|Skin care products are comprised of an extensive range of ingredients, some of them chemicals that can cause allergic reactions and skin irritations. While skin care products are necessary to care for your skin, it is also important to escape the harmful effects of the chemicals.
Types of Skin Reactions
Skin care products react differently on different people. Therefore, while some products work well on some people, the same products cause reactions in others. Because of the significant variations, it becomes difficult to measure the results.
The reactions can be categorized into two major types:
Irritant Contact Dermatitis – In this condition, you experience itchiness, burning, skin redness or a stinging sensation on your skin immediately after you use a skin care product. It is neither severe nor long lasting as regular allergies but it can cause discomfort. You are more likely to experience irritant contact dermatitis if you have a pre-existing skin condition like dry skin or sensitive skin.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis – It is a stronger and more persistent form of a skin reaction. Allergic contact dermatitis is usually caused by specific ingredients like preservatives and fragrances in the skin care products that don’t go well with your skin. Common symptoms if the conditions are skin redness, welling and water blisters. Unlike irritant contact dermatitis, the subsequent reactions to the products don’t appear immediately, they can take a few hours to weeks to appear.
Causes of Skin Reactions
Skin irritations and allergic reactions are mainly caused if skin care products don’t suit your skin. There are several products and ingredients that can react adversely with the skin. Some of the common products are harsh soaps & detergents, anti-perspirants, perfumes & fragrances, make-up & cosmetics, hair-dyes and so on. There are also many ingredients that don’t suit everyone like certain alpha hydroxy acids in chemical peels, Paraphenylenedeamine (PPDA), an ingredient in permanent hair dyes, Neomycin, Quaternium-15, Cobalt chloride, Formaldehyde, Myroxylon pereirae to name a few.
If you think any of the above products or ingredients are responsible for your skin reactions, discontinue use immediately and watch for improvements.
Prevention of Skin Reactions
While some people stick to their tried-and-tested skin care products thoughout their life, there are others who seek to try new products and enhance the quality of their skin care regimens. However, neither skin care approach is a guarantee against skin reactions. Even if you continue using the same products, your skin is bound to change with time and if you constantly try new products, there are chances some ingredients may not go very well with your skin.
Here are some tips to prevent skin reactions and avoid allergies and irritations.
Use Skin Care Products with Few Ingredients
The more ingredients in the product, the more the chances of a reaction! Likewise, fewer ingredients ensure less of achance for skin reactions. Always choose skin care products that contain less than 10 ingredients. This becomes all the more important if you have sensitive skin.
Do the Patch Test
Before you apply the skin care products on your face or on your body, make sure you perform the patch test. Apply a small amount of it on the insides of your elbows and wait for a couple of days to see if there are any reactions. If nothing happens, consider the product safe to use.
Avoid Perfumes and Fragrances
Unless your skin has a high resistance power, avoid using perfumes and fragrances directly on the skin. They are the prime culprits of skin reactions. Thus spray them over your clothes, bur never on the skin.
Throw Away Old Make-Up
Skin care products and cosmetics have expiration dates. With time, they become infested with bacteria and tend to irritate the skin. Check the expiration dates on all your skin care products and throw away the ones that are past that date.
Change Skin Care Products Often
Using the same skin care products for long periods of time can make your skin sensitized to the ingredients and lead to allergic reactions. This is the reason it is advisable to change skin care products often so that your skin doesn’t develop immunity to the ingredients.
Consider the Color of Cosmetics
An interesting observation is black mascara, black eye liners and eye shadows in earthy tones are less likely to cause skin irritations. This is because colored cosmetics include more chemicals that may cause reactions.
Dr. Marilynn Syrett is a graduate from Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine Of The Pacific. She has in-depth knowledge about the use and effectiveness of Acne skin care products and facial skin care specials.