Tag Archives: skin reaction

Why You Should Never Skip The Patch Test

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The skin is just as complex as any other organ in the human body. It has countless little parts all working towards the same overall goal through renewal, repair, and barrier formation. These processes ensure that our insides are properly protected from the outside world while we comfortably enjoy all the benefits that the world has to offer without worry. Many of try to repay our skin with good skincare to help keep our skin as healthy and attractive as possible. Picking out the right products and figuring out how to manage the various issues that pop up from time to time is a continual learning process. Every new product we use is potentially an important step towards achieving our desired look, but it can also be a skin problem waiting to happen. That’s why none of us should ever skip the patch test when it comes to trying out new products. It is necessary to ensure our skin will stay healthy and can be the difference between attractive skin and an inflamed mess.

What Is The Patch Test?
The patch test is something you’ve likely already done without thinking before or that you’ve seen someone else do. It involves placing a small patch of a new product somewhere unobtrusive on your skin and waiting to see if you skin reacts. This tends to be a fairly reliable way to tell how your skin will react with some exceptions. Facial products used on body skin may not give you a fully accurate idea of how your skin will react because the skin of the majority of your body is thicker than the skin of your neck and face. As a result, it might be best to try a patch test for facial products somewhere unobtrusive on your neck. Similarly, you don’t want to test a body product on your face as they tend to be more potent and more likely to cause a reaction. The one exception to this is that you can get a good approximation for both out of a careful patch test on the wrist.

Why Do It?
As we’ve highlighted before, the skin is very complex. This necessarily means that it is easy to end up disrupting accidentally. There is no way to really know how our skin will react to a particular product without trying it for ourselves. Testing guidelines to okay them for human use only test for broad usage potential and can’t test for each little scenario our own skins present. Countless little factors ranging from genetics to environment to even diet can mean that some products end up not being ideal for our skin. Inflammation and other issues stemming from use of a poorly matched product can end up making skincare become a frustrating experience. A patch test helps you to avoid this by giving you an indication of how well your skin will handle a given product before you use it as directed. This will let you avoid skincare mistakes that you’ll then to make up for with appropriate care. It may take a little time, but the results are worth it.

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On Product Switching
It is worth noting that the patch test is just one consideration to keep in mind when trying out new products. This helps you avoid problems, yes, but you should ideally be taking another step as well. Remember that any product you use needs time to work. Give each new product you’re using three to four weeks to see if it has the desired effect on your skin. Swapping out products regularly, even with a patch test, is highly likely to end up irritating your skin. As complicated an organ as it is, your skin does prefer for things to stay as close to the same as usual most of the time. Swapping products too often will simply end up causing irritation that will potentially lead to breakouts and other skin issues over time. So take it slowly when looking for new products. Your skin will thank you for it later.

Doing a patch test when trying out new products gives you a way to be sure that your choice in products will properly support your skin. This will help you feel more confident when swapping products. Try to keep it in mind the next time you find a product isn’t doing what you need it to and you go hunting for a new one. You’ll likely be far more comfortable with the switch then.

Four Causes of Dry, Itchy Skin

Four Causes of Dry, Itchy Skin

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Nobody wants dry, itchy skin, but this is an extremely common issue that many have to deal with. While there are many products available that can help you to combat this, it is always advisable to also identify the root cause of any skin problems, so that you can protect against, and prevent, this as much as possible.

Hot Showers
As soothing as a hot, steamy shower after a long, hard day may seem, high temperatures will quickly lead to dry and itchy skin. Your skin produces natural oils that are necessary for moisturizing and hydrating the skin, but hot water strips these away, causing your skin to dry out. Opt for lukewarm temperatures instead, and try to limit your showers and baths to no longer than ten minutes.

Harsh Ingredients
There are many skin care products out there that seem exceptional, but are actually filled with a plethora of harsh ingredients. Many of these can be solely responsible for dry and itchy skin, so it would be worthwhile doing some reading up on harsh ingredients to avoid. Common ones include benzoyl peroxide, which is usually used to tackle acne, high levels of alcohol, fragrances and preservatives.

Low Quality Moisturizers
While you may think that a moisturizer should be able to nourish your skin, no matter what may be in it, this is not at all true, as the ingredients used have a huge effect on the way in which a moisturizer works. Make sure that you are using one that contains ceramides and humectants, as both of these trap water to the skin and help to restore its natural protective barrier. You should also be sure to moisturize your skin while it is still damp, such as immediately after stepping out of the shower. Moisturizers are designed to form a thin film over the surface of the skin, so if your skin already has water on it, then this extra moisture will be trapped in, and absorbed, thanks to the moisturizer applied over it.

Dry Air
Dry air is especially common in the winter months, due to the drop in temperature and humidity. In addition to this, indoor heat sources, whether this may be an electric heater or a fireplace, also have a drying effect on your skin, and, when all of this is combined, it is easy to see why skin ends up dry, itchy and flaky. If this is the case for you, try to increase the frequency at which you moisturize your skin, and consider investing in a humidifier, as these are great for adding moisture back into the air.

While there are a number of different factors that can contribute to dry and itchy skin, these are four of the most common. However, they are also causes that you can have quite a bit of control over, meaning that, once you have identified what is causing your dry skin, you will be able to take the necessary steps to prevent this from occurring in the future.

Lessons for Ladies with Dry and Sensitive Skin

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Dry and sensitive skin can be a challenge to deal with, often requiring quite a high level of care in order for a healthy complexion to be maintained. For those of you who have been battling with dry and sensitive skin for a while now, these are the lessons that you need to learn.

