Tag Archives: Skincare products

Signs You’re Allergic To Your Skincare Product

Woman in front of mirror

We all know how difficult it can be to find a skincare product you love. After consigning half your paycheck’s worth of products to the garbage bin, you come upon something that actually works; that anti wrinkle cream that really seems to be making you look younger, that spot treatment that really seems to be getting rid of those spots. And just when you declare yourself an official customer for life, it happens: the itching, the redness, the wheezing, the inflammation – the allergic reaction. Sure, the product did what it said it would, but are you really just trading one problem for another? Here are some signs that you’re allergic to your skincare product and what you can do about it.

Aluminum Compounds
If your armpits are getting red and peeling, it may just be that you’re having an allergic reaction to the aluminum compounds in your antiperspirant, according to Joshua Zeichner, MD, at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

You can try swapping it with a natural deodorant. However, Zeichner says, “They do a fine job of masking odor, but aren’t great at preventing sweating.” If leaky pits are still problem, try a sensitive skin antiperspirant with low levels of aluminum.

Acids
It may not surprise you to note that some of the products designed to get rid of skin cells may be causing more harm than good. Salicylic acid, topical retinoids, and glycol acids all, “can cause skin irritation, dryness, redness, and/or burning if you over-use them, ” says Zeichner.

If you notice a negative reaction to topicals, you may want to consult a dermatologist and follow usage instructions carefully. It may be that you need to start with a lower dosage and gradually build up from there, or decrease usage to every other day or every few days. If you are having an allergic reaction to a glycol peel, you may want to trnon-chemicalal forms of exfoliation, like a gentle scrub or a vitamin C or fruit enzyme peel.

Fragrance
Health researchers at the University of Washington credit the use of synthetic fragrance with the development of skin and respiratory irritation in over 20% of the American population. “And fragrance doesn’t just mean perfume; it’s used in almost every beauty product under the sun, points out Siobhan O’Connor, co author of “No More Dirty Looks.” Fragrances pop up even in products that are labeled “unscented” because companies are known to use fragrance chemicals as masking agents to create neutral “non-scents.”

A word to the wise and fragrance sensitive: avoid products with the word “fragrance”on their label, and look for the term “fragrance-free” instead.

Metallics
Glitter can be a girl’s best friend, but not if she’s allergic to nickel. If you’re allergic to the metal, found in the plating of buttons and snaps and costume jewelry, you may also have an allergic reaction to cobalt, used in personal care products, such as light brown hair dyes and antiperspirants. Aluminum, lead, and chromium are other metals to be wary of.

Do a patch test with any cosmetic or mineral makeup which is likely to contain metallic elements to be sure it will not cause a reaction when you apply it to your face.

Emollients
Perry Romanowski, cosmetic chemist says, “Emollients are ingredients designed to feel good on your skin, but any go them cause breakouts, especially for acne-prone skin. Coconut butter, lanolin, cocoa butter, iso-stearyl isostearate, isopropyl palmitate and myristyl lactate are all emollients to be put on the “use with caution” list.

If you’re breakout-prone, use a noncomedogenic, water-based moisturizer to keep skin hydrated without clogging your pores.

Are you allergic to your skin care product? Let us know how you prevent breakouts and what you use to replace the cosmetics that cause you irritation.

What Makes A Product Noncomedogenic?

Noncomedogenic. N-O-N-C-O-M-E-D-O-G-E-N-I-C. Noncomedogenic. It sounds like the word that stumped the runner up in the fourth grade spelling bee. If you’ve been hearing this word used a lot lately in the cosmetic industry and thinking it sounds impressive, its meant to. But is it, really? Let’s break it down.

Woman squeezing pimple

A comedo is the mildest form of acne, otherwise known as a pimple, whitehead, or blackhead. So technically you could say, “Wow, that’s a rather large comedo on your face.” as a more polite way of saying, “Wow, that’s a really big zit you have.” Non, of course means without, hence, noncomedogenic, when applied to a skin cleanser essentially means the product does not clog pores and will break down excess oils on your skin without stripping necessary moisture.

What Does “Noncomedogenic” Mean?
Although the term “noncomedogenic” sounds scientific, the truth is that the effectiveness of noncomedogenic products has not been proven in clinical trials, nor has it been tested by the FDA. This is not, however, to say that such products are without merit; in fact, there is some evidence that non comedic products can reduce acne. There is, after all, proof that blocked pores can produce acne, and therefore, a product preventing occlusion of pores, may help prevent it. However, some forms of acne may be a result of other causes, such as a high presence of bacteria on the skin, and, in these cases, noncomedogenic goods would not have much effect.

