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How to Be Gentle to Your Skin with the Right Skin Care Product

Updated on February 27, 2015

Basic Skin Rule, But So Many People Forget About It?

The prime directive for successful acne treatment can be summed up in two words, "Wash less." Constant rubbing and drying of the skin not only does not cure acne, it can dry out the skin, shrink pores, and trap sebum inside.

But everybody does need to wash every day, and when we do, we need to be gentle. Here's how to avoid the skincare culprits that irritate and inflame as they cleanse the skin.

Allergies to Skin Care Products

Wouldn't it be nice to have a complete list of every ingredient in every skin care product that could cause an allergic reaction? That way you could go down the list and be sure that your skin care product was safe. Unfortunately, each and every human being has a unique immune system that keeps changing through life, and each and every person will react just a little differently to allergens that wind up in skin care items. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make allergies a far less frequent event.

The way to tell that a skin reaction is an allergic reaction is experience. If you get a skin reaction, and you get it after using a skin care product, then it's possible it's an allergy. Just because you have used a product for years without any bad reactions does not mean it is not causing allergies now.

The Fix To Your Skin Irritation

If you get an adverse reaction twice, take a quick look at the list of ingredients on the label. See if there are any fragrances, like wintergreen, lemon, citrus, ylang-ylang, or cardamom. If you use nail polish, check the label to see whether the product contains any natural resins.

See if there are any natural ingredients you know you are allergic, too. See if anything on the ingredients list rings a bell, if it is something that is also in another product that has caused you to break out.

Then stop using the product. Consult your doctor if the allergic reaction is systemic. Get someone to take you to an emergency room if you have trouble breathing. And when the allergy subsides, go back to your skin care basics.

Wait until the allergy subsides before you put anything on your skin. Then use just a cleanser for several days. Add a tiny touch of moisturizer if the skin is dry. Stay out of the sun. And consider a bit of over-the-counter cortisone cream to reduce irritation.

Then switch to a different product.

Remember, an allergic reaction is not your fault. Do not hesitate to return any product that you are allergic to. Returning the product gives the cosmetics manufacturer essential information they need to make better products in the future.a

How does your skin care product leave your skin feeling?

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Top Things You Should Avoid Or Your Skin Will Suffer

There are certain kinds of products that simply always irritate skin. Don't use them! The list includes:

  • Abrasive soaps, such as Lava
  • Astringents and toners that "tingle"
  • Icy-cold water
  • Steamy hot water
  • Loofahs
  • Steam treatments
  • Bar soaps and cleansers

Ingredients to Avoid in Skin Care product

Even when the product itself is gentle to the skin, certain ingredients are always a no-no. Look on the label and avoid any product that includes:

  • Ammonia
  • Arnica
  • Balsam tolu
  • Bentonite
  • Camphor
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus
  • Clove
  • Eucalpytus
  • Eugenol
  • Fennel
  • Fire
  • Geranium
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemongrass
  • Linalool
  • Menthol
  • Orange
  • Papaya
  • Peppermint
  • Sandalwood
  • Sodium C14-16 olefin sulfate
  • Sodium laureth sulfate
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Thyme
  • Wintergreen
  • Witch hazel
  • Ylang-ylang

You'd be amazed how often these irritating ingredients show up in "gentle" skin cleansers. Sometimes their inclusion is intention. "Anti-itch" ingredients like alcohol, camphor, menthol, mint, and phenol are included because they sting and burn. The idea is, if it burns, it doesn't itch. And that's right. You just don't want it on your face.

The General Rule of Thumb

So here's how to know the product you are getting is gentle for your skin!

If it burns, stings, or even tingles, it's doing more than just cleansing your skin. If it irritates your skin, don't use it twice.

Like every useful rule, there is an exception. Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) tingle when the begin to work. That's also true of Retin-A, Renova, Differin, and azelaic acid. But cut back if there is more than just a little tingling, and stop altogether if there is redness or worsening inflammation after repeated use.

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      great lens about skin care. thanks for the tips.


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