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7 Common At-Home Beauty Treatments That Are Actually A Really Bad Idea

Google is not your friend.

Do not try these at home, no matter how desperate you are. 

Exactly how did anyone do anything before Google?

We heard about the yellow pages, the library, phoning a friend — but how did anyone ever find the time? And what did you do about a question you were too embarrassed to ask someone? Just never ask it? Luckily, we don't ever have to know these woes anymore because magical Google will answer anything for us, with absolutely no judgement (though we can't say the same for the targeted ads that may follow).

But while Google is a trusty source when it comes to things like finding out where to buy those brown leather mules everyone on Instagram is wearing or figuring out where you know that actress from or what the meaning of 'loquacious' actually is – google shouldn't be where you turn to for at-home beauty advice. 

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As much as we may want to take it upon ourselves to cut our own fringe or try out dermaplanning, the fact of the matter is there are some ventures worth waiting for. Think about this logically, if something goes wrong (and the odds on this happening are extremely high btw) t may be less comfortable, safe, or accessible to go to your usual doctor, dermatologist or hairdresser for a quick fix. There's also a pretty good reason why we spend so much of our hard-earned cash on professional beauty treatments, and part of that reason is that they're trained in proper sterilization and technique. Odds are, you aren’t trained in either of those things.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t attempt any beauty DIY activities but there are some you should avoid, at all costs. Curious about which treatments you should flat-out avoid, though? Here’s what the experts say.

Chemical Peels

It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating: Do not try to give yourself a chemical peel at home. Ever. As Ciara Darcy, Dublin-based skincare expert can attest to, this is a bad idea. “Any peel off mask, pore strips or harsh scrubs should be avoided,” says Darcy. “Over exfoliating your skin can lead to sensitivity and redness and even tear the skin.” Until your dermatologist’s practice opens again, stick to gentle liquid exfoliants containing lactic acid.

Using Household Bleach For Highlights

Colouring your hair with box dye is bad enough and spoiler alert: household bleach is no better. When you start playing around with ingredients like domestic bleach and baking soda to lighten your hair, you run the risk of not only damaging your hair (which could result in an involuntary haircut) but you'll also be in store for an aggressive and expensive colour-correction process at the salon once this all blows over. If you are determined to lighten your hair at home, read our guide on how to do it safely, here. 

At-Home Waxing Kits

While at-home waxing kits have come a long way since Monica and Phoebe's experience in Friends, there's a very good reason why you choose to go to a professional waxing therapist for your waxing treatments. "We specialise in waxing treatments day in and day out," says Emma Baker, founder of Waxapeel Dundrum. "A professional waxer will use a different type of wax for each area of the body. At-home waxing kits aren’t as easy as they seem. You don’t just slap it on and whip it off. The temperature and consistency of the wax is very important and can be very difficult to get right with at-home waxing kits." Oh, and if you’re thinking about using a hair removal cream instead, forget about it. “Don’t do it!” warns Emma. “Depilatory creams are jam-packed with chemicals. They can cause a lot of sensitivity to the skin. 

Using Windolene As Self-Tan Remover

Apparently, there are some people on the internet who believe that Windolene is a good way to remove self-tanner streaks. Don’t do this. Windolene contains ammonium hydroxide, ethanolamine, fragrance and blue dye - all of which can irritate the skin. Inhaling ammonium hydroxide can cause serious irritation to the eyes and throat. Direct contact with the skin can cause inflammation, rashes, or burns. Ethanolamine is normally used in detergents, polishes, and pharmaceuticals and is classified as toxic by the Environmental Working Group. While these chemicals may be useful in cleaning, they are not meant to be applied on to the skin, which could have immediate consequences. Our advice? Stick to a self-tan eraser like the Self Tan Eraser from Bondi Sands (€19.49) which effectively removes self-tan without harmful ingredients or exfoliation, in just 5 minutes. Simply apply the self-tan eraser directly to skin, leave for at least five minutes, jump in the shower and wash off using an exfoliating mitt. 

Blackhead or Cyst Extractions

Have a stubborn blackhead or cyst that is driving you mad? You might want to wait a minute or two before you try to extract it yourself – no matter how many episodes of Dr. Pimple Popper you’ve binged. You need to be careful when performing these procedures as you can lead to more inflammation and even cause infection if done incorrectly. Remember, you are not Dr. Sandra Lee!


Another popular beauty trend (in both the skin and makeup realms) is dermaplaning. For the uninitiated, dermaplaning is the practice of using a fine razor blade to slough dead skin and peach fuzz off the face. While doing this at home, is of course, less risky than applying Windolene to your face or attempting an at-home chemical peel, it is still something best left to the professionals. 

Main image by @bellamichlo on Instagram

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