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Skin Care Ingredients You Might be Allergic To


If you have sensitive skin, you know all too well that certain ingredients in skin care products can irritate the skin. Some people are simply more sensitive to allergy-inducing ingredients than others. If you have sensitive skin, keep in mind that these ingredients may irritate the skin. Try before you buy.

  1. Salicylic Acid. Salicylic acid is used to treat pimples. It is the same active ingredient in aspirin, so if you’re allergic to aspirin, you’re probably allergic to products that contain salicylic acid too. If you get hives or inflammation from using acne products, switch to products that only contain benzoyl peroxide to fight acne without the irritation.
  2. Aluminum is commonly found in deodorants or antiperspirants because it helps reduce sweating. But because it is a salt, it can cause redness, swelling or itching and there are even theories that it causes cancers. Try aluminum-free, natural deodorants. Magnesium oil has been shown as a safer alternative to prevent sweating.
  3. Glycolic Acid. Glycolic acid is so effective because it’s good at penetrating into the skin quickly, but this can cause irritation like redness and drying. If you have sensitive skin, try using products that contain lactic acid instead.
  4. Sulfates are what make cleansers foam. It can also be called sodium lauryl sulfate. They can cause redness and dryness, especially if you have eczema. Look for products that are sulfate free.
  5. Retinol is great for anti-aging, reversing sun damage and increasing collagen, but it can be very drying and irritating for sensitive skin. Look for gentler anti-aging products that don’t contain retinol if you find it to be irritating.
  6. If you have any products that contain water, it probably also contains preservatives. Look for parabens, imidazolidinyl urea, Quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, phenoxyethanoil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, and formaldehyde. These ingredients help products last longer but can cause a nasty allergic reaction like swelling or hives. Look for more natural or organic products.
  7. Fragrances in ingredients don’t really mean perfumes, but chemical compounds that make products smell better. If you’re allergic to fragrances, you could get an allergic reaction such as swelling, itching or your eyes may even swell shut. Look for fragrance free and no added fragrance products.

If you have sensitive skin, test a product on a patch of skin such as your arm before applying it all over your body or on your face. If no irritation occurs in 24 hours, you can use it without irritation. If you still experience an irritation from a product, use a topical steroid like cortisone or take an anti-histamine to reduce symptoms. You may need to see a doctor if the reaction is severe, such as having trouble breathing.

Do you have sensitive skin? Have you ever had an allergic reaction to any of these ingredients?



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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing