6 telltale signs you’re using the wrong skincare products

Using the wrong skincare products harms your skin. Here's how to find out that your skin isn’t loving the product you’re using

sad woman squeezing pimple on her face | concept for wrong skincare products

It’s easy to be tempted to buy and try every popular skincare product that everyone’s been raving about. However, even with a positive reputation among celebrities or influencers, your skin might not agree with its ‘miracle’ or ‘super’ ingredients.

Using the wrong skincare products happens all the time. But, how do you find out that your skin isn’t loving the product you’re using?

Here are a few signs to watch out for:

6 telltale signs you’re using the wrong skincare products

1. Your skin feels tight

If your skin feels tight after using a specific skin product, it’s a sign that it’s stripping your skin of its natural oils and damaging your skin barrier. Tightness indicates skin dehydration, leaving it vulnerable to environmental toxins and other skin issues.

If your natural skin barrier is compromised, it can also affect the rest of your skincare routine.

2. You’re experiencing dry and peeling skin

If you ignore the first sign and continue using the skincare product or use a harsher product, you’ll experience extreme dryness, and your skin may start peeling off. These are two of the most visible warning signs that a skincare product isn’t suitable for your skin type.

In some cases, dry skin may be normal. However, if your complexion becomes rough and dull and starts to peel away, then it’s time to discard the product. Your product may be over-exfoliating, or using too strong or too many acids and other harsh ingredients that are taking a toll on your skin.

3. Your skin is irritated and inflamed

Irritation, itchiness, inflammation, redness, burning or stinging sensation, and other skin discomforts after using a skincare product indicate that your skin is having a negative reaction.

Skincare products contain a broad range of ingredients, many of which may cause an allergic reaction, especially if you have extra-sensitive skin. Rashes and redness are often caused by fragrances, preservatives, or acrylates included in cosmetic products.

Thus, experts always recommend that you do an allergy patch test before applying a product all over your skin. If you don’t know which ingredients are causing an allergic reaction, you should consider consulting a dermatologist and doing professional allergy testing to determine the offending agent. This way, you’ll know which ingredients to stay away from.

4. You’re experiencing more breakouts

Acne breakouts can form in response to using the wrong skincare product. Similar to an allergic reaction, acne breakouts may occur because your skin is reacting negatively to a specific ingredient.

If your skin is usually crystal clear or normal, and breakouts suddenly occur after using the product, take notice. In addition, if you’re using a product to control breakouts, but you notice that it only makes things worse, stop using it right away.

Experts have revealed that breakouts often happen when you use a new product in your skincare routine. So, consider allowing some time for your skin to adjust. This can help you determine if the product you’re using is really the source of your breakouts. You can allow two up to three weeks for your skin to adjust to the product, and be observant of any changes.

If you’re still experiencing breakouts after three weeks, it’s time to toss it out of your cabinet. The product may have comedogenic ingredients, which clog your pores and cause acne.

5. Your skin becomes oily

Oily skin may be normal for some people, but if it wasn’t a concern for you in the past, then a skincare product may be affecting your skin.

The skin has a natural barrier of oil, acting as a protective layer against environmental toxins. When harsh cleaners strip this protective layer, the skin tries to repair and create more oil to make up for the dryness, which can result in overly oily skin.

6. Nothing happens

Skincare results don’t show overnight. In general, you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks or months to see positive results from your skincare routine. However, you should start questioning a skincare product’s efficacy if you’re not seeing any results after months of consistent use.

Sometimes, skincare products are only hyped by social media or influencers and tend to make promises they can’t keep. If your skincare products aren’t living up to their promises, then it’s time to call it quits.

How long you have to wait for results will depend on the type of product you’re using. For instance, acne-fighting products should start working in just a few days or a couple of weeks at most. Moisturizers should show results in a couple of days or after use. On the other hands, pigment-reducing and line-smoothing products take more time to show results, typically six weeks or so.

The takeaway

Choosing the right skincare products for your skin requires a lot of trial and error. That said, it’s critical to identify the warning signs, especially the ones mentioned above, telling you that a certain skin care product isn’t a good fit for your skin type and preventing it from doing more damage.

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