“Ya burnt!” It’s one of the latest things milennials say when they think they’ve sassed you. You don’t want to get it from your teenage son, and you definitely don’t want to get it from your skin care products. Sure, we all like the tingling feeling that let’s us know our skin care products are doing their jobs, but we definitely don’t want the redness, peeling, and flaking that comes from applying harsh products daily, and sometimes its hard to tell the difference. How can we tell when ‘its working” turns into “ya burnt?” Here is a little insight from the pros.
Lucille White, MD and Houston dermatologist says, “No pain, no gain is a terrible motto when dealing with your face, ” and Karyn Grossman, MD warns that daily stinging and flaking “are signs of chronic inflammation.” Grossman warns that this can lead to an array of other issues, such as tightness, dryness, and an increase in sensitivity.
However, here’s the confusion. Some proven care ingredients, such as retinoids and acids sting as they work. In these cases, a short period of stinging may be par for the course. So how can you tell when it’s gone too far?
Scrubs and Exfoliants
The word acid may be a clue as to whether or not the burning is a cause for concern. According to Dr. Grossman, any product with glycolic, lactic, alpha-hydroxy, or salicylic acid may cause some tingling. “The sensation could be because of their acidic pH or the concentration of the acid,” she says. She also warns that the feeling should be intermittent. Daily tingling could be problematic. Bottom line: if your peel stings, it’s probably ok, but your cleanser shouldn’t, and neither should most scrubs. Unless it has been formulated to be “energizing”, scrubs with microbeads and grains shouldn’t sting.
Face Cleansing Brushes
Using a face cleaning brush should not feel any rougher than using a washcloth. Grossman says, “The machine is doing all the work. All your hands should be doing is gently holding it to your skin. Don’t do that and scrub.” You should not be applying pressure on the brush, or work your hand in a scrubbing motion, simply hold it to your skin and let it do the work for you. Anything additional, and White says, “You’re scrubbing off too much of your skin.”
Using A Toner
Toners should not sting. Grossman says, “Alcohol evaporates quickly and feels so cooling.” While you may feel a tingling if your skin is inflamed from acne or other skin issues, you may feel a tingling, but otherwise, you may not feel anything at all. If you do feel some stinging, you may want to do a quick check of the ingredients, to see if the toner contains any acid. If that’s the case, the sensation may be completely normal.
When it comes to acne prevention, it usually comes down to one of two ingredients: salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. While salicylic acid might sting, especially if you apply it to a picked pimple, benzoyl peroxide should not. However, benzoyl peroxide may parch skin which can cause peeling over time. Using too many acne ingredients can always be a recipe for dry, tight, or flaky skin. If you experience such irritation from your acne fighting products, you may want to try using a more calming formula with anti microbial ingredients.
What do you think? Can you tell when the tingling sensation may be too much of a good thing? Let us know your experiences.