The cosmetic industry would have you believe that every product is created specially for your skin, but nothing is further from the truth. It’s totally tempting to get your hands on the latest beauty release that everyone has been buzzing about. But, even with a glowing reputation among press and celebs alike, your skin might not see what the hype is all about.
Using the wrong products happens more often than you think, so if you are seeing more setbacks than results, perhaps it’s time to rethink the products you are currently using. Not sure when it’s time to call it quits with your go-to essentials? Here’s some warning signs to look out for.
You’re Experiencing Rashes
When rashes happen, they are the opposite of what we want to achieve for our skin. That’s why it is essential to patch test new products on your skin before committing all the way, especially for sensitive skin types. Rashes can definitely be caused by a variety of factors, but they’re also a big indicator of allergic reactions in response to using certain cosmetic products. Makeup and skin care formulas can contain allergenic inactive ingredients, which usually contribute to the product’s overall look and smell. However, it’s usually these same ingredients that can lead to those irritating rashes you’ve noticed on your skin.
What to do: Avoid products that are highly fragranced and contain huge amounts of preservatives. If you have particularly sensitive skin, try organic oils as oils do not contain preservatives unlike water-based skincare products, making them the produc t of choice for dry sensitive skin types. Stop the offending product immediately and apply a calming balm. If rashes do not abate, it’s time to pay a visit to your derm.
Your Skin Itches
Fragrance is one of the key aggressors inside some beauty products, and it can trigger skin itching and irritation. If your skin is severely red and itchy after using that new cream or face wash, talk to your dermatologist about potential allergens.
If your skin is itching and red, you might be having an allergic reaction to an ingredient. Look to see if there’s fragrance in your products, and try to avoid them, as fragrance usually is the number-one cause of an allergic reaction.
What to do: try keeping the area cool with cold compresses to abate the itching. An anti-histamine may help alleviate the symptoms. For faces that feel hot and itching, resist the urge to scratch and mist your face with a soothing mist— it gives instant relief and helps to calm down inflammation.
You’re Noticing Breakouts
Breakouts can form in response to using the wrong products, especially because small, red bumps may show that your skin is reacting to something negatively. But, to determine if your products are actually the source of your breakouts, it’s best to allow time for your skin to adjust to them, and be very observant of any changes you may notice before your next dermatologist visit.
What to do: Try to allow two or three weeks for your skin to adjust to a new routine, as breakouts happen when you incorporate a new product. Evaluate each product you use and make one change at a time. It might take time to find the cause of your breakouts, so try to be patient. Sometimes breakouts may persist even after stopping the offending products, calm breakouts with a gentle anti-pimple gel and an all-over pimple preventing mist.
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Your Skin Has Become Oily
Oily skin may be the norm for some, but if oil usually isn’t a concern for you, then perhaps your product formulas are affecting your skin.
Our skin contains a natural layer of oil that acts as a protective barrier, so when harsh cleansers and creams strip this layer, the skin immediately goes into a repair mode and produces excess oil to compensate for the damage. This usually causes oil production to increase, making your skin feel like a grease trap.
To combat this issue, Wilson recommends looking for products that provide hydration without adding excess water. And, to keep the greasiness down, she strongly urges trying a weekly charcoal mask, which will help absorb any excess oil.
What to do: If you’re experiencing more oil than usual, try to decrease the amount of oil-absorbing skin care products within your routine. Look for serums and gel-cream moisturizers that are infused with hyaluronic acid, which provides hydration (water) without adding oil.”
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Your Face Burns or Stings
While some cleansers and facial masks deliver a tingling sensation, it’s important to understand that there is a big difference between a slight tingly feeling and a painful burning sensation.
Certain chemicals inside products can be too strong for delicate skin types, as sensitive skin in particular can experience an unwanted burning sensation upon using some skin care essentials.
What to do: If your skin feels like it is on fire, do not suffer in the name of beauty—wash it off. It is likely that your skin is too sensitive for the product you are using. Some anti-aging products for example, can be too strong for sensitive skin types, especially because retinoids contain strong ingredients that can sting. If your skin is burning on application of a retinol, talk to your dermatologist about changing to a gentler anti-aging ingredient like Vitamin C or resveratrol.
Read More: 3 Ways Retinol Can Change Your Skin
Your Complexion Is Dry and Peeling
Dry skin can be normal, but if you find that your complexion is rough and peeling, it’s time to make changes. Products like peels and face washes often contain strong acids that can be harsh on your skin, so trying scaling back on these ingredients if you notice your skin is looking a bit battered and tough.
What to do: If your skin is peeling too much, you’re probably using too many acids. Don’t combine alphahydroxy acids with salicylic acids and retinol. One acid may be enough.
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Brown Spots are Becoming an Issue
Brown spots are usually caused by long-term sun exposure, but if they are still a problem, even with the aid of a sunscreen product, perhaps it’s time to rethink your sunscreen formula altogether.
If you’re getting brown spots on your face and uneven pigment, maybe your sunscreen isn’t giving you broad-spectrum protection. Choose SPF 30 or above with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Some essential oils found in some skincare such as bergamot can also make your sin photosensitive, which makes it more likely to pigment under UV light.
What to do: If you have sensitive yet blemished skin, go for a sunscreen that is a physical blocker rather than a chemical blocker. They are more likely to provide better SPF coverage without causing irritation to the skin. When applying fragrances to your neck, be aware that fragrances may make the area photosensitive so protect the neck with adequate sun protection as well.