A Dermatologist's Guide to At-Home Skin Treatments You Can Do *Safely* - Women's Health

A Dermatologist’s Guide to At-Home Skin Treatments You Can Do *Safely*

Expert tips to doing it right.

by | Sep 23, 2021

If you’re in an area where you’ve been patiently waiting for salons to re-open but are finding your skin needs a pick me up, we’ve got you covered.

Below Biologi’s Dermal Specialist details all the skin treatments you can safely do at home.

Chemical peels

If the idea of a chemical peel has you conjuring up images of Samantha from Sex and The City at Carrie’s book launch, never fear. The good news is that at-home chemical peels are not the same as the more abrasive in-clinic alternatives. Done correctly, you shouldn’t look as though you have blister burns all over your face. The at-home versions are designed to use safely so long as you research what the ingredients will do and carefully follow the instructions. Be warned though – factors such as peel type, strength, and the amount of time you leave it on the skin will all affect your results. Whilst they are designed to use at-home, you must carefully follow the instructions. Leaving a peel on your face for too long can risk causing inflammation or chemical burns.

The best way to approach them is todo a spot test first by applying a small amount in a low concentration on an area of your face that is less visible (such as jawline). Leave this on for 2 minutes before washing off and then assess the results over the following days. If your skin looks as though it has an adverse reaction, my advice would be avoid using until you can consult a dermatologist. Most chemical peel products contain Alpha-Hydroxy Acids, such as Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid, as well as ingredients such as Vitamin A or Salicylic Acid. These ingredients can offer incredible results because they are potent, but for that very can be risky if you don’t do it correctly.

Face rolling and Gua Sha

Devices like jade rollers and Gua Sha are great options for giving yourself an excellent gentle facial at home. If you’ve been paying close attention in the skincare realms these past couple of years, you’ll have noticed that face rollers and the Gua Sha are hot property. Commonly made from precious stones such as jade or rose quartz, these tools have become a bathroom cabinet staple for consumers across Australia, and for very good reason. These traditional Chinese anti-wrinkle and anti-aging beauty tools have been used for thousands of years to promote youthful appearances and smooth skin, and are now available for you at home. This traditional practice has been handed down through generations and has stood the test of time thanks to its highly effective skin benefits. Likened to natural Botox for the skin, regular use of face rollers and Gua Sha boasts a whole range of benefits to the skin. These type of tools are said to stimulate blood circulation which increases the nutrients and fresh oxygen sent to the skin and has a host of skincare benefits, including brighten the complexion. The regime is also said to lift and contour the face, along with helping serums and oils penetrate deeper into the skin’s layers (which can increase the efficacy of skincare products). For a luxurious at-home experience, store your device in the fridge and apply a nourishing oil like Biologi’s Br Organic Rosehip Oil to the skin. Gently massage the device all over, taking in the cooling and soothing benefits. 

Mud masks

Mud masks are a relatively low-risk treatment that you can do on your own, so long as you don’t do it excessively. As a general guide, no more than 3 times a week at max because they can be incredibly drying to the skin. The benefits of mud masks are said to gently remove impurities from the skin, unclogging pores and absorbing excess oil. As with any masks or skincare treatments, carefully research the ingredients and preferred method before applying. Again, it is wise to do a patch test first to ensure that you don’t have any adverse reactions. Everyone’s skin is different, so performing a patch test can be a safeguard against causing irritation or redness all over your face.

 Derma rolling & microneedling

Derma rolling and microneedling are other skincare treatments that can be safely done at home – they’re basically the same treatment but just use different needles.

There are many devices available on the market but as a very general guide look for a derma roller that has 0.25 mm or lower in needle size as anything thicker than can be tricky to use safely on your own. Anything larger than 0.25mm in needle size should only be used by a professional in your skin in clinic.

Longer needles can risk penetrating the dermis (the second layer of skin) and can create an open channel, which can increase your chance of getting an infection, so please be careful about needle size.

The benefits range from promoting the production of collagen and elastin, through to revealing youthful and glowing skin. Dermarollers contain tiny needles that penetrate the skin, creating micro injuries. These small ‘micro injuries’ makes the skin repair broken cells and in turn can accelerate the production of collagen and elastin.

 As with any at-home procedures, you do need to take some precautions. Please do a patch test first and ensure you cleanse your skin before starting. Uncleansed skin can risk pushing dirt or residue further into your pores. Please, also do not repeat use your device before sterilising each time!

To start, you would want to roll in one area a couple of times in one direction, lifting the roller after each time. Lifting the roller is important to ensure you don’t leave any visible track marks on the face. Then, once you’ve covered the entire face in one direction, go back over each area in the perpendicular direction. For example, if you initially rolled in a vertical direction, you’ll want to repeat the process in a horizontal direction. Be sure to take any precaution to avoid any delicate areas of your skin, such as your eye area. Please don’t over-do it by practicing excessive rolling on areas – this can cause damage to the skin and risk infection.

Finish off your routine with a skin-loving serum like Biologi’s Bf Restore Face and Body Serum which is rich in phyto-actives that soothe and repair, leaving the skin feeling hydrated and soft.

Extraction

We’ve all heard it time and time again about how picking our faces can be absolutely detrimental to our skin. Yet most of us, when we see a pimple or blackhead rear its ugly head, we can’t help but to squeeze. Firstly, if you’re going to pick your face, at least try to give your hands a good clean first. Whilst your hands might look clean, they are actually houses for a host of bacteria, germs and dirt. This dirt and bacteria can easily be spread when we touch our skin, in effect, making any blemishes worse. What’s more, when we pick at our skin and break the surface, we’re allowing the dirt to penetrate even further, thus infecting and irritating skin.

If you absolutely must squeeze it, please be gentle. Use some paper towel to apply a medium amount of pressure on either side of the pimple and slowly push down with the lightest pressure possible.

Do not wiggle your fingers back and forth to try and squeeze it out. Large amounts of pressure or pushing at the skin will create micro tears which can cause scarring. Once your skin has been squeezed, please avoid touching your face at all, unless it’s to apply a gentle serum.

LED light therapy

LED light therapy is a non-invasive skin treatment that uses an at-home device that emits varying wavelengths of light. The light is said to trigger the skin’s natural healing processes to repair the skin (making it a great option for blemishes, acne, sun damage, redness and other skin issues). The other great benefit is that the results are basically instant – after a few minutes under the light, skin is often left glowing and luminous. There are many devices available on the market but the most important thing to remember is you need to protect your eyes (so don’t stare at the light). When done in-salon, you would normally wear goggles however the at-home devices are not as strong, but still require you to avoid looking at the light.

 

By Nikolina Ilic

Nikolina is the new web-obsessed Digital Editor at Men's and Women's Health, responsible for all things social media and .com. A lover of boxing, she has a mean punch inside and out of the ring. She was previously a Digital Editor at GQ and Vogue magazine.

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