In other instances, products are labelled noncomedogenic, but, in fact can cause skin rashes an irritation.

Woman cleaning face

Chemistry of Noncomedogenic Products
Noncomedogenic cleanser usually contain benzoyl peroxide, sulfur or salicylic acid. Some have ingredients to treat acne, and others are simply formulated to not aggravate pimples and clog pores.

Benzoyl peroxyde kills bacteria which causes acne and does not produce oil on the skin. Salicylic acid does not kill bacteria, but does unclog pores without creating additional oil. It also dissolves oil in the hair follicles. Sulfur washes away dead skin cells and excess oil and is also believed to be able to break down blackheads and whiteheads.

Pros and Cons Of Noncomedogenic Cleansers
Noncomedogenic. How bad could it be, right? Anything purported not to clog pores, couldn’t be too bad, right? Well, you be the judge.

Benzoyl Peroxide
If you’ve ever used benzoyl peroxide to treat acne, you probably found it to be effective. However, you will need to use it for a few weeks before you see results, and, if you discontinue use, the acne will return. Also, while you can combat the drying effects of benzoyl peroxide on skin with moisturizer, other side effects are not so easy to deal with. Itching, rashes, burning, and swelling have all been associated with the use of benzoyl peroxide and are best handled professionally.

Woman checking skin

Salicylic Acid
Like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid requires continuous use to see results, as pores will clog up again when the skin is no longer receiving treatment. Although it can cause irritation and stinging, it is usually mild enough to work without causing serious side effects.

Sulfur
Sulfur has very few side effects, if any, and, although some may find the smell disagreeable, the odor is usually not detectable when mixed with other ingredients.

What do you think of noncomedogenic products? Does the term reassure you? Let us know!

Signs That You’re Using the Wrong Product

We all want the lotion, cream, or serum to be the one that leaves your skin rejuvenated, wrinkle- free and beautiful, but sometimes, you just need to walk away. Here are some signs that the skin product you’re using may not be the right one for you.

Woman looking at skin rash

You’ve Got Rashes
While rashes can be caused by a variety of things, they can sold be symptoms of an allergic reaction to a cosmetic product. Beauty formulas can contain inactive ingredients that can contribute to the look and smell of the product, but these ingredients can be allergenic and cause irritating skin rashes. Dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse says, “Consider getting allergy patch testing at your dermatologist office to determine the offending agent and them you’ll know which ingredients to look out for in the future.”

You’ve Got Hives
If you’ve been noticing red welts popping up on you’re skin, it may be hives, Hives are another sign that you may be having a negative reaction to your beauty products. Certified aesthetician Heather Wilson, explains, “People can be allergic to ingredients in a skin care product, so hives can definitely occur. Unfortunately, this doesn’t means the product wrong for your skin type or concern, but that the reaction is a sign that you should discontinue the product, most likely due to an allergen.”

Woman applying skin product to face

Your Skin Is Oily
If you’re not prone to oily skin, but begin to notice increased excess moisture on your skin, it may be the effect of the product you are using. Harsh cleansers can strip the natural oils from the skin, causing it to go into a repair mode, producing oil to make up for the damage. Wilson recommends decreasing the amount of oil absorbing skin care products within your routine and looking for, “serums and gel cream moisturizers that are infused with hyaluronic acid, which provides hydration without adding oil.”

Your Skin Is Dry and Peeling
Peels and face washes can contain strong acids that are harsh on the skin. New York dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD. says, “If your skin is peeling too much, you’re probably using too many acids. Don’t combine alpha-hydroxy acids with salicylic acids and retinol. One acid may be enough.”

You Notice Brown Spots
Brown spots are usually the result of long term sun exposure. If you are using a sunscreen product, but are still noticing brown spots, it may be time to look for a new sunscreen. Dr. Jaliman says, “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.”

Your Face Burns
Although some products may cause a tingling sensation, they should not cause a painful burning. Some products can be too strong for sensitive skin. Dr Jaliman cites certain anti aging products which contain strong retinoids with ingredients that can cause a stinging sensation. “If your skin is burning on application of a retinol,” says the doctor, “talk to your dermatologist about changing to a gentler anti aging ingredient like vitamin C or resveratrol.”

Finding the right skin care may be just as challenging as finding someone who is single and good looking. We hope you have found the right one for you. We want to hear all about it. Please write with your experiences and concerns whether they be romantic or cosmetic.