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There was a post on Chemists’ Corner, a blog aimed at cosmetic scientists, a few days ago that got me thinking. Given that cosmetics don’t do anybody any harm, how do we go about making them safer? It was a good point that makes sense. The trouble is that although it is certainly true that there are very few instances of products causing any actual problems to end users, there are products out there that certainly could be dangerous. A good example is Skin Laboratory’s Salicylic Acid 20% Gel Peel. (It’s an American product which I don’t think is officially available in the UK, though please let me know if I am wrong about that.)
This is a product that could do a lot of damage if you got a large slug of it in your eyes. And if you used it repeatedly over a short period of time it would probably leave your skin thin and damaged. To give you some idea, that level of salicylic acid is higher than is used in some wart products.
But I don’t think that these things happen at all often. In fact just the opposite, it is a very popular product that many people speak very highly of. Reading reviews it seems that users understand very well how the product works and understand that overdoing it can be harmful. The name peel is a bit misleading in some ways. The way they work is by breaking the thin chemical bonds that hold the cells in the upper layers of the skin together. So it is more like loosening than peeling. But whatever you call it the process for some people it can leave the skin looking fresher and younger.
You do need a bit of common sense when using powerful products like these. But fortunately, most people seem to have enough.
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