English teen Polly Smith’s eyebrows are the result of every beauty therapist’s worst nightmare.
When English teen and avid salon goer Polly Smith decided to up her brow game, she had no idea it was a whim that would eventually see her rushed to hospital.
Eager to go all out, Smith opted for a HD brows treatment at her local salon, a procedure involving a combination of eyebrow threading, waxing and dyeing to achieve a fuller, more structured, dramatic look.
But shortly after her HD brows treatment, Smith began to notice irritation around her eyebrows, and days later awoke to a horrifying sight. Overnight, the skin around her brows had become an angry, crimson red and her once angular face had ballooned out with painful swelling.
Frightened, a terrified Smith was rushed to hospital by a friend, where she was immediately treated with a concoction of powerful antibiotics, antihistamines and steroids to try to control the inflammatory reaction that was now progressing so rapidly it had almost completely swollen one of her eyelids shut.
“[The doctors] said they had never seen anything like it,” Smith told The Daily Mail.
“It was horrible and so painful and I looked like I had been punched in the face.”
Smith has had to remain on a drug cocktail of 15 tablets a day since her hospital visit, and says her doctors have warned her that her brows may never look the same again.
“One day I would be ok and kind of be able to laugh about it but then I would break down in tears. I’m still quite self conscious about it…You should think twice about doing something which could scar your face. I don’t think it is worth the risk.”
But waxing expert and Lycon Cosmetics founder, Lydia Jordane says Smith’s horror story was more likely the result of an unskilled therapist and a poor product combination for her skin type.
“It’s likely strip wax was used. Strip wax can be very problematic for facial waxing as it can take a lot of skin off, and whenever the skin has been removed you can end up with pigmentation which can take a long time to go away, and then if you’re waxing over it again, you can worsen it again. Threading can also be irritating on some clients because you’re essentially scissoring the thread over the skin and that can remove a layer of skin as well, leaving it vulnerable to infections.”
According to Jordane, a quick pre-treatment consult to ascertain a client’s allergy history is critical for safeguarding against inflammatory reactions, as is ensuring you use the right product combination for your client.
“The safest way to perform any facial waxing is with a hot wax and a pre-waxing oil, which will create a barrier to stop the wax from gripping the skin and potentially tearing it off. As more wax is applied, pre-waxing oil should be repeated. The right combination will allow you to reapply up to a dozen times without irritation.”
But Smith is unlikely to touch her brows again any time soon.
“I had the treatment to get nice pretty eyebrows and now they are patchier than ever.”
Have your say: Do you think Polly’s beauty therapist could have done more to prevent this reaction?