Women suffering with facial burns after buying dodgy skin peels on eBay

Shopping on eBay

Experts are warning consumers about the dangers of buying cheap skin peels on eBay after reports of people suffering facial burns. 

The products, being sold by rogue manufacturers for as little as £11, are being advertised as medical-grade chemical peels but contain up to 100% pure acid and UK banned substances like trichoroacetic acid (TCA).

The seller advertised the peel as “great for skin lightening” and said it could improve skin conditions such as acne, age spots and fine lines. 

Hannah Smith from Wiltshire told The Daily Mail she was left “in agony” after using a TCA product bought on eBay. She said: “It was a starter kit, so it wasn’t meant to be dangerous, but within seconds it felt like my face was on fire. There were lesions eating away at my face. I couldn’t go to work for nine days.”

Smith was told by her doctor that she was lucky not to need surgery.

An eBay spokesperson said that “this type of item is prohibited on our UK platform” and has since removed it.

Chemical peels should be applied by a qualified beautician and involves a weak dilution of acid applied to the skin to remove blemishes. 

Campaign group Safety in Beauty had received 27 reports of chemical peels gone wrong in the past year. Founder Antonia Mariconda described the potential damage they can cause as “tantamount to an acid attack”.

A spokesperson for the Department of Business commented: “The use of trichloroacetic acid is banned for use in cosmetic products and Trading Standards have powers to take action where a product is found to be unsafe or otherwise unlawful.”