Representative image: Popular face serums

Vitamin C Serum for Laser Hair Removal – Do-it-yourself skin care on Instagram can be a killer for your skin

Representative image: Popular Facial Serums | pixabay

Instagram is a magnet that keeps millennials and Gen-Z glued to their screens. From a new dress to the food they eat – everything a ‘Gram Family’ photo shoot needs. This constant pressure to be “more Instagram acceptable” forces people to believe and emulate the fabricated looks of their favorite Instagram models, and they end up trying various beauty and cosmetic products hacks.

But these medically unproven self-treatments can be fatal to the health of your skin. It is important to dig deeper and understand how social media tips are ruining your skin.

Instagram mirage

Instagram builds on the illusion works created by TV ads in the past. Brands are taking advantage of influencer culture to target their customers through psychological manipulation. Just like the Fair & Lovely ads of the past, they exploit viewers’ insecurities about themselves to promote their products. And influencers add to it by creating unrealistic expectations of beauty.

The ‘inability’ to become ‘photo-perfectly beautiful’ like Instagram models affects people’s self-esteem, leading to anxiety, depression, body dysmorphia and eating disorders. It becomes easy to manipulate this vulnerable audience into trying different skincare gadgets (do-it-yourself hacks) using the products shared by the models.

But are these products effective? More than that, do you actually need them?

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What’s wrong with DIY Methods?

The Instagram algorithm complements brands’ targeted marketing so that it sees the products they are most likely to buy. Skin and appearance conscious users fall prey to these ads and impulsively try new products at home.

But the results of DIY skin treatment are different.

Bleaching creams are some of the most advertised products for achieving “clear and glowing” skin. Bleaching and skin-bleaching creams contain high levels of mercury, which is known to inhibit the production of melanin — the pigment responsible for dark skin, hair, and eyes. But continued exposure to mercury can have serious health consequences, including risks of skin cancer and damage to the kidneys and nervous system.

Laser hair removal performed by professionals under proper medical care is an effective way to get rid of body hair. Nowadays, there are many eye-catching devices available on the internet that claim to offer at-home laser hair reduction. However, falling prey to it can further stimulate hair growth and even damage your skin cells.

In medical terms, a chemical peel is an agent that induces chemical burn control (CCBs) on the skin to remove acne and scars, leaving behind smooth skin. It involves removing the outer layer of your skin – a process called exfoliation. Many teens buy unlicensed chemical peel ingredients online. The wrong products and procedures can lead to skin pigmentation, hives and even cancer.

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Not everything is for you

You’ll find all kinds of face serums doing the rounds on the Internet — promising “clear,” spot-free, “radiant” skin. And it’s tempting to include them in your skin care regimen. But the continued use of these over-the-counter serums can have serious long-term consequences. Niacinamide is an antibiotic serum that is specifically prescribed to treat acne. Its regular use can damage skin tissue and pores. Similarly, retinol serums can lead to sensitive skin and AHA/BHA serums can cause skin thinning.

Gua Sha stones are gaining in popularity as tools for improving skin circulation, relieving stress, and sculpting facial structure. However, if this is not done correctly, it can lead to stretching of the artificial skin – you can break the process for a month, and the skin muscles turn into fat due to muscle hypertrophy or stagnation due to broken muscle fibers.

Apart from this, constant exposure to screens can not only damage your eyes but also damage the muscles around them, leading to premature wrinkles. Likewise, the exhaustion, stress, and emotional trauma from having your life compared to your “Instagram life” will eventually start to show on your skin.

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What do dermatologists recommend?

Using DIY skin care products without medical supervision and guidance is not a wise choice. Most skin types don’t even need a regular cleansing, toning, and moisturizing regimen. Obsessing over these beauty products to improve your skin will only make you tired and stressed.

All your skin needs is a basic skin care regimen that includes washing your face twice a day and applying a clinically proven sunscreen with an appropriate sun protection factor (SPF). If you suffer from certain problems such as acne, rashes or skin pigmentation, refrain from ‘Ghar ka copy(Home Remedies). Instead, see a dermatologist for help and guidance.

External skin care only determines 30 percent of your skin’s health—the rest depends on what’s on the inside. This is why a proper diet is so important for healthy skin. Include walnuts for omega-3 fats, broccoli for vitamin A, tomatoes for vitamin C, dark chocolate, and green tea.

In this Instagram-influenced age, it’s not unusual to be afraid of being seen as a weirdo. Try to take a break from Instagram. Replace scrolling with walking in the fresh air. Spend time doing the things you love. Talk to the people around you instead of texting, and see how your skin starts to glow from within.

Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj is an internationally trained dermatologist, hypoallergenic specialist, laser surgeon and cosmetic expert. She tweets @dermatdoc. Opinions are personal.

(Edited by Hamra Laeq)

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