Skin Issues? Check for Allergens.

The most highly touted skincare lines can make your skin break out or itch. The products formulated to clear up acne are the very products that can cause congestion in skin. Rashes may come often after a beach vacation because sunscreens just don’t seem to agree with you. If any of these situations sound familiar, keep reading for tips on allergens in skincare products.

TIP #1 – FIND OUT WHAT ALLERGENS YOUR RELATIVES HAVE EXPERIENCED.

An allergy is a reaction due to extreme sensitivity to certain chemicals that are generally harmless. The reaction may vary: itching, swelling, acne, or extreme redness. Your body chemistry is unique to you. That product your neighbor recommended may not give you the same results, or the same results in the same amount of time. If allergic to a certain product, chances are your family members are as well.

TIP #2 – USE PROFESSIONAL SKINCARE PRODUCTS SUITED FOR YOUR SKIN CONDITION.

When compared to over-the-counter lines, pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical products use higher quality ingredients at a higher concentration. Higher quality means purer, more effective ingredients from reputable sources. Higher concentration means there is a larger percentage of the active ingredient that makes the product useful.

TIP #3 – CONSIDER HYPO-ALLERGENIC PRODUCTS WITH NO FRAGRANCE AND LITTLE PRESERVATIVE CONTENT.

Pay attention to fragrances, essential oils, and certain types of preservatives. These are some of the most common allergens in skincare products, including makeup. Fragrance is in many products, but manufacturers are not required to list the chemicals of the fragrance. Essential oils are often included for soothing properties. Preservatives keep the mixture from spoiling. If you break out after using certain products, assume it could be one of these three allergens, even if the reactions occur several days later.

TIP #4 – SKIN REACTIONS MAY NOT BE FROM TOPICAL PRODUCTS.

Reflect on how your diet influences your skin. A client had consistent and seemingly unexplained breakouts. It turned out that simple foods like cranberries, apples, and certain kinds of seafood caused those breakouts. She wasn’t allergic to skincare products, but her body had an inflammatory response to several common foods. After three weeks off these inflammatory foods, her skin was clear and glowing.

TIP #5 – CHOOSE SUNSCREEN WITH ZINC OXIDE OR TITANIUM OXIDE ONLY.

If sunscreens tend to clog your pores, consider finding a sunscreen with only physical ingredients. While chemical ingredients absorb sun rays, they can also be comedogenic (pore-clogging) or cause adverse reactions. Carefully choose products containing only physical ingredients.

Other common allergens include silicones, sulfur, seaweed, and specific numbing agents. Also, be aware that sensitivities to certain chemicals may come and go. Take an inventory of your skincare products, and check if they contain ingredients that are allergens for you. Monitor your diet to see if it causes an inflammatory response. Environmental allergies may be seasonal, but learning what helps or hurts your skin is a year-round endeavor.

Carla Morgan is a chemist turned licensed medical aesthetician. She also holds a graduate degree in professional counseling. Carla practices aesthetics and psychotherapy at Ashtoria Aesthetics and Wellness. To schedule an appointment call (901) 310-3530 or visit ashtoria.com.

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