Five popular facial treatments that could actually be damaging your skin

Skincare is booming at the moment.

From acids to exfoliants, peels to injectables, many of us are putting more effort into our beauty regimes, and we are trying lots of new things.

Each new beauty trend feels exciting and innovative when it bursts on to the scene. They promise radiance, prolonged youth, an inner glow.

But before we rush to splash our hard-earned cash on the latest skincare trend on the market, have you considered if they are actually good for your skin? Could they be doing any damage?

Many of us are seeking a quick fixes, or instant results when it comes to facial treatments, but this mentality could be doing more harm than good.

Dermoi’s chief scientific officer, Eve Casha, has reviewed the top facial treatments on the market to shed light on which popular treatments may actually harm the skin and accelerate photoaging in the long term:

Deep micro-needling

‘Micro-needling is a newer treatment that involves creating microchannels (tiny holes) in the skin to stimulate wound healing responses, collagen production, and increase penetration of topical products,’ says Eve.

When performed properly, Eve says micro-needling treatments have been proven to be very effective with minimal disruption to the skin barrier.

‘However, many micro-needling treatments involve aggressive movements and micro-needling devices with long needles,’ she says. ‘This causes trauma to the skin and has been proven to cause facial scarring (tram track scarring), pigmentation issues (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), or infection.

‘A credible source for micro-needling treatments in which the micro-needle depth and procedure are controlled is essential.’


This beauty treatment is a recent viral trend that involves scraping a blade across the skin for exfoliation – and to remove thin hairs (peach fuzz) to give an instantly smooth finish.

‘However, there is minimal scientific evidence backing up dermaplaning for any skin benefit,’ says Eve.

‘In addition, this treatment is normalised for at home and consistent use, but repeated use can have negative consequences for the skin barrier, leaving skin sensitive to UV radiation, free radical damage, inflammation, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.’

Medium-depth facial peels

‘Chemical peels induce deep exfoliation to stimulate cell renewal and facial rejuvenation,’ says Eve.

‘They are categorised based on how deep they exfoliate in the skin and have been used for decades.’

Eve says the superficial facial peels exfoliate the epidermis, however, medium-depth and deep facial peels exfoliate down to the dermis.

‘Medium-depth facial peels cause damage to dermal proteins as well as cell death, swelling and severe damage to the epidermis,’ Eve explains.

‘They require extensive ‘down-time’ after the treatment in which consumers cannot go to work, must shield from the sun, and are at risk of infection.

‘These peels should be performed as one-off procedures, but many are seeking medium-depth treatments regularly causing repeated trauma to healthy skin.’


Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive physical exfoliation procedure that removes the skin barrier.

‘The treatment can mildly help to smooth skin surface texture, hyperpigmentation, and stimulate changes to collagen production after multiple sessions,’ says Eve. ‘However, microdermabrasion is very abrasive and causes massive disruption to the skin barrier.

‘This leaves the skin in a compromised state that is inflamed and more vulnerable to damage from the environmental free radicals and UV radiation. This will aggravate skin conditions and can increase photoaging over time.

‘Certain studies on microdermabrasion will exclude clients with sensitive skin types or a tendency for scarring as they are at higher risk for complications.’


Hydrafacials use a technique called hydradermabrasion.

‘In the Hydrafacial procedure, hydradermabrasion is combined with a chemical peeling serum, followed by pressure extraction, and an antioxidant rich serum,’ says Eve.

‘While hydradermabrasion is more gentle than traditional microdermabrasion and can clear comedones (whiteheads/ blackheads) and stimulate collagen production, the technique itself disrupts the skin barrier and is likely to be sensitising for many.

‘For those with inflammatory acne, rosacea, or general sensitivity, such abrasion and extraction may increase problems.’

So, what should we be doing for our skin instead?

‘While some may look at the complications of certain facial treatments and assume the risk is low, over time, repeated use of such treatments is wounding the skin and making skin conditions worse,’ says Eve.

‘We need to re-learn our approach to skincare and change how we care for our skin.’

Researching all procedures and beauticians in advance is a must, and sometimes less is more when it comes to looking after your skin.

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