Can Your Skin Stop Reacting Positively to Certain Products?

Woman having reaction to skin care product Can Your Skin Stop Reacting Positively to Certain Products?

What to Know About Skin Reaction to Products

Reacting to Active Ingredients

When you use skincare products for their targeted results, sometimes an active ingredient reacts poorly with your skin. It might be because your skin is on the sensitive side, or you may be allergic to an ingredient. Using a product that has passed its expiration can also be a cause of irritation. Is there anything that can be done to get the benefits of the product without the adverse reaction?

Reviewing Your Regimen

While you can’t change your skin type, you can take a good look at your routine and the ingredients in your products. If you’re breaking out or experiencing an itchy rash after using a new product, stop using it and check the ingredient list to see what the cause might be. Do your research and look up ingredients you’re not familiar with. Seeing a dermatologist is recommended for severe reactions, and they can also have a conversation with you about which kinds of products and ingredients will work best for your skin.

Irritation and Allergies

Using a new skincare product might cause a reaction simply from your skin not being used to it. If you’re trying a retinoid, an alpha or beta hydroxy acid, or a salicylic acid for the first time, your skin will be more reactive than if you’ve been using it for a while. This sort of a reaction is known as contact dermatitis, an inflammatory reaction to a product that isn’t compatible with your skin.

Allergic contact dermatitis, on the other hand, is your body’s immune reaction to an external irritant. In skincare and beauty products, this is usually caused by added fragrances, preservatives, certain metals, food-derived products like nut butters and oils, or essential oils. You’ll have to avoid products with allergens in them, but products whose ingredients your skin isn’t used to might be slowly integrated into your routine to allow your skin time to get used to them.

Outbreaks and Dryness

Your skin may be reacting by breaking out or over-drying. In these cases, be sure you’re using the right product in the right place. If you’re using a new moisturizer and you’re breaking out, try using less. If you’re using a new acne product, be sure your skin isn’t purging before deciding it isn’t working; if the spots are in areas where you normally break out, it may be your skin purging existing buildup. If the breakout is in a new area, it may be clogging your pores. Acne products can also dry out your skin, so be sure to use them in the problem areas and not to over-dry areas that are already clear.

Discuss It with Your Dermatologist

If a product’s ingredients are causing a reaction, you should stop using it and evaluate the situation. A mild reaction should clear up with anti-inflammatory treatment or simply time to fade. For a severe reaction, you should check with your doctor or dermatologist to find out if you have an allergy to one or more active ingredients in the products you use.


It might be as simple as using the wrong products in the wrong place, or your skin is overwhelmed with a new ingredient or too many products, but an unexpected reaction might be a sign of an intolerance. Schedule an appointment with one of our dermatology experts today for a consultation.

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