Many say that beauty is pain, but what happens when the pinch, pluck, or pull becomes deadly? Many beauty treatments when done by a professional can, in fact, be safe and enhance one's beauty. However, there are those few cases when some treatments can permanently cause injuries, scarring, or even death.

The history of beauty dates back thousands of years, and the $330 billion global industry extends to all parts of the world. According to history professor Geoffrey Jones from the Harvard Business School, “emergence of the beauty industry was associated with an unprecedented homogenization of beauty ideals throughout the world.” And seemingly every other day, there is a new remedy, treatment, or technique used on both men and women.

Unfortunately, because of their nature, many beauty products and some treatments are not strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This could potentially lead to harmful effects on the skin or hair.  

1. Chemical Peels

When done correctly, this cosmetic treatment can be useful for repairing damaged skin cells and fading acne scars. A chemical peel is literally the act of removing layers of skin, leaving your face red and sometimes sore. Since the process is done with harsh chemicals (depending on how deep into the layers of skin you go), there can be side effects such as scarring, swelling, and color changes to the skin. 

2. Botox

It’s a neurotoxin that many people in America turn to when they want to get back their youthful skin. It reduces the wrinkles by cutting off the connection with the nerves and muscles. For cosmetic purposes, the FDA originally approved  Botox to lessen vertical frown lines between the brows. And in 2013, it was also approved for crow’s feet. However, it has been used for many off-label procedures, such as reducing wrinkles around the mouth. Using Botox could lead to a number of health risks, such as long- term effects on the brain, nervous system, and muscles. Side effects like muscle weakness, vision problem, and trouble breathing are also few negative effects. Nevertheless, there have been no deaths caused my cosmetic uses for Botox that have been recorded.

3. Brazilian Blow Out

Many women want their locks to be straight and sleek without having to visit a salon on a daily basis. When Brazilian blowouts first became popular, they seemed to be an answer for many frizz-prone women. However, the chemical formaldehyde is used at dangerously high levels to straighten the hair. Formaldehyde has been linked to a number of cancers after prolonged use at high levels.

4. Laser Hair Removal

This procedure is done on women who want to remove their excess hair. A laser light destroys the hair follicle, preventing new hair from growing back after a few treatments. This procedure can sometimes be painful, and many providers will give their clients a topical anesthetic called Laser Gel 10-10, which is numbing gel to help ease discomfort. In 2005, a woman named Sheri Berg had used this cream that was provided to her by the spa where she had her laser hair removal treatment done.

Ten days later, she passed away after being in a coma. Some doctors and her family blamed the cream, stating there were not proper warnings on the label. Laser Gel 10-10 is a prescription compound with two anesthetics: 10 percent Lidocaine, 10 percent Tetracain. Berg was not warned of any of these side effects when using it. And since the FDA doesn’t have strict labeling when it comes compound medications, they can carry some serious side effects. In the instance of laser hair removal treatment, speaking with your doctor before using these creams and understanding the dosage and possible side effects are important.