Women at risk from DIY beauty products

Sales are soaring but could they leave you scarred?

Sales of DIY beauty products are soaring but many women may be putting themselves at risk by doing treatments at home.

New research from Mintel reveals that 10 per cent of women are now choosing at-home alternatives over beauty salon visits to save money during the recession.

However, many beauty professionals are reporting a new trend – correcting mistakes made by women who wrongly imagine they can effectively de-wrinkle their face or laser-remove hair in their own bathrooms.

In the past, we’ve all dyed our hair, removed leg hair and tinted our eyelashes at home using a variety of different techniques, but the new era of at-home technology includes ultrasound for smoothing your own cellulite, hair removal gadgets based around IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), laser treatments and countless chemical peels that are available online.

Cosmetic dermatologist Dr Mervyn Patterson, MD of cosmetic clinic Woodford Medical Aesthetics, said: ‘Two Asian girls came in with burns on their legs. They had bought an IPL machine which can be used to remove body hair. But these girls used it without realising it was inappropriate for their skin.’
 
Up to £900 million worth of damage was caused by home beauty treatments last year, including stains from dyes and burns from hairstyling gadgets. Dr Sean Lanigan, group medical director of sk:n clinics – which has 31 practices nationwide – is not surprised.

‘There is a real risk of people coming to harm from these devices. Because they are low powered compared to the lasers we use in our clinics, this may give poor results and tempt people to use them outside their correct settings.’

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