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Acne, oh, acne…it’s a lifelong dance and battle with this one. Whatever your relationship with acne is, I promise you, it’s never a good idea to use expired products.

Case in point: TikToker and content creator Stephanie Margarucci (@beasteater) made the horrifying mistake of piling on heaps of an expired acne and dark spot treatment product onto her face.

She was essentially left with a chemical burn and bacterial infection, open wounds and scars on her previously clear face, and her confidence completely stripped from her.


So disappointed in myself 🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️

♬ All American B Scream Ending Olivia Rodrigo – Khaleesi

Chemical Burns From Using Expired Acne and Dark Spot Treatment Product


Shoutout to the hospital i wouldn’t be here without medicine 😷😭

♬ OH MA GAWD – 𝘮𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘯🍸

@beasteater first posted about her severely damaged skin on 23 March, as a shoutout to hospital medicine that was helping her and showing the state of her injuries.

On 28 March, she posted a TikTok video that detailed the incident and events leading up to the life-threatening infection.

She applied a large amount of the acne and dark spot treatment product onto her face, on her cheeks, chin, and the area between her brows. Her face started burning up and she washed the product off to find her face seriously swollen.

Following that, she bought and used a face steamer which worsened the chemical burns and caused a bacterial infection on her whole face. After four days, she went to the hospital to see a doctor due to the unbearable pain she was in.

It took about a month for her skin wounds to heal and for her to be able to use makeup on her face.

What People Are Saying


I never cried this much in my LIFE.

♬ original sound – Hozier Updates 🍂

Although TikTok users were constantly asking about the specific product and brand used by @beasteater, the information was never revealed. Instead, she affirmed that it was her own fault and actions that led to the infection.

Many users said it was the facial steamer that made things worse. One user explained that the expired product would be less potent than before, pointing out that it was because “she applied 50x too much product and steamed it in.”

Another user, Jacqueline Cole, shared that any break in the skin should be taken seriously for this reason.

“Your skin is your largest organ and steaming an open wound just introduces bacteria crazy fast. Open wounds need to be cleaned with antibacterial ointment and something to cover it until it scabs over at least. You should only be steaming healthy skin,” they added.

Related read: Woman May Be Permanently Scarred After Getting Essential Oils From a Diffuser on Her Face

How to Avoid This Cautionary Tale

Trials and Patch Tests


How to patch test skincare #skincare #patchtest #skincare #routine #skincaretips #skincare101

♬ original sound – 🎶🎶

Make the habit of doing extra research and checking the labels before you purchase or invest in any beauty product. You can also draw on previous experiences like how your skin reacts to certain products and their skincare ingredients.

If your skin starts to tingle or burn after applying the product, it could be a cause for concern.

Before applying any new product to your entire face, do a patch test on a small area of your jawline for a few days to check for irritation!

Related read: Why Some Skincare Products Fail and What to Do About It

Routinely Check Your Product’s Expiry Dates

Sure, “best before” and “expiry date” mean different things for food products but in the beauty sphere, expired means “throw it out!”

Once the beauty product is expired, the ingredients can break down, losing their effectiveness or irritating your skin. It could also lead to dryness, redness, rashes, and acne breakouts.

In some cases, expired products can harbour bacteria that can lead to infections. This is especially true for products around the eyes or that come in contact with mucous membranes.

So, make sure you check the expiry dates of all the products you use regularly and before you purchase as well. Don’t take the risk — it’s really not worth it!

How to Use Acne and Dark Spot Treatment Products Properly

Of course, other than cleansing before applying any skincare product, it’s important to know how much product you should be using too.

For spot treatment products for acne, aim for a tiny amount, like a dot the size of a sunflower seed for one pimple. Less is more! For larger areas, if you’re targeting a cluster of breakouts, a pea-sized amount should suffice.

You can also start small and add more product if necessary, as opposed to slapping on too much, since spot treatments are formulated to be potent.

Overtreating your skin can end up damaging its barrier instead; clogging pores, irritating the surrounding skin, and potentially worsening the breakout.

It’s also crucial to learn and understand skincare ingredient combinations that don’t mix and would irritate your skin.

Remember, these are general guidelines and specific instructions might differ based on the product so always follow the directions stated on the label! If you have any concerns or experience irritation, consult a dermatologist for personalised advice.

Related read: Ingredients You Should and Shouldn’t Mix With Retinol

How to Deal With a Chemical Burn


BEST treatment for post CHEMICAL BURN. @BeastEater Please like, and share this video so we can help Stephanie Margarucci heal her skin! Or anyone else going through the same thing! #heal #skin #beasteater #stephaniemargarucci #chemicalburn #growthfactor #exosomes #newage #beauty #medspa #medicalspa #help #this #girl #out #scars #scar #howto #fyp #foryou

♬ original sound – injector.lily

What happens when you get a chemical burn from your skincare and beauty products? First, stop using the product immediately to prevent further damage to your skin.

Flush the affected area with cool water for 15 to 20 minutes to help remove any remaining product from your skin. Then, pat the area dry with a clean, soft cloth and apply a cool compress or petroleum jelly to the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation.

Lastly, use a gentle, fragrance-free moisturiser to promote healing and keep the skin hydrated!

If the burn is severe (deep, blistering, or covers a large area), you experience pain or swelling, you develop signs of infection (pus, redness, increased pain), or the burn is on your face and near your eyes, seek medical attention immediately.

Related read: How To Treat Dark Spots or Pigmentation on Asian Face (2024 Edition)

Featured image credit: @beasteater