We all have had that one incident where our skin reacted badly to a skincare product that we so surely bought since even if you carefully research the product ingredients before buying a product, it is still possible to get something that is not suitable for your skin. This can be extremely disastrous for your skin as while the smaller intensity reactions to any particular product may range from acne to red patches, there could also be more severe reactions where the product could cause chemical burns on your skin.
Skin burns are usually caused due to fragrances and preservatives in skincare products which are mostly not explicitly mentioned. These could be allergic reactions to any one or more ingredients in the cosmetic product and while it is possible to get these chemical burns anywhere on the body, they mostly happen on the face, neck, eyes, ears and lips.
So how can you avoid these burns? In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Geeta Grewal, Cosmetic Surgeon, anti-aging, beauty and wellness expert, suggested, “Firstly, try to understand your skin type. You need to know if your skin is oily, dry, sensitive, or a combination. The market is teeming with products and it is very easy to get lost in the variety and the temptation to try a product Secondly, it would be beneficial to always read the ingredient list carefully. Lastly, always do a patch test before you use it all over the face to see if it is causing any allergic reactions. Also, always remember to start a new product by applying only a pea-sized amount and gradually increase to the adequate quantity over the course of a few days.”
If despite all precautions, you do find yourself in an unfortunate event of skin burns, she listed a few tips that will help you:
1. Immediately stop all skin treatments
If you feel any skin burns, press pause on all your strong skincare products like retinol, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid immediately. All of these could aggravate the skin burns and cause more damage in such a situation. Further, do not start using any new product that is committing to treating or fixing the skin burns (unless advised by a dermatologist). Till the time your skin heals, it is best to stick to the basics of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing using extremely gentle products with no harsh chemicals.
2. Build back the skin’s moisture barrier
Chemical burns directly affect the skin’s first defense the moisture barrier. The skin burns caused due to cosmetic products damage the moisture barrier which leads to sensitivity and irritation. To build back your skin’s moisture barrier, try to enrich it with the help of ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerine, ceramides and squalene.
3. More focus on hydration
Since the skin’s moisture barrier is lost, rebuild it with more focus on hydration through a moisturizer. In case of skin burns due to cosmetics, there is a need for increased moisturization. If earlier you were moisturizing the skin 1-2 times in a day, you should increase it to at least 4-5 times a day till your skin’s moisture barrier is back and it starts to heal.
4. Soothe your skin back to health
Burnt and irritated skin needs calming and cooling ingredients to reduce inflammation. Add skin-soothing ingredients to your skincare routine. Look for products infused with ingredients like aloe vera, Centella Asiatica, allantoin, bisabol and licorice root extracts.
5. Use sunscreen liberally
A broad-spectrum sunscreen is essentially for chemically-burnt skin. Since the skin is overly sensitized to sun exposure while healing, the sunscreen will keep the skin protected from UV damage while it heals. So never forget to apply sunscreen every day after you finish your skincare routine.