so much these days that a medium depth peel just isn't necessary.


4. Microneedling: Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, involves using a device with fine needles to create tiny punctures in the skin's surface, stimulating collagen production and enhancing skin texture. Now, this is a treatment that can be so good when done correctly. It is a treatment I offer in my clinic as well but only to certain clients who I think will benefit. Acne scarring for example is one of the skin concerns I will treat with it, but it is not something that I would offer for every client. I only do this when I feel it is necessary.


While microneedling can yield impressive results when done correctly, it's not without risks. Improper technique or inadequate sterilisation can lead to infection, scarring, and uneven results. Therefore only have this treatment when you feel confident that your therapist knows exactly what they are doing.


Studies have also shown that larger needles do not always create better results either and sometimes can do more damage than good. All we need to do is create some micro-injuries to the face to boost the collagen, therefore a face covered with blood (a la Kim K and the towel) is not always necessary.


5. Microdermabrasion: If the Hydrafacial is like jet washing the face, microdermabrasion is like sand blasting it. Microdermabrasion utilises abrasive crystals or a diamond-tipped wand to exfoliate the outer layer of the skin, revealing a smoother surface of skin beneath. While it's often marketed as a quick fix for dullness and rough texture, microdermabrasion may not be suitable for clients with sensitive or acne-prone skin. Overuse or aggressive treatment can lead to irritation, redness, and of course, damage to the skin's barrier. Not to mention skin that thins so much it can break super easily - yes, I have seen this in the past!


We also need to be aware that treatments like this all depend on the therapist and their skills. If you have a therapist who is a little 'heavy handed' with the wand more damage can be done than good. I have seen in the past a client whose skin was scarred with lines from microdermabrasion where the therapist was so heavy handed that instead of giving the client a gentle exfoliation, they were left with red lines all over the face.


I know this seems like I'm being a Debbie Downer, but I think when you have seen as many things as I have over the last twenty plus years, you start to be a bit wary of things.


Am I saying you should never have these treatments? No, of course not! It's your face and it's up to you what you do with it. I just get asked so much about these treatments as they are so popular on social media and I feel that nobody ever talks about the risks.


If you have severe acne, sensitive skin, redness or hyperpigmentation then I would definitely say approach these treatments with caution. I just think sometimes it is good to know both sides before you take the plunge!


If you want to learn more about a skincare routine to suit you, why not book an online consultation with me here and we can create a plan for you.


Thank you so much for reading, I hope it was some food for thought.




Emmaline

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