Add in a Second Layer of Moisturizer
If you have long since been fighting dry and sensitive skin, then you are likely already aware of the importance of a moisturizer. In order for your skin to receive maximum benefits from this, your moisturizer should be applied to damp skin, so that it can trap in all of the excess moisture that is sitting on the surface of your skin. Then, give your skin a few minutes to dry, before applying another coat of moisturizer, as this provides your skin with a double layer of protection. While it is absolutely fine to use the same moisturizer both times, you should ensure that the moisturizer you are using contains humectants, such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin, as these help to bind water to the skin.

Heat and Humidity at Home
Indoor heat is extremely drying, so whether you use a fireplace or central heating to warm up your home, be sure to keep yourself well away from the actual source of heat. The same can be said for air conditioning units, which can really dry out the skin quickly. Since it is often difficult, and uncomfortable, to not use heating or air conditioning, the best way to combat the dry air within your home is by investing in a humidifier, as this will add moisture back into the air.

Special Care at Night
Studies have shown that the body loses more water from the skin during the night, while a person is asleep, than during the day, which is why it is important to provide your skin with an extra level of care before going to bed. This means not only using a night cream, but also introducing a gentle toner and a hydrating serum into your routine. In order to add some extra moisture onto your skin before applying your night cream, give it a spritz or two of rose water, as this brings with it a range of benefits, but is gentle enough to not cause any irritation.

Take it Slow After a Reaction
When your skin has reacted to a product or ingredient, it is important to give it some time to calm down, preferably a week. After tis, you can then reintroduce your products one at a time, making sure that you patch test them on your inner forearm before applying them to your face or body. If your skin turns red with a particular product, then you have found the culprit, and can either cut this product out of your skin care routine, or, better still, try to discover exactly which ingredients in the product may be exacerbating your sensitivity.

After carrying out all of these changes, you should begin to notice improvements in your skin quite quickly. However, if you are still not getting any relief, or your dryness and sensitivity is worsening, it may be time to visit a dermatologist, as this could be a sign of a skin condition that requires professional treatment.

Skin Problems that Cause Body Odor

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Body odor is one of those things that can prove to be embarrassing at best at the worst of times. We’ve all had to deal with it at one point or another and sworn “never again”. To that end, we’ve often done our best to help ensure we didn’t get put in that situation again through good hygiene. The catch is that that isn’t the only skin problem that can lead to body odor. You can end up having to fight body odor for a number of reasons and not all of them are at all intuitive. Doing your best to help keep body odor under control means trying to figure out the actual cause of it in your case and taking the steps to counteract it. You can’t do this if you’re stuck on it being the cause of a single issue. With that in mind, we’re going to do a quick review of the potential skin issues or close to skin issues that can potentially lead to you experiencing body odor.

The Classic
Yes, sweat is often a problem. It is important to be specific and stress that we’re talking about stale sweat though. This is sweat that has been allowed to rest on your body and dry. That’s how it ends up contributing to unfavorable body odor. All that sweat serves a proper function when it is coming out, but if you don’t get rid of it, it rapidly becomes a source of problems. Sweat catches your skin’s natural oils and can end up plugging your pores with those oils and any debris it picks up along the way. Worse yet, this begins to create an environment that is perfect for certain kinds of bacteria. That’s actually where the smell tends to come from ultimately. All the bacteria that begin to colonize your skin begin to emit that less than pleasant smell at the same time that they’re beginning to get concentrated in particular areas of your skin. This in turn can lead to another reason why you might be experiencing body odor.

Skin Infection
A skin infection can end up happening for a lot of reasons, but stale sweat can end up cultivating the perfect environment for it. This is especially true if an area of skin has a cut or other breach in the skin that is prone to infection. Skin infections take a lot of forms, but the key features remain the same. They are an outright infection and inflammation of an area of skin that causes various negative effects. Particular conditions that cause body odor, more often than not, are also causing other problems with the skin at the same time. This leads to a situation where you need to talk to your doctor about the appropriate steps to take to help neutralize the infection and heal the skin. Your best bet is to entirely avoid this situation by remembering to bathe after exercise or any other situation where your body builds up a lot of sweat. This will help prevent the negative bacteria supporting environment from ever forming.

Bad Reaction
Sometimes it can actually be a product or medication that is causing a problem. This is particularly true when it comes to topical medications. A bad reaction to the product can lead to an allergic or inflammatory response that triggers body odor. This tends to vary depending on the individual though as ultimately the issue is the product being used and the damage done to the skin. If your body odor starts shortly after beginning a new medication, that may very well be the root cause. You can typically confirm suspicions by checking the area you’ve applied a topical medication to and seeing if there are any other signs of a reaction. Talk to your doctor if it is prescribed medication and they should be able to help you locate an alternate drug that will provide treatment without causing such a reaction. If it is another product, you’ll want to immediately discontinue use and find another. We recommend giving the skin time to heal from the reaction before moving on to a new product though.

Body odor isn’t something we need to feel shame about. It is a natural result of how our body works most of the time, but particular circumstances can make it worse than it needs to be and we need to address those. Staying consistently clean will go a long way towards minimizing most issues that aren’t related to an internal condition. Do your best to stay aware of your skin and you should have overall fewer issues as you’ll be able to catch when something isn’t going well and stop the problem before it truly starts.