Every day I have people coming into Maine Laser Skin care in pursuit of clearer and smoother skin. However, before coming to my office, several have frequently tried many over-the-counter and infomercial-promoted products without avail.
Most people will openly admit that most of their purchases did not work and some even made their skin worse. We routinely ask prospective patients to bring in the products they have been using on their skin.
I am sometimes shocked by the bags and bags of treatments they have tried with the associated waste of time and money. Prompted by a recent patient who brought in several bags of products and whose skin was worsened by her efforts, I decided that I needed to compile for you a list of my recommendations for things NOT to do and products NOT to use on your skin, especially your facial skin:
1.) At-Home Microneedling Devices
Microneedling is a technique that I and my aesthetician Denise use every day in the office. It achieves very good results when used in professional hands.
However, the microneedling devices you can buy over the Internet can be dangerous on multiple levels. In the office, all of our microneedling in sterile conditions with the needles disposed of after every use.
I have seen several relatively severe skin infections known as cellulitis that result from people using microneedling rollers at home. In addition, the home microneedle rollers have no ability to have the length of needle penetration controlled.
This is especially important when treating areas where the skin is thinner and more fragile. Don’t microneedle yourself; have a professional (such as Denise or me) do it for you.
2.) At-Home Chemical Peels
The biggest problem with at-home chemical peels is that they may be too strong for your skin and may end up damaging it. I have seen some very bad results from these products, including short term problems such as excessive redness and peeling, and longer term problems such as scarring and prolonged hyperpigmentation or discoloration.
Many of the peels that can be purchased online are too vigorous to use without professional supervision. If you feel you must purchase a peel online, first seek out someone who knows how to use them and for what danger signs to watch. As always, we here at Maine Laser Skin Care are a good place to start.
3.) Abrasive Skin Cleansers And Devices
While we all want our skin to be clean, using abrasive skin scrubs, especially on the face, can result in irritation and more problems. I frequently see teenagers and others who have acne outbreaks use these kinds of products.
Their natural instinct is to try to get their skin as clean as possible. However, you can not aggressively scrub acne away. In fact, scrubbing your face, which is already sensitive, makes the skin more red and irritated while also not helping the acne.
4.) Loofahs or Buf-Pufs
While exfoliation is generally good for the skin and loofah-type pads work well on the body, they are much too abrasive for the face. Dry skin and patches of seborrhea or eczema on the face can especially be aggravated by these methods. Worse yet, in the case of acne, these sponges sitting in your shower or by the sink can harbor bacteria that can worsen the likelihood of breakouts.
5) Collagen Moisturizers
Many commercial moisturizers claim that they have collagen, which can enhance your skin’s smoothness and appearance. However, the collagen molecule itself is quite large, and much too large to penetrate through the surface of the skin.
If any ingredient that is supposed to enhance your skin cannot penetrate the skin, it will not do any good and is a waste of money. Don’t be seduced by their claims. You will be buying a moisturizer that is too expensive and doesn’t do what is promised.
I hope that this list of questionable, ineffective and sometimes dangerous products and treatments will help guide your future purchases so you don’t waste your money or damage your skin. If you have any questions about medical grade skin care or evidence-based treatments that can help your skin look better and younger, call us at (207) 873-2158 to schedule a free and confidential consultation at Maine Laser Skin Care.