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5 Beauty Treatments and Their Health Risks

Personal grooming has stood the test of time. In fact, as a concept, it keeps evolving. From the earliest bathhouses of Greece and ancient Rome to modern spas, we keep finding new ways to take care of our bodies and improve how we look. With the evolution of personal grooming came specialized beauty treatments.

While beauty is often associated with vanity, it is truly something we all aspire to. How far one is willing to go to achieve their desire for beauty varies from person to person. For some, a swipe of lipstick is far enough. On the contrary, others will run the gambit all the way to plastic surgery.

Alongside the instinctive desire to be admired though, lies an even stronger inclination for self-preservation. The cosmetic industry sells us all a dream, but at what cost to our well-being?

Most beauty treatments bear a certain degree of complications. Next time you walk into your favorite salon or spa, here are a few risks you may want to be aware of:

Exfoliation

Exfoliation reduces blemishes

Your skin is the largest body organ. It consists of three layers, in the order: the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous fatty layer. The epidermis is the outer layer we see and touch.

Exfoliation is aimed at exposing a fresher rejuvenated layer of skin by sloughing off dead cells. There are two ways to achieve this: chemically or mechanically.

Chemical Method

Chemical exfoliation involves the use of medical-grade acids such as glycolic acid. They are more commonly referred to as, ‘chemical peels’. Their formulation particularly targets superficial dead skin cells and eliminates them. The result is that the layer of skin exposed has fewer wrinkles and is brighter.

There is undoubtedly a great advantage in being able to ‘renew’ your skin at will. However, these acids disrupt your natural skin barrier. Due to this disruption, you would be more susceptible to sunburns as ultraviolet sun rays find your skin compromised. Further, if a chemical peel is wrongly applied, you would be likely to suffer lesions or burns.

Personal discretion is thus key in deciding whether chemical exfoliation is a worthy gamble. Should you find their benefits irresistible, it is wise to ensure you get them done by a meticulous professional. Before purchasing an over-the-counter peel, ensure to seek a consult on what is best for your skin type. Err on the side of caution by doing them in moderation.

Mechanical Method

Mechanical exfoliation is synonymous with scrubbing. In some methods, like microdermabrasion, specific equipment is used by a beautician on your skin. On the other hand, the creamy products with coarse particles you may have in your bathroom also fall in this category. The aim is still to get rid of dull-looking dead cells.

An advantage of mechanical exfoliation is that it is less invasive. By itself, it is highly unlikely to interfere with the chemistry of your skin. Nevertheless, you ought to be careful as you engage in it. Aggressive motion while using products or brushes may result in:

  • Redness
  • Soreness
  • Abrasions
  • Skin flare-ups

The skin is the body’s shield against natural elements. Any treatment that affects its chemistry or strength is one that you should probably take on with absolute caution.

Tanning

For some people, summer can never come soon enough. They revel in the tan look that a day out in the sun lends to their appearance. So, what to do when the desire for a tan comes along and the sun is at bay? Behold the tanning bed and tanning sprays. They are designed to give you just the look you need and in less time than it takes at the beach.

Tanning beds or booths work by exposing your skin to ultraviolet radiation. These rays are similar to what is emitted by the sun. It is their effect on skin cells that elicits a brownish to darker look. Ultraviolet rays in a tanning booth are artificial and in closer proximity thus are more intense.

Sunburns are the milder effect of exposure to sun rays. The more severe permanent effects are dire. Experts have proven that ultraviolet radiation is a cause of skin cancer and prematurely aged skin. Equally, if you are considering tanning sprays as an alternative, they are laden with harmful synthetic dyes.

The price to pay for a tan, it appears, is not just monetary. You could very well be rolling the dice with melanoma. Is it a risk worth taking?

Hair Relaxers

Hair becomes weak because of chemical treatments

Coarse dense hair can be an uphill task when it comes to management. The frustration from combing and styling struggles necessitated the invention of hair relaxers. They work by chemically affecting the texture of hair such that it becomes smoother. Depending on the type of hair, relaxers of different strengths are applied for the desired effect.

Hair relaxers provide an amazing solution for daily needs. It is probably for this reason that many overlook their negative effects. Hairdressers over the years have perfected relaxer application. You may get your hairdo and suffer no burning sensation or irritation. What you may not know about are the salient long-term effects.

Research has found that some ingredients in chemical hair relaxers cause hormonal interference. They seep into the body through the scalp over time. The endocrine system is responsible for hormonal production and regulation. When disrupted by these chemical ingredients, you are at risk for cancer and reproductive health challenges including infertility. In addition to this, your hair may become weaker and prone to breakage.

The term ‘naturalista‘ emerged due to the creation of healthier natural hair care solutions. It is definitely a path worth considering.

Nail Care

Hygiene affects nail health

Have you had the misfortune of jagged nails that constantly get caught in sweater threads? How about painful cuticle growths that have you wincing during chores? Both of these are quite uncomfortable experiences. They also serve as reasons why one ends up seeking a manicure. Some people visit the nail parlor in a quest to make a  fashion statement. All are valid.

What you need to keep an eye out for at your manicurist’s station is hygiene. You are not the sole client the parlor has, the tools used on you have been used on others. Be adamant about everything being thoroughly sterilized. Upon leaving the parlor, ensure to keep your nails clean all through as well. Nail infections breed and thrive in moist places where dirt can creep in.

Gel nail polish is highly popular lately for its longevity. The process of getting it dry involves ultraviolet lamps. This is not a treatment you want to become too dependent on given the danger of ultraviolet rays. Explore manicure alternatives with your beautician. An additional precaution to employ would be applying sunscreen before placing your hand in the nail dryer.

Makeup Application

Makeup applicators can irritate skin

To achieve that flawless look, there’s a set of brushes and sponges used. With every use, they accumulate makeup residue and dead skin cells that rub off of your skin during application. Failure to clean them regularly allows bacteria to find a home in them. As a result, you may bear the brunt of skin break-outs.

Similar to an application routine, have one in regards to cleaning up. You should carry your own set of applicators when you outsource makeup application.

The Bottom Line

A great beauty regimen doesn’t come cheap but the benefits can be very pleasant. Price however,  is not an absolute determinant of quality.

It is critical that you perform a due diligence check on which treatments are suitable for you. Some procedures could be perfectly safe but prohibited to an individual with certain conditions like pregnancy. Do not underestimate the importance of seeking professional consultation.

 

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