Are At-Home Skincare Treatments Safe?

Don't try this at home… or do?
BY Sarah Lim
| Last updated May, 2022
Are At Home Skincare Treatments Safe

We get it—sometimes you don’t want to endure road rage just to get glowing skin. This is partly why at-home skincare treatments are growing in popularity, not only because of the cost of professional treatments but also because some professional treatments take several sessions to deliver impactful results. 

More people are looking for products at home to refresh their skin whenever they feel like it for inexpensive ways. Also, not everyone wants the recovery time that can come with professional skincare treatments and may be looking for a mild effect with less downtime.

But are at-home skincare treatments safe, and which treatments are we talking about here? Here’s what you need to know about at-home skincare products designed to mimic professional skin therapies and if they are worth the hype.

Types of At-Home Skincare Products and Treatments

There are many different types of products and at-home skincare treatments you can consider using at home. Let’s examine each of them to determine what the current products on the market offer and if they’re safe.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels generally include a combination of acids, such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, phenol, or TCA peels in higher concentrations that are done by a professional. It can be customized based on your unique skincare concerns and range from superficial to deep depending on the results you’re looking for.

What’s Available?

There are many at-home chemical peel products you can buy that are ready to apply to the skin. Some brands offer a mixture of impactful acids to help exfoliate skin and reverse sun damage or fine lines. You can take your pick of the different formulas available based on your skin type.

Is It Safe?

Chemical peels are considered to be one of the safer treatments you can do at home. However, not all products are created equal. Always know your skin type and ask your dermatologist which products, ingredients, and concentrations would work best for your specific concern.

Dermaplaning Tools

Dermaplaning involves using a blade to remove dead skin cells and hair (aka peach fuzz) from your face. It may also help improve acne scars and wrinkles and is often combined with chemical peels to help skin absorb products better. Dermaplaning offers the benefits of less redness and downtime than other professional treatments.

What’s Available?

There are many dermaplaning tools to choose from, from budget-friendly options to more expensive picks. Some are designed more for beginners, while others may come with sharper razors for more professional results.

Is It Safe?

Dermaplaning is safe to do at home, provided you use caution and use a tool that’s on par with your level of skill and experience. In addition, never use a dermaplaning tool on acne, open wounds, or irritated skin, and always change the blade as recommended by the manufacturer.

Dermarolling Tools

Dermarolling is the less intense cousin of microneedling. Like microneedling, it uses needles to puncture the skin, encourage collagen production, fade scars, and even improve hyperpigmentation. Dermarollers can help create smoother skin and better product penetration.

What’s Available?

As with dermaplaning, there are many tools to choose from for dermarolling depending on the areas you’re attempting to target, your budget, and the needle size.

Is It Safe?

Dermarolling is safe to do at home as long as you use needles less than .5mm in size. Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, you also need to disinfect your dermaroller between sessions or use a new roller for each user. Never use a dermaroller on acne breakouts irritated or wounded skin.

Light Therapy Devices

Light therapy can be used for acne, rosacea, wrinkles, and redness. The wavelengths used in at-home light therapy are less intense than laser resurfacing and provide targeted treatment for specific skin concerns. Light therapy can also increase collagen production, which may help with aging.  

What’s Available?

There is a wide range of light therapy at-home skincare treatments, many of them handheld. To find the right device for your concern, you’ll need to choose between light types and wavelengths, as well as what type of device you want (handheld vs. free-standing and blue light for acne vs. red light for aging).

Is It Safe?

Light therapy devices are generally safe to use at home. However, to ensure safety, look for FDA-approved devices and always use the device as instructed.

Microcurrent Devices

Microcurrent devices use electricity to tone facial muscles and firm skin. These devices can also stimulate collagen production, leading to plumper, more youthful faces. Microcurrent treatments are painless, and the results are instant. 

What’s Available?

Microcurrent devices available for at-home use tend to be more pricey. However, there are options available depending on your budget and the results you’re looking for.

Is It Safe?

Although a professional treatment generally nets better results, microcurrent devices are safe to use at home, provided you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. However, women expecting or people with chronic health issues should not use microcurrent devices without consulting a physician first.

Microdermabrasion Devices

Microdermabrasion is essentially a more intense version of exfoliating. In a professional treatment, your practitioner will use a tool to gently sand the top layer of your skin and take away the skin cells it removes. Microdermabrasion can help improve hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, acne scars, and uneven skin tone. 

What’s Available?

You can use microdermabrasion devices at home starting at $50 and going upwards of several hundred dollars.

Is It Safe?

Although at-home microdermabrasion tools won’t give you quite the same effect as a professional treatment, it’s mostly safe. However, if you’re on any medication or have any skin condition, talk to your dermatologist first before using a product.

Microneedling Pens

Microneedling involves a tool that punctures the skin with hundreds of little needs to stimulate collagen production and reduce the appearance of scars, hyperpigmentation, and stretch marks

What’s Available?

Microneedling tools for home use are inexpensive, although you won’t see dramatic results. However, you may see better product absorption and positive changes in your skin over time. 

Is It Safe?

As long as you disinfect the tool between uses and choose the correct needle size (less than .5mm), microneedling at-home skincare treatments are relatively safe. Choosing a needle size that’s too large can lead to increased scarring, pain, and even bleeding—yikes! Microneedling is also not safe or recommended for active acne or irritated skin.

Nano-Needling Devices

While microneedling affects the dermis—the layer beneath the top layer of your skin—nano-needling only affects the top layer. Nano-needling may be better for people who want less downtime or have sensitive skin. In addition, nano-needling doesn’t typically use needles at all, instead of silicone tips for the procedure.

What’s Available?

Because nano-needling is more niche than microneedling, fewer devices are available for at-home use. 

Is It Safe?

Nano-needling is considered to be safer than microneedling for at-home use. However, you should still follow best practices, such as changing the cartridge when necessary and disinfecting between uses.

Find Out Your Skin Type Now

Knowing your skin type is imperative when choosing the right skincare products and even when considering at-home skincare treatments. Do you know your skin type? If not, find out now with this free assessment

your true skin type?

Gain insight into your skin type for your clearest complexion yet! Get ready to sparkle like there’s no tomorrow.

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