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When “feel good” treatments are bad for you

There are skin “treatments” that women take because they want to feel good and pampered. Could we please re-examine this idea so that we don’t damage our skin and bodies when we pamper ourselves?

I am all for a good massage (not those that leave you hurting) and a yogurt mask while you take a nap on your couch.

But, do you know what sonicating does to live cells? In a biochemical lab we use sonication to break cells. Sound waves break cell membranes (all of them). You are not an inert piece of jewelry that needs to be cleaned.

Did you know that cascara sagrada (Frangula purshiana), a laxative, included as a non-disclosed ingredient in many “detoxifying” wraps? You will lose weight temporarily because the toxic chemical will cause diarrhea and make you lose water quickly. You will gain back the water (and weight) within a day. You don’t need detoxifying anything, your liver and kidneys take care of that.

Bubble baths with strong detergents will erode the skin barrier and irritate the skin.  In the lab we use those same detergent to extract lipids from the cell membranes. That kills cells. Play with bubble blowers in your garden instead.

Nice smelling, “natural creams” with Balsam of Peru are likely to leave you with a persistent allergic  skin inflammation that may take steroid injections to get over.

Do you know what an eyelash extension is? They apply adhesive to your natural eyelashes and stick fake eyelashes on them. Traction alopecia can ensue or you may be allergic to the glue used. After a few days of longer eyelashes, be prepared to lose your real ones. Are you really going to sacrifice your eyelashes for ever?

Will you use benzoyl peroxide for a temporary improvement of acne when it will cause permanent damage to your skin and skin stem cells? Did you know that there are alternatives that will work even better and not hurt you?

Oxygen bars are going out of fashion, but it is silly for people to use antioxidants and, at the same time, try to increase oxygen concentration above the 21% we have in our atmosphere. Your hemoglobin gets saturated with oxygen well below that, so let your body work the way it knows how.

It is hard to believe that a fellow human being would use an “experimental” treatment (that long ago it was shown to be detrimental) to make some money out of you, at the expense of your skin health, but it is happens. Sometimes it is because of ignorance, but often it is because of greed.

In short: if you feel in need of a mood-lift, go out with a friend, have some (antioxidant) chocolate or a cup of (resveratrol full) red wine or get a massage. Or apply Skin Actives Intensive Recovery mask and take a nap. But don’t mistreat your skin, you will need it for many decades to come.