Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Allergic Reaction Due to Product Ingredients ( Sensitive Skin )

Image from livestrong.com

Lately, I've been reading and hearing a number of stories about allergy reaction to certain ingredients found in some skin care products. Well, unfortunately, a few days ago, I had my share in one of those unfortunate episodes, thanks to a facial salon. My allergy reaction wasn't as bad as Juli's. Hers was bad and really unfortunate, but I admire her bravery for speaking out and sharing her experience, despite obtaining scars ( both physically and emotionally ) from it.

A few days ago, I went for my regular facial appointment and during that time, they were having some 50% discount on facial services and I decided to try a new facial programme and asked for a recommendation from my therapist. Well, she did and I went through it. Before I go on, I have been a regular with this facial salon for almost 7 years! Personally, I like to stick to one therapist, which I am comfortable with, as they will be able to know my skin better ( know the improvements and the bad as well ). I have recently changed to a new therapist and have been using her for 4 months. ( Please keep in mind, they have a record which indicates which products of theirs I am allergic to ) Since she is new to me, I have been harping to her that I can't use one of their anti-aging range, which is catered for mature clients and have told her that I have allergic reactions to it. She noted it and so far, she has been very careful not to introduce new products to my skin...until a few days ago. 

Next day...

I woke up the next day and went about my daily chores. However, I felt that my eyelids were slightly itchy. I had thought that it was normal but by noon, the itchiness increased and when I looked at the mirror, I saw small red spots ( bumps ) around my eye sockets and below my eyes. I called my therapist and asked if she had used new products on my skin and she said no, and she assumed that it must be a gel mask she used yesterday. 

However, I told her that the culprit may not necessarily be that, just because I had reactions on my eyes. Besides, I have no problem with the gel all these years. It was funny she jumped into that conclusion so quickly without checking the list and later confirming with me. The impression I got was that she wants the issue to be closed immediately! 

Anyway, I applied a very thin layer of cortisone cream and see if my allergic reaction worsen tomorrow...

2nd day...

And it didn't improve. The bumps were becoming more red and there were also some bumps which formed near my chin area. So my suspicion is confirmed, it is not the eye gel she claimed. It has to be something else. During the facial, I remember I commented on a new scrub she used on me and she told me it was from the anti-aging range.  ( At that time, it didn't occur to me that I might have any reaction to it. )

Last year, I remember having the same reaction when I tried their anti-aging range. One was the mask and another, a resurfacing cleanser. Both of this product contain high contents of AHA and lactic acid. So I decide to do a background check of ingredients on the 'new scrub' she had used on me. True enough, it contained salicylic acid, retinol, lactic acid and several AHA ingredients!

I called the therapist and questioned her on why she used this product on me, while I have told her many, many times, that I am not able to use this range. Her answer to me was not logical.

" In this particular facial, it uses this scrub and as a therapist, I am not able to use anything else to replace it because it is the policy" she answered.

I then replied " In the first place, you should have not introduce this facial to me, knowing very well that it uses this anti-aging range. You could have introduce another one which doesn't."

She was dumbstruck by what I said and she apologized, knowing her mistake. She affirmed me that it will not happen again and apologized profusely.

Moral of the story...you understand your skin better than anybody else.

1. You have to understand your skin well and identify ingredients which your skin can't tolerate to.

I know and understand my skin pretty well and has been very careful of introducing new ingredients to my skin as I fall into the category of sensitive skin. I know that I have strong reactions to ingredients such as:

Retinol, AHA ( alpha hydroxy acid ), Coq-10, high content of Salicylic acid ( BHA ) and lactic acid

I would usually steer clear from any products containing Retinol, AHA or Coq-10, be it serums, cleansers, toners or mask. For lactic and salicylic acid, my skin is slightly acceptable to them if the percentage is low.

2. What works for others may not work for you.

I am sure that there are several occasions which others would recommend new products to you, just because it works well for them. ( I had my share ) But be vary, what works for them may not for you because your face may be of a different category from them.
3. If you want to test out new products, do a patch test.
Try to get samples for that particular product and do a patch test with a suitable amount of concentration on your desired area* ( may be neck, lower chin ). Any allergic reactions will appear after 24 or 48 hours max. According to the International Contact Dermatitis Research Group System, reactions are as follows:
  • doubtful, reaction=mild redness only
  • weak, positive reaction=red and slightly thickened skin
  • strong, positive reaction=red, swollen skin with individual small water blisters
  • extreme, positive reaction=intense redness and swelling with coalesced large blisters or spreading reaction

( Taken from source )

* Some may put on areas which are more prone to sensitivity.

4. Areas of allergic reaction may differ.

In my case, if I have any allergic to new skin care products, tiny bumps will appear around my eye area, eye lids ( where it is the thinnest ), nasolabial fold and chin area. My skin would look ashen, with uneven toning.

5. Please see a dermatologist if you have any concerned reactions.

If you show strong positive signs of reactions, please see a dermatologist immediately. Do not delay another day and play doctor yourself!

Because I have consulted my doctor, my doctor would advice me to use the cortisone cream, if I encountered serious cases. However, I don't like it use this often on my face as it tends to discolour your skin. These days, I personally like to use my pure aloe vera sap to treat any skin sensitivity because it worked very well on me.

This review is based on my honest and personal experience and is not influenced by any parties

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