Skin Allergies and Reactions

Posted by Claire, at July 2, 2012

A little different post today form the norm. Those of you who know me may or may not be aware that I suffer from very sensitive skin, and in previous years especially my twenties I had to take precautions with skincare products as was unable to use many popular brands.

With my birthday looming I decided to change my skincare routine to one that I felt was more fitting for my age….. So I headed out to boots and chose a new cleanser, toner, day cream and night cream. Being an experienced beauty therapist what could possibly go wrong? I know best, or at least I thought I did.

The first week or so was fine until I began to notice that my skin felt a little sore, slightly red on the cheeks and a little bumpy. Naturally I put this down to hormonal changes in my skin or possibly the odd late night and dehydration! As the week went on I noticed that when I got out of a hot shower my face was very red (almost sunburnt) and when I applied my foundation it was not sitting smoothly on the surface of my skin. Last Sunday I was in for a huge shock.

I woke in the morning and noticed that the inner corners of my eyes were puffy and swollen. I put this down to hay fever but I had never suffered with this before so I took an Anti Histamine and thought nothing else of it. Following a session at the gym I went home, took a shower and then looked in the mirror! My face was bright red, swollen and sore. My lovely flat mate Sabrina took one look at me and proclaimed, ‘oh my god Claire your face!’ at this point I was far from calm (hysteria was setting in) as I reached for an ice pack from the freezer. The rest of the day my eyes were swollen and my skin dry and tight. My eyes looked as though I had been crying for days and the texture of my skin had completely changed – I have never had such a bad reaction and naturally was very distressed.

On the Monday morning I went to see the GP who confirmed it was a serious skin reaction to skincare products. He told me that this is a very common occurrence and that whatever I had been using had been too active for my skin. So much to my dismay I am banned from wearing make up for the next few weeks….the GP told me that my skin needed to repair itself and for the normal PH balance to return. The products had been slowly stripping my skin of its natural oils and when in a hot shower the reaction was brought to the surface.

So the question to ask is why blog about it? I just wanted to share this experience and also give some advice on how to choose wisely when purchasing skincare. Advice that I know and should of followed –

The skin begins to age more rapidly post 25 but everyone is different. If you feel your skin does not need to many active anti aging products, trust your instinct.

ALWAYS perform a patch test prior to using any new product. This can be on the inside of the elbow or the back of the ear.

Some products are very herbal so therefore are highly active. A sensitive skin will often take a dislike to herbal products as they can often also be perfumed.

Many expensive, good quality brands contain essential oils of high grade quality. What this means is that the oil comes from the first press of the herb, for example Lavender. The first press is the best so therefore the most active. If unsure a patch test is required.

If you do experience an allergic reaction to any skincare product remove it immediately and apply a cold compress.

Milk is an excellent product to apply to the skin if a reaction occurs.

Many good quality brands now contain high percentages of Glycolic Acid. If this is the case always use an SPF on the skin alongside your product. Glycolic Acid exfoliates the Epidermis at deep levels making it more photosensitive.

So a lesson learned for me and hopefully in the next few weeks my skin will be fully recovered. One thing I have learned is that I will never move away from the good old Simple range, no matter how frightened I am of getting old!

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