Some skincare products cause different sensations like tingling, stinging or even burning when you put them on your skin. So when are those unpleasant sensations ok? More importantly, when do they mean that that skincare product just isn’t for your skin?
First, let’s distinguish between tingling, stinging and burning.
I use tingling to describe what you feel when right after applying your product, it causes a sensation of heat or tiny pins, like prickling. But it’s slight and temporary. Yes It catches your attention, but it doesn’t feel scary because it doesn't build up or become stronger. It stays the same intensity and stops by itself in about a minute. This tingling is nothing to worry about and probably means that the product is ok for your skin.
But it’s very different than stinging and burning. While stinging and burning aren’t the same, both are signs that the product is probably going to irritate or possibly harm your skin, and you should rinse it off immediately.
While I would say that with stinging, pins or prickling is greater than the heat, and with a burning sensation it’s the opposite, both stinging and burning start almost immediately, increase very quickly, even over a period of seconds, and they accelerate so fast that they frighten you. This is when your good common sense tells you something is wrong, and if you don’t wash off your products, they can even become painful. Obviously, that skincare product is not good for your skin.
Now note how I used the word “probably” several times in this episode. That’s because, there’s no way for me to be 100% sure that you’re actually feeling a tingling vs burning or stinging. It’s always better to be safe than sorry but the guidelines above should certainly help.
So when it comes to unpleasant sensations from skincare products, while temporary tingling is usually ok, there’s no truth in the saying, “No pain, no gain!”