What Happens if Your Skincare Products Cause Allergic Reactions?

Woman with skincare rash looking in the mirror

Your skin. It’s not just about looking good, it’s about taking care of it. It’s an investment worth making. But what happens when your skincare products cause an allergic reaction or irritation? Do you stop using and get a different brand? 
In today’s blog, Seoul Mamas explains why reactions can occur and how to stop them.

Related Post: How to Patch Test a Cosmetic or Skincare Product

Irritation vs. Allergy 

If you’re putting anything on your skin, you need to first understand the difference between an irritation and an allergic reaction. An irritation will occur if you feel a burning sensation. If there’s itching and swelling, you may have a true allergy to an ingredient in the product. 
Regardless, stop using if you experience any of the above symptoms. Often, a topical hydrocortisone cream can bring relief quickly and easily. If the symptoms become severe, such as difficulty breathing or extreme pain, seek immediate help. 

Read the Label  

Do you suffer from sensitive skin? If you do, you know that there are many products that can cause an allergic reaction. 
To help alleviate symptoms, some of the things to look for on a label include:

  • Dermatologist tested
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Perfume-free 

But even then, there is always the chance that you can have a reaction to a product that has caused swelling, redness, itching and tenderness. When this happens, the best course of action is to stop using the product immediately. 
If you were using more than one product, you may have to do a “process of elimination” technique if you’re unsure of which was causing the problem. By only using one at a time, you will be able to tell which one was the issue. Once you know this, stop using the product and return to the store. 
We also recommend contacting the company and alerting them to the issue you experienced so they can monitor if other customers have had similar reactions. This can help them refine their products and make them safer and easier to use for you and other customers with sensitive skin. 

Preservatives & Fragrances 

If you’re experiencing a bad reaction to your skincare products, it could be that it’s from a fragrance and preservatives found in the product. These are typically the two biggest culprits of an allergic reaction or irritation. 
Your skincare products may say ‘perfume-free’ but there still may be some masking agent to reduce the smell associated with chemically produced products. These can often cause skin irritation. 
Did you know that preservatives are found in almost every product when there is water as a key ingredient? Preservatives keep the water and other ingredients from spoiling, which is necessary. Good skincare products are often expensive. The last thing you want is for one of them to go bad. However, these preservatives can often be the cause for your discomfort. 


Are you a hoarder of products? (And shoes. And purses?) If you dug back into your cabinet and used something that is now causing issues, it may not be the fault of the product. 
Check for an expiration date. The older a product is, the more likely the chemical compounds have broken down. When this happens, products can’t retain their initial purpose. So it may not be the fault of the product as it was meant to be prior to expiration. Best advice? Throw it away and only use products before they have reached their expiration date. 

Related Post: How to Handle Rosacea With Your Skincare Routine

Skin Care Products by Seoul Mamas

We need to care for our skin daily. If you have taken steps to eliminate products that have caused you issue and you’re still having trouble, make an appointment with your dermatologist. They will be able to perform tests that will identify the culprit and not only get you relief, but help you find skincare products that will work for you and your skin. 
Contact Seoul Mamas for more information about how your company can benefit from offering high-quality skincare products to your clients.