Friday, December 6, 2013

Beauty How-To | Irritated Skin Rescue


DISCLAIMER: This post contains products sent to me for free by a brand or PR company in exchange for a review. However, all words and opinions are firmly my own, as always.

Back in October, I posted a review of a fantastic face mask perfect for dry, sensitive skin. I explained that I'd had a reaction to a new product I'd tried, and my skin had been left red, raw, and irritated. While using the face mask was a large part of helping to get my skin back in shape in just a few short days, it was ultimately a part of a whole regimen. No matter how careful you are with your skin, there is always the chance that a crazy reaction can strike at any time. Here's my personal plan and tips for getting you through, and back to beautiful skin!

(DISCLAIMER: I'm not a medical expert, so if you have a severe reaction, or a rash or irritation that won't subside, skip this and go straight to a professional!  They'll know best how to get you right as rain.)

First off, with any reaction or irritation, you don't want to throw gas on the fire by overloading your face with too many products. That tends to make things worse as your skin needs time to heal properly. So tip number one is to choose the bare minimum when it comes to soothing products. This is a case of less is more.

Next, you'll want to keep cleansing the area to give it a nice sterile platform to heal with, but you'll want to choose more gentle products. Dove Sensitive Skin Bath Bars, $10.29 for six, are a great choice. Also, thicker, creamy face washes that just do the basics are a fantastic idea. I'm partial to Murad's Refreshing Cleanser, $32.00. You may also need to scale back to a once a day wash to cut down on extra irritation, and give your face a splash of plain water and a pat dry with a soft towel instead.

After cleansing, you'll want to apply a soothing face mask several times a week until the irritation begins to subside. Your best bet is to find one that works well for sensitive skin and is made for calming redness and other reactions. Ingredients like aloe, lavender, chamomile, rosehip and evening primrose are notorious for their inflammation calming properties. I had amazing results with Aubrey Organics' Calming Skin Therapy Hydrating Mask, $14.95.

Next, skip the toner as the alcohol may irritate your skin further, and head straight for a nice, thick moisturizer. Or, alternatively, go for a lotion formulated for dry skin. When I was fighting the red nasties, I grabbed my bottle of Dermasil Dry Skin Treatment Original Lotion, $9.49, and slathered that on several times a day. Originally by prescription, not only does it help to deep moisturize, but it contains dimethicone which is a skin protectant. I've actually started using it as a moisturizer regularly because it makes my skin feel so fantastic!

Lastly, to help calm the irritation and redness from the inside out, one or two ibuprofen taken as directed on the bottle can offer some relief. Ibuprofen is an NSAID, which means it's an anti-inflammatory. Plus, if you're having some pain from the irritation, it will help counteract that, as well.

With some time and basic care, you can get your skin back to it's lovely, lustrous self. Treat it well, have a little patience, and you'll get through the irritation with grace, beauty, and confidence!

Do you have any tried and true tips for getting through irritation and product reactions? What products do you use when your skin needs a little extra pampering?

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