What To Do When Your Skin Reacts To A New Product
I have a little confession to make. I have an obsession with skincare - okay, maybe not so surprising - but if you’re reading this, you probably have this obsession as well. I have been known to post my fair share of shelfie’s every now and then showcasing my hoarder status with pride. Let’s face it, as a beauty blogger I try a lot of products and with all of these ingredients I’m trying, there is bound to be something that irritates my skin. It’s an unfortunate byproduct of the game. But, I have managed to become adept at identifying what my skin is reacting to and getting rid of a bad reaction.
Today I’m sharing what to do when your skin reacts to a new product.
Put down the actives
The first thing you want to do when you have a reaction is to stop any active ingredients you’re currently using. This mean AHAs, BHAs, Retinols, Vitamin C, you name it. These active ingredients have amazing benefits for your skin, but are also potential irritants. You don’t want to use any ingredient that can potentially irritate your skin more.
Try to figure out what changed?
The next step is trying to determine what is causing your skin’s reaction. Here are some common culprits:
If you’ve recently added new products to your routine, your skin may be telling you it doesn’t quite like your new roster.
If you haven’t added new products, you may not be using your products properly. I know we can get a little lazy when it come to skincare (especially after a good night out) but make sure you’re thoroughly cleansing your face and following the instructions on your products. They are there for a reason.
Download your FREE copy of the Ultimate Skin Reaction Checklist so you never have to struggle trying to find out what is causing your breakouts again.
My Skin Type
Before we get onto the routine, I want to give a brief summary of my skin so you get a better picture on whether these specific recommendations will work for you or if you need to make modifications to the routine.
I am in my early 20s, dark skin and I have semi-sensitive oily-combination acneic skin that is prone to post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation.
On to the skin soothing routine!
The premise of speeding up the healing process of irritated skin, is to implement a gentle skin restoring routine.
Switch to a mild, Gentle Cleanser. Some type of gel cleanser that doesn’t have too many ingredients, no fragrance, or harsh surfactants. CeraVe and Cetaphil have great gentle cleansers. You may want to cleanse with a micellar water like this one from Simple, since it is super gentle. Just be sure to rinse.
After cleansing you’ll want to do a soothing mask. Mix some Oats with Honey and water and leave on your skin for 10 - 20 minutes. Honey will clear out bacteria, and the Oats will calm any irritation. Its been used for years to sooth skin rashes and eczema.
After your mask, you’ll want to diminish inflammation and redness. Get some Aloe Vera, you can get it from the health food store or from a succulent in your home and use it to hydrate your skin. The aloe will give you a cooling feeling that is refreshing to the skin.
*Tip. If you decided to use natural aloe, be sure to cleanse and soak the plant in warm water to get rid of the yellow/red coating. This is an irritant. You’ll know the aloe is clean when there is no yellow colour to the water, and there is no scent.
Ice your skin to constrict the pores and reduce the swelling. Ice has amazing soothing benefits for the skin and helps to reduce the size of pores. For maximum results, you can use frozen Aloe Water for a two in one. Otherwise, you can use a Jade roller that you’ve left in the freezer, or a Cooling Wand to help with this step. But if you don’t want to shed out the cash, an ice tray and a towel works good too.
Once your skin is hydrated, you’ll want to apply a skin restoring cream. This could be a Hydrocortizone or Cicafate cream. Both help restore the skin’s natural moisture barrier, and allows the skin to properly regenerate. You can put this all over your face or in certain affected areas. Aveeno and Avene have great options. If you do happen to break out from your irritation, these will also help your skin heal reducing the appearance of post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation.
Apply a light moisturizer. As always be sure to use one’s with minimal ingredients, no fragrance and no active ingredients. Once again, CeraVe and Cetaphil lotions are always in my collection because they are perfect when you want something soothing, with no frills, low cost but effective. These two are very light and are great for my comb-oily skin, but if you have drier skin and need something both come in moisturizer form so there’s something for everyone.
Finish off your routine with a physical sunscreen. Everyone knows that I am obsessed with chemical SPF as it works amazing for darker skin types but when you have irritation its best to stay clear of anything active (as we’ve mentioned). Physical SPF may be more difficult to work with, but its gentler on the skin. Clinique and Paula’s Choice have great mineral SPFs.
Rinse and Repeat.