Sunday, July 5, 2020

Back Breakout—What NOT to Use

In a popular beauty book, the author recommends using dishwashing detergent followed by benzoyl peroxide for back breakouts. Now, I am only one person, but I have a fair amount of common sense. I can see how the author thinks if detergent gets the grease off her dishes surely it would be an acceptable product to use on human skin. Because as we all know, skin and porcelain and/or glass are virtually the same thing, right?  

OK, I’ll stop being sarcastic and just tell it like it is. Using dishwashing detergent on your skin is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of! I did a TV show where I had degreasing detergent on the table of what not to use on problem skin. I once knew a client who put dishwashing detergent on her blemishes in an attempt to dry them out. She thought, perhaps as the above mentioned author does, that a degreasing agent would degrease her skin. But the results for my client were irritation coupled with severe peeling on and around the blemishes. I can’t imagine what would happen to the skin on your back if you applied dishwashing detergent even just one time, and then followed it with another known skin irritant: benzoyl peroxide.

This author goes on to recommend applying the dishwashing detergent not with your hands but with a bath brush. You have not only set up the potential for irritation using a product never intended for human skin, but to add insult to injury you are going to ensure severe irritation by using a brush to massage in the product! Is she crazy? No, just very ill-informed. She is not an aesthetician or even a person who has had any experience (from what her bio reads) with skin on a real, up close and personal level. As with anything, look at the source.

The kind of advice in that book is the kind of advice I recommend avoiding at all costs. Those suggestions might look good in a magazine or flash advertising, but to actually be recommending this for readers who have problem skin on their backs (or faces, or wherever) is preposterous. I can only hope that if you choose to read books like that one, you will also use your common sense. How much sense does it make to use dishwashing detergent (meant for dishes and glassware) on your delicate skin? If your answer is, “It kind of makes sense,” then I will just tell you straight up: don’t do it! Dishes are dishes, but human skin is a living organ that needs special care.

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