Missing your routine facials during this circuit breaker period and planning to do a self-facial? Most people have since resorted to ‘home facials’ (beyond the usual mask and exfoliating)! Here are the 4 most commonly seen mistakes by our doctors that one should try to avoid during a self-facial!
Mistake #1: Using professional-grade chemical peels without proper advice.
Chemical peels can be quick and effective. They exfoliate off old skin cells, unclog pores, brighten the skin and more, depending on the type of acids used.
However, improper use of chemical peels or even just the lack of knowledge can result in unwanted side-effects. These would include long-lasting redness, hyperpigmentation, scarring, burning sensation, itchiness, and increased skin sensitivity.
Professional grade chemical peels are usually only done at the clinic under the supervision of a medical professional. Different acids at different concentrations penetrate the skin at different depths. The amount of time to leave chemicals on our skin before washing off also varies according to skin type.
Aftercare for a chemical peel is also important, and proper instructions will be needed for different chemical peels. Always check with a medical professional for the right way to use acids, and its suitability for your skin before application.
TRY: Our 3% Retinol Peel doesn’t require neutralising and is suitable for a self-facial during this circuit breaker period. Tele-consultations are also available for questions on how to use it!
Mistake #2: Improper extractions
Simple extractions can be done at home. However, if you’re not sure which type of pimple you have or if it can be extracted, potential scarring or even infections can happen!
Extractions require experienced, skilled hands to know which pimple/blackhead can be removed or which is to be left alone. Common mistakes people make when doing extractions at home are:
- picking on blemishes not meant to be extracted (yet),
- picking on an inflamed pimple or comedone,
- and exerting too much force on the skin.
All these mistakes result in damaging the skin barrier, causing infection and inflammation, making the blemishes worse. Side-effects of improper extractions over a self-facial will likely result in scarring, hyperpigmentation, and spreading of bacteria on the skin.
IF you absolutely have to extract a blemish, please ensure that it is ripe and has pus for extraction. Dab the spot with some alcohol (don’t over do this!) to sterilise it. Use clean hands, cotton buds or an alcohol-sanitised extraction tool to gently ‘tease’ the pus out. Stop applying pressure when you see blood. Disinfect the area thoroughly and apply an antibiotic pimple cream and a pimple patch to help absorb the pus.
P.S. Did you know that pimple patches work better on ripe pimples with an “opening” (i.e. skin that has been broken)? A pimple patch is essentially a hydrocolloid bandage, which helps to absorb the pus. It also keeps the area clean for it to heal faster and better!
Mistake #3: Using micro-needling kits for a self-facial without proper hygiene
Many at-home micro-needling kits are now available online, with different brands, needle depths and types (dermal rollers, micro-needling pens, etc).
Micro-needling is a popular facial procedure, and does help to reduce pore size when used with the right products. However, Doctors typically do not suggest using such products at home without recommendation and good hygiene.
Micro-needling creates an opening (a wound) in one’s skin barrier. Hence, a sanitary / sterile environment is necessary to prevent infections. A broken skin barrier increases the risk of skin infections due to the possible introduction of bacteria and viruses into your skin. This can result in breakouts, warts formation, cysts, and even severe infection.
Single-usage micro-needling devices needs to be used with caution too. Sterile manufacturing processes and environments are necessary i.e. Comes in sterile, single-use packaging, manufactured in a certified factory with hygiene checks in place.
Mistake #4: Using “natural” ingredients
There are plenty of online articles, instagram page and stories teaching you how to “DIY” your own face mask or quick beauty “hacks” for a self-facial. These sometimes include using ingredients like:
- Aspirin tabs
- Essential oils
What is safe to be consumed isn’t necessarily safe for application on the face. As YouTuber LabMuffin has mentioned, aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) doesn’t necessarily have the same effect as salicylic acid for inflamed acne.
Applying lemon to help fade blemishes, when exposed to UV, can end up causing dermatitis instead. Turmeric has excellent antioxidant effects but when applied raw, can cause your skin to turn yellow instead.
We have also seen multiple cases of chemical burns from using essential oils on the face and body for self-remedies. Off the counter products are tested to be safe for your skin, and it would be better off staying away from things meant for consumption.
Mistake #5: Combining too many active ingredients / acids in your skincare or self-facial
The last and most common mistake that people usually make: layering on too many types of acids at one go.
Facials usually include different products for different steps, to achieve certain effects on the skin. However, many tend to use products ‘that they like’, without considering the suitability of combing them all in a single sitting.
The general rule of thumb would be to use only 1 active product during a home facial. Combining too many active ingredients together risk causing dryness, chemical burns, scarring, hyperpigmentation, and increase skin sensitivity. Certain products also cancel out the effects of each other when applied too quickly.
Here is a list of what you should not combine in the same sitting:
- Retinoids and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs – Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid)
- Retinoids and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs – Salicylic Acid)
- Benzoyl Peroxide and Retinoids (usually found in pimple creams)
- Vitamin C & Retinoids
- Vitamin C and Niacinamide
When in doubt, reach out to your medical professional for advice!
DID YOU KNOW: Heard of SkinBetter’s Alpharet Intensive Overnight Cream? Is the first ever skincare to combine both retinoids and AHAs together without causing irritation! Whatsapp us at 9384 8915 to find out how you can get one!