Finding that you’re having an allergic reaction to a skincare product? What should you do? Stopping the product is certainly a good start, but what else? Should you swear off all skincare products? Of course not. I’ll tell you exactly what to do and how to avoid similar problems in the future.
Allergic reactions to skincare products aren’t rare events. And they’re not subtle… I’m not talking about slight irritation. An allergic reaction results in significant swelling, redness, burning and even blisters anywhere on your skin, but especially on the delicate eye area.
Of course, the most important thing to do is figure out which of your products is causing the reaction... Which may take a little detective work in terms of where on your skin you use different products and where your allergic reaction occurred… and which product you started using in the 10 days before the reaction began, since allergic reactions usually occur during the first 10 days of using a new product. Another approach is to stop using all products, and start testing each product in a different area to determine the culprit. And don’t be ashamed to enlist the help of your dermatologist if need be.
Next, to find out which ingredient in the offending product you’re allergic to, you’ll now need the help of your dermatologist. He or she will contact the manufacturer of the product and inform them that you had an allergic reaction AND explain that you want to be tested to the ingredients in the product to find out which ingredient is actually causing your problem. The manufacturer will send actual samples of the ingredients to your doctor to test you to. But here’s the catch…
To protect proprietary information, the manufacturer won’t label each ingredient with its name but instead identify them with unique codes. Your dermatologist then tests your skin to all the ingredients to see if you react. If you do, then your doctor tells the manufacturer the ingredient code, and the company will reveal the ingredient.
Then you’ll finally know which ingredient you’re allergic to and MORE importantly, to prevent similar allergic reactions, it’s then time to start reading ingredient lists on new products before you use them.
The process takes time and effort, but it works! Better yet, circumvent it by spot testing new products in the fashion I discuss in prior DermTV episodes. Allergic reactions to skincare products are NO fun.