Have you ever had a flare-up? It can start with this increasing itching sensation that seems to never be satisfied until your face turns into a hot, inflamed tomato. Sometimes within seconds, you're rocking a red face, sans warning signs. Safe to say we've had our fair share of flare-ups and will take *every* precaution possible to make sure it doesn't happen again. But if you're reading this very sentence because you're dealing with one right now, you've come to the right place.
Why is this happening to my face?
It's a question we've definitely asked ourselves a few dozen times. Pinpointing the exact reason why your skin is suddenly having a flare-up is the most crucial part of prevention and may also play a significant role in the healing process. Before reading any further, it is important to note that you should always speak to a healthcare professional if a severe reaction is occurring or reoccurring. This could be linked to an underlying concern that not even your fave skincare brand can fix.
Some of the most common reasons behind a skin reaction include:
- Skin irritation or allergy to a product or specific ingredient
- A damaged skin barrier caused by the overuse of retinol or other harsh active ingredients
- Underlying skin conditions like rosacea, eczema or psoriasis
- Stress and diet
Help! What do I do for...
When applying a new product to your face (skincare or makeup), we always advise a spot check somewhere along the neck or jawline to see if a reaction occurs. If the skin becomes bumpy, itchy or red, you are clearly dealing with an isolated issue. Contact dermatitis is the condition where a product or ingredient placed on the skin causes irritation or even an allergic reaction. This type of flare-up can easily be resolved by stopping the use of the said product or ingredient. And if you accidentally applied the product to your entire face, taking an antihistamine will aid in settling the hot skin and redness. Cool the skin with a damp face cloth while you let the Benadryl kick-in.
A Damaged Barrier
Say you went a little retinoid-happy and ignored the usage advisory. Now, your face is extremely irritated, tight and doesn't seem to like any product you put on it. You are dealing with a damaged skin barrier. We love retinol because it is proven to increase your skin's cell turnover rate but overdoing it will completely compromise your skin's integrity. Thankfully, we know a thing or two about this and wrote a whole blog on retinol rescue. If this applies to your current flare-up, continue reading this.
To determine if you are dealing with a form of rosacea, eczema or psoriasis, we highly advise you to seek medical assistance with a board-certified dermatologist. These skin conditions often have overlapping symptoms which can be incredibly confusing, especially if you're attempting to self-diagnose (please don't). Misdiagnosis oftentimes leads to further damage to the skin. A dermatologist will not only be able to identify what type of condition you are battling but also recommend the best treatments to help heal your skin. These could include IPL and laser, micro-needling and other resurfacing treatments. Not to mention, topical or oral medication may be prescribed to those faced with extreme cases - products you cannot get over the counter. Everyone's skin is different and unfortunately, there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to healing your skin.
If you're experiencing a flare-up at this very moment and fall under the category of one of these skin conditions, we'd highly recommend stepping away from your beauty bag. Let your skin breathe! Avoid the use of makeup, harsh scrubs, active ingredients like chemical exfoliants, as well as retinol... At least until you've had a moment to speak to a healthcare professional. In the meantime, stick to a gentle cleanser and well-formulated moisturizer to settle down any irritation and soothe your skin. Whenever we are faced with a flare-up, we always reach for Cleanser I for it's calming properties, Moisture and even Rich Moisture to help relieve tightness and overall discomfort.
Stress and Diet
Would you believe us if we told you that your internal wellness plays a considerable role in the look and health of your skin? Are you experiencing an overwhelming amount of stress right now? There could be a link to your flare-up. Eating a lot of sugar, caffeine or spicy foods? Ask anyone with rosacea to drop some insight on diet and facial flushing. If you're noticing an increase in skin sensitivity with little to no change in your beauty routine, perhaps it's time to look inward.
It's hard to ignore our mental wellbeing when the past 6 months has added 19 pounds of emotional weight across the globe. Now is not the time to be hard on ourselves but instead, look at areas where we can improve. Taking 'me-time' to refocus and destress is not a selfish act. Here at Miracle 10, we long for our at-home spa nights. Not just because it's great to take care of our skin's health but because it allows us to prioritize ourselves for the next 20, 30 or 60 minutes on a Sunday. Light a candle, pour a glass of your fave beverage and go to town! No judgement here.