Trust us, we get it: There’s nothing better than peeling open a fresh new tub of skincare products and sinking your fingers into the cream. Along with the promises of fresh succulent skin, no woman can resist the ritual that comes with primping oneself.

But even with a glowing reputation among press and celebs alike, your skin might not totally agree with the potion or see what the hype is all about. Using the wrong products is like a Tinder date gone wrong. Instead of the dream you envisioned, you may end up with a nightmare on your hands. But how do we know if it’s time to call it quits with the latest addition to our medicine cabinets? Below, the most common skin-care warning signs.

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Your Complexion Is Dry and Peeling

According to Dr Low Chai Ling, founder of SW1 Clinic, using the wrong products can exacerbate an existing skin condition, such as dryness or even oiliness. An example she gives is that if your skin is normally dry and tight, using to many acid-based products could make the situation worse. Why should this concern you? Apart from the general feeling of discomfort, when the skin’s acid mantle is stripped, you are more prone to sensitivities, that means anything you apply on top may result in stinging.

Solution: Many people worry that hydrating their skin will lead to clogged proes, this is not true. Using non-comedogenic hydrators will ensure that you get the best of both worlds—well-hydrated skin sans comedones. Try Skin Drink, a pure squalane serum that sinks into the dermis to hydrate without irritation nor preservatives. Look at what you are using, if you are using too many acids, take an acid-holiday for your skin. Some products should not be combined for example strong retinoids and acids as they may lead to peeling of the skin.

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You’re Experiencing Rashes

Rashes especially within a day of applying a new products can indicate an allergic reaction. 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. In recalcitrant cases,  “Consider getting allergy patch testing at your dermatologist’s office to determine the offending agent and then you’ll know which ingredients to look out for in the future” advises Dr Low.

Solution: To speed up healing, switch to mild, hypoallergenic products until the inflammation has stopped. Also, try not to scratch the affected area if it itches, and do not exfoliate—chemical or manual—the area until it is completely healed. To immediately calm rashes and drive the redness away, consider Calming Balm, a soothing salve that reduces inflammation and restores healthy skin barrier function.

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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, especially if your skin is usually normal or crystal clear before. 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.

Solution: All ingredients are ranked in their potential to cause breakouts from non-comedogenic to highly comedogenic. In general, the lighter the feel of the products, the less lightly it will cause clogged pores. If you are particularly acne-prone, consider incorporating facial mists such as Replenish or facial essence such as Unicorn Tears into your regime. They serve dual purpose of brightening and hydrating the skin without the risks of causing breakouts. Finally, to keep breakouts at bay, try a skin clarifying gel like Clear Bliss.

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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, called the stratum corneum, our skin immediately goes into a repair mode to keep it protected by producing more oil to make up for this dryness, which can lead to breakouts and overly oily skin.

Solution: To combat this issue, try looking for products that provide hydration without adding excess water such as Pure Gold Aquashine, a water-based mild AHA formulation that hydrates while the fruit acids keeps dead cells and shine at bay!. And, to keep the greasiness down, she strongly urges trying a weekly charcoal mask such as Absolute Charcoal, which will help absorb any excess oil and unclog pores.


Your Face Burns or Stings 

If your skin feels like it is on fire, do not suffer in the name of beauty—wash it off. It’s important to understand that there is a big difference between a slight tingly feeling and a painful burning sensation. Active ingredients often, but not always, have a tingling effect that lasts moments, not minutes. If your skin is feeling sensitive to the touch, if it stings or burns when you are washing your face hours later after using the product, or if your skin remained very pink or red more than an hour after application, eliminate that product from your regimen for the time being. 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.

Solution: Use gentle products on your skin after a laser or face peel procedure as your skin could be more sensitive for a few days after the procedure. If your skin feels very sensitive, Dr Low gives her patients Laser Primer cream only available in-clinic at SW1 Clinic; this is a special balm meant for post laser skin that will soothe sensitivities and speed healing of angry skin. Mist your skin frequently throughout the day with a skin balancing toner like Reset

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