In today’s society, the internet and social media take up a lot of our time; we stay connected with friends and family, search for new places to eat or visit, and we are often presented with tips and tricks on health, wellness, and lifestyle. I know I am constantly coming across articles like “Top Ten Beauty Products You Need” or “Three Reasons Why You Need This Beauty Treatment Now.” Many of my patients come to me and say, “I saw this product on Instagram” or ask, “A blogger said to try this homemade concoction for dark spots, do you think it will work?” The list could go on and on. Some of these things are okay, some won’t do much for you at all, but many things out there can be harmful and possibly permanently damage your skin. Let’s discuss some things we should be aware of as we surf the inter webs and research what we put into practice.
When my patients come in for a treatment I like to find out what they are using on their skin. I ask what does their normal day to day routine consist of, and when was the last time they had a facial. This gives me a little insight into their skin. I had a first-time patient come in with severely dry skin and I asked her what she had been using for her skin care routine. She told me “I follow this blogger and she uses Hibiclens to wash her face, so I have been using that.” In that moment I was honestly speechless. Hibiclens is a strong surgical scrub that has high levels of chlorhexidine as the active ingredient. It is a medical-grade antiseptic but is NOT meant to be used as a face wash. The manufacturer’s website actually says this product is not safe for the face or head. As an esthetician, I struggle with the fact that bloggers can just say whatever they want without any credentialing. Many of them appear do little-to-no research to see if what they are promoting is even safe to use. They are promoting a product to their followers that might not even be using themselves or a product that might not even be beneficial or safe to be using at.
Don’t get me wrong, social media is a great way to get information. I follow many different estheticians, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and other types of aesthetic medicine practices. Our industry is constantly changing and growing and its great to get some insight as to how other professionals view certain skincare treatments and products. But in that same breath I would recite the old words of wisdom… “You cant believe everything you read on the internet.” What you see is not always what you get. I do see the irony of course, that I’m posting on the internet a blog about not believing everything your read on the internet, but that doesn’t make it any less true! What I’m really trying to say is, do your own due diligence and research anything you plan to put on your skin. Don’t just trust someone because they have 1M followers.
Researching Products & Treatments
Most people take to the internet to begin their research on a certain product or treatment that might help with condition they have. What a time to be alive! All the information we could ask for at our fingertips… but there is just as much misinformation. The best practice is to cross-reference several sources before drawing a conclusion; Google the product, read about the manufacturer, investigate the ingredients, look up reviews, and directly ask one or several estheticians or other skincare professionals. It’s also important to review any product’s warning label, being sure to take note of any contraindications. Just like we want to know what we put in our bodies, we also want to know what we are putting on our bodies.
Just about all of the products that I use in my treatment room, along with the products that we sell here at beyond|AESTHETICS, are medical-grade which means they have clinical studies to back them up. These products are typically more expensive than those you can buy over-the-counter, but as we’ve discussed in previous blogs… a little goes a long way. Over time, there actually may not be much of a difference in price but you will more than likely see a difference in results. I really try to express to all my patients that if they are going to try any “life hacks” that they come across on the internet, that they do themselves a favor and research it before trying it. This is particularly true if you are also paying good money for medical aesthetics treatments. You should be investing in good quality at-home skincare to get the full benefits of those treatments.
Fruit acids are good for your skin… but lemon slices are not effective. Antibacterial wash for acne prone skin is good… but anti-bacterial surgical hand scrubs aren’t safe to be used as cleansers. Exfoliating your skin is good… but apricot scrub, really? Ideally, you should find a professional that you trust, someone that is local and can assess your skin in-person, and follow their prescribed regimen. If their social media game is also on-point, that’s just a bonus!