Mole removal, dermarolling, chemical peels. For almost every beauty treatment offered at a professional salon or clinic, a quick internet search will turn up various DIY versions of the specialist equipment used, which you can purchase for personal use at home. These items are often touted as bestsellers and accompanied by countless five-star reviews but you don't have to be a trained expert to add them to your basket: anyone can buy them.
Welcome to Pretty Risky. Throughout the week, we're exploring the appalling lack of regulation surrounding beauty tools and products sold online and the damage they have caused hundreds of women in the UK. High-strength skincare acids and DIY lip filler pens (just as horrifying as they sound) are among a number of products and devices which have made their way into the bathroom cabinets of trusting individuals, many of whom have paid the price with infections and permanent scarring – and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
So why now? With salons and clinics closed for the foreseeable future due to coronavirus, many of us have taken beauty treatments into our own hands. Relaxing facials and gel manicures are just a couple of things we've attempted at home as lockdown has proven that it is cheap, easy and enjoyable to keep on top of our beauty routine in the comfort of our own bedroom. But the crisis has also further exposed the DIY beauty industry's murky side.
Working with a team of professional dermatologists, aestheticians and beauticians, we're calling into question the underground beauty clinics, manufacturers and independent sellers peddling these risky products and gadgets online. From the woman whose face looked like "something out of a horror film" after DIY pore extraction to the people who have put their eyesight on the line for longer lashes, we'll bring you shocking personal accounts and arm you with all the knowledge you need to navigate online beauty safely. Because if this investigation has taught us anything, it's that it's a Wild West out there.