We’ve all been there, a payday “treat yourself” moment with a new skincare product. The excitement is overwhelming, but then you find that this product is not the one for you and you experience an unwanted skin reaction that developed over time or perhaps straight after application.
You’ll probably wonder why this has happened and may feel it's your own fault, but surprisingly there are a few reasons for these reactions and we are going to share them with you now.
What causes the skin to react to products?
- Allergy to ingredients used in the formula- Another common problem is to have an allergy to a specific ingredient in the product’s formula. This reaction is personal to you and your skin and doesn’t mean the product itself is badly made. This also doesn't mean the more you spend on the product the better it will be as the allergy to the ingredient or blend of ingredients will still be present in the skin. One simple way to figure out which ingredient could be the culprit is to compare the ingredients list to a product you already use to check for any differences. If you have further concerns, visiting a dermatologist will also help.
- Using face scrubs that are too rough to the skin- Some people find they have reactions to using face scrubs which cause redness and sometimes, minor scratches and cuts to the skin if this happens stop using the product right away. Face scrubs are formulated in a number of different ways, with many opting to use natural sources such as fruit stones and nutshell, those these are great at removing the layer of dead skin cells and any dirt and grim they can feature sharp, jagged pieces that can cause some damage to the skin. White pumice stone is a safer option due to the fact the particles are smooth and more gentle on the skin.
- Using powerful products too often- When it comes to anti-ageing we do get carried away and sometimes overuse a potent product. Retinol is one ingredient that usually causes a number of problems, with redness, burning and flaking being some of the reactions caused by not introducing it into your skincare routine gradually. To prevent such a reaction from occurring you should start using the product once a week in the evening. Then build the skin’s exposure to this powerful product over time. This method can also be used for other ingredients such as vitamin C and salicylic acid.
- The products could be poorly formulated- the formulation is everything in a skincare product and using one that contains too many harsh, skin-resurfacing, heavily fragranced ingredients can result in a lot of trouble. You may find using this product will work fine at first but over time you may experience some skin reaction. Though fragranced skincare products are wonderful to use, using too many can have a bad effect on the skin resulting in dry patches, redness and sore looking skin.
- Finally, your skin could just be hypersensitive- some people may find it really easy to understand that they have hypersensitive skin, for others it could come in waves and be problematic on some days and not on others. The best thing to do if you feel as though you have hypersensitive skin is to perform a patch test for 24 hours before using any products, especially before using it on the whole area of your face.
How to prevent unwanted skin reactions
Here are some dos and don'ts for stopping unwanted reactions to skincare products;
- Do take the time to understand your skin type and choose products that will help treat and benefit the skin with the right blend of ingredients.
- Do keep a note of what type of reaction you are noticing when using a new skincare product, this will allow you to overtime understand which ingredients won’t work for your skin.
- Do introduce potent ingredients such as AHAs, BHAs and retinol into your routine slowly. This will allow your skin enough time to get used to them without any reactions.
- Do perform a patch test for at least 24 hours with every new product to ensure it is safe for you to use all over your skin.
- Do try to do your own research into your routine to help figure out which product could be causing the reactions. Start off by not using your cleanser, then swap for your serum, then your moisturiser and so on. This will highlight which product could be one causing the problems.
- Don’t focus too much of the price of a product, the more expensive a product is doesn’t mean it’s the best as it could still contain an ingredient you are allergic to.
- Don’t forget to check if your daily SPF is not to blame for any reactions you may be experiencing.
- Don’t be worried if you suddenly develop an allergy to a product you have used for a while, sometimes the skin just needs a change.
- Don’t keeping using something that is causing a reaction just because of the reviews or results other people have had.
Stopping unwanted reactions to skincare products is not a walk in the park. It takes a considerable amount of energy and time to find the right products and formulations that benefit you and give you the skin you have longed for. Much like a cake recipe you have got to put the right ingredients together to get a masterpiece!