From eyebrows to lipliner, the demand for semi-permanent make-up is showing no signs of slowing down.

And the latest trend that has been gaining traction is BB Glow – a procedure that involves inserting BB cream into the skin as a form of semi-permanent foundation.

Salons offering the treatment say it can cover up blemishes and give the skin a radiant glow, meaning you don’t have to apply foundation in the usual way, but Dubai-based laser and skincare expert Rebecca Treston warns that the lack of regulation and clinical testing surrounding the procedure means women are at risk of permanently damaging and scarring their skin.

“The skin barrier has a physical, chemical, and immunological component. Disturb any of these complex components and the outcome may be problematic. Disturb all three simultaneously, which is what happens in a BB Glow treatment, and the risk of an adverse outcome skyrockets,” she explains.

While serums and anti-ageing creams can be absorbed or excreted by the body, BB Creams are composed of non-biodegradable ingredients, and the risk of allergic reaction in increased.

“Think about this: one of the tests used to determine allergies is called a ‘scratch test’.  A small scratch is created in the epidermis and common allergy-provoking substances are applied to this tiny area. After 20 minutes the skin is examined for a reaction in the form of redness, swelling or a rash,” Rebecca continues.

“Some of the BB formulas used in this treatment contain as many as 44 ingredients, many of which are known to have adverse effects for the skin.  So in essence, this treatment is performing a giant allergy test on your skin, without the ability to reverse it.”

And the side-effects may take years to show up. “The risk for post-inflammatory pigmentation is higher for those with paler skin – and this is the target market for the BB Glow treatment. Most troubling of all is that aside from these side effects, there are many more which can have devastating effects, including scarring, organ toxicity, cell damage, and quite possible most concerning of all, cancer,” she adds.

Photos: Instagram