How safe is Kylie and Kendall Jenner's 'slush facial'?
Of all the things you might consider putting on your face, acetone and dry ice might not be it. Yet in a recent episode Khloe Kardashian's new reality show, Revenge Body her younger sisters, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, revealed that exact combination – dubbed a "slush facial" – is something they swear by for preventing breakouts.
On the show the Kardashian-Jenner beloved dermatologist Christie Kidd demonstrated a variation of the "slush facial" on a client. Like other celebrity endorsed treatments, it has since gone viral.
When I read about this, I suddenly had a retrieved memory. In the early 90s when I was starting out on the beauty test-drive trail I visited cosmetic surgeon Lawrence Ho [now retired] who was famous for his acetone "toning" before he applied his bespoke facial peels. I distinctly remember the acrid smell and the astringent feel as he swabbed my face with acetone to get it squeaky clean: read, strip it bare.
So acetone (yes the toxic, flammable solvent used to remove nail polish) does indeed remove dirt build-up, oil and acts as a high-octane exfoliant. But it should only ever be administered by skincare professionals.
Intrigued, I decided to ask around to see if acetone was still on the menu. According to Joseph Hkeik: "In our practice we use acetone before we do laser resurfacing because acetone removes any excess water or oil on the skin and sometimes these elements can absorb the energy from the laser. We don't want to waste any of the laser energy as we want it to go directly into the cells and not be attracted to the oil and water on the cells."
However, there's a catch, says Hkeik, it's not suited to dry skin, and you shouldn't apply it yourself.
"But, in common practice I don't think acetone does great stuff for your skin because it will dehydrate and dry the skin excessively and it can be very detrimental."
So, in short, keep acetone for your nails alone and definitely steer clear of self-swabbing your skin with it.
HERE ARE SOME OTHER FUN FACTS ABOUT ACETONE:
* Acetone was the first antiseptic to be discovered by Joseph Lister.
* Acetone is the most common ingredient in nail polish removers. Basically, acetone is great for prepping the nail for a new coat of polish as it is a legendary de-greaser that strips any oil from the nail bed. As a result polish will adhere better and stay on longer.
* Acetone will strip pretty much everything, even permanent marker pen.
* An acetone-like smell on someone's breath can be a very bad sign as it's associated with diabetic ketoacidosis. This is a life-threatening condition that can occur in diabetics who don't get enough insulin.
* During the FIFA World Cup, a package was discovered at an airport in Columbia that contained a replica of the World Cup trophy. It was made out of 10 kilos of cocaine that they think had been mixed with acetone. Apparently, if you mix cocaine with acetone you get a substance (abuse) that you can mold into any shape.