Having an allergic reaction, or any kind of irritation, because of a new skincare product? This guide is for anyone trying to appease angry, tender skin.
Here are some tips for soothing that irritation and safely reintroducing your favorite products into your daily routine:
Identify What’s Causing The Reaction
The two types of contact dermatitis are either caused by irritation or an allergic reaction.
Irritant contact dermatitis, commonly referred to as just “irritation”, affects the protective top layer of skin which keeps things like irritants and allergens out. Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by an allergic response involving cells in your skin that are apart of your immune system. Both types of contact dermatitis can cause burning, stinging, itchiness, scaling, flaking, and redness. But, there are some key differences between them.
When experiencing a mild case of irritant contact dermatitis, you’ll likely have dry skin, patches of redness, itchiness, and flakiness immediately after contact or a few hours later. An extreme case can look like intense burning and blisters, the more exposure, the more severe the symptoms.
If your contact dermatitis stems from an allergy, your symptoms are likely to be more severe. Symptoms can include intense burning, itching, excessive dryness, and a red rash that often spreads beyond the area where the product was applied. In more intense cases. hives, a raised, itchy rash associated with allergic reactions, can develop. When an allergy is the cause, the reaction is more likely to develop after repeated uses. The reactions usually don’t develop immediately; it could take days or weeks before you see anything. This makes it more difficult to trace the source of the reaction because it could be from something you’ve been using a for a while.
Read our detailed guide on how to narrow down which product is causing your irritation.
Immediately Treat The Reaction
No matter which kind of reaction you’re having, the first thing you should do is stop using the product! Seek immediate medical care if you’re experiencing swelling in the face or eyes and difficulty breathing due to swelling in the throat, as these could be signs of a life-threatening allergic reaction.
-Wash the product off your face using a gentle cleanser. Use cold water or a cold compress to soothe any stinging feeling.
-1% hydrocortisone cream to help manage any itchiness.
-To treat more severe reactions see your dermatologist as soon as possible.
A great option for gentle relief from skin irritation is our Diamond Series. All of these products are made for people with sensitive and highly reactive skin. Take a look at the back of the product packaging and you’ll see a concise group of ingredients free of common potential irritants like fragrance, artificial color, and parabens.
Our gentle Ultra-Hydrating Toner, is made with natural, non-drying surfactants. The Hydrating Gel Cream is hypoallergenic, and is free of sensitizing ingredients like alcohol and artificial fragrance.
Heal And Prevent Another Reaction
If you develop contact dermatitis, irritant or allergic, and you’re not sure where it came from, talk to your dermatologist.
Take a break from your 11 step skincare routine and makeup products. We recommend using products with a low chance of causing issues, like cleanser, moisturizer, and hyaluronic acid, while your skin is in this fragile period. These gentle basics will help the skin heal without potentially adding in more irritation.
When it comes to irritation rather than allergic reactions, your next steps really depend on the product. Common culprits of irritation are fragrances, preservatives, and retinols. Some products, like acne and anti-aging treatments, are known to cause more reactions. Therefore, you may need to introduce them into your regimen again but more gradually and in smaller amounts. For instance, you may be able to only use a retinoid a few days a week. Patch testing is a great way to narrow down which ingredients you are allergic too. Read the packaging on any new product you try and to patch test it on your inner arm before putting it on your face to make sure you won’t have a bad reaction. It’s safe to reincorporate products with active ingredients only once your skin has calmed down and has been clear for a couple of weeks. Add in one product every one to two weeks just to be extra safe.
Certain ingredients will be too harsh for some, you’ll need to consult with a dermatologist to determine other options.