Woman says at-home beauty mask damaged her skin

In a FOX 32 special report, we're unmasking a popular at-home beauty trend.

The anti-aging market is a billion-dollar industry and at-home masks that promise a youthful glow may sound promising. But doctors are warning these at-home masks can be costly.

Kaya Flowers works at a dermatologist’s office. Despite this, she decided to try out the latest craze: an at-home beauty mask chemical peel.

But the end result wasn't good.

"Once I put it on I could feel burning in my cheek area,” she said.

Despite washing it off immediately, the damage was done.

"You'll notice I have some dark marks on my cheeks here from the reaction,” she said. "These are not weak treatments. These are actually very strong and when they are not done in a professional environment, they really can have severe consequences."

So now, Kaya is having to undergo several months of costly treatments at the dermatologist's office to get the dark spots removed.

"It ended up costing me more in the end,” she said.

Dr. Lauren Fine with Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology says Kaya's experience is a common problem. She see's patients with similar stories on a weekly basis.

"Know what you are putting on your face especially if you haven’t used it before you need to test it on another part of your body,” Dr. Fine said.

Fine says many over-the-counter chemical peels contain some type of acid such as glycolic, salicylic, or something called trichloracetic acid or TCA. All can be potentially harmful substances if not used correctly, and don't be fooled by a label that reads natural ingredients.

"Some of the natural ingredients tend to be highly irritating are lavender, mint, witch hazel, eucalyptus and these are in a lot of skin care products,” Dr. Fine said.

Kaya's product was a mask that had natural ingredients, including mint. Her doctor says it could take up to six months of treatments to repair the damage from just a few seconds of an at-home chemical peel.

Dr. Fine says everyone's skin is different and may not react in the same way. Also, you can't always be sure about the quality or strength of ingredients you buy on certain websites.