What to Do When Products Cause Unexpected Breakouts

What to Do When Products Cause Unexpected Breakouts

Obviously, you use skin products and procedures to look your best. But sometimes, those efforts can trigger a rash or a breakout that defeats what you were trying to accomplish. In that case, what is the safest course of action that protects your skin and clears up the flare-up?

As part of our continuing educational series, let’s discuss what you should do when products cause unexpected breakouts such as redness, rashes, and hives.

Why Breakouts Happen

The first and most common cause of a breakout is an allergic reaction — your skin comes in contact with an ingredient that triggers a histamine response, i.e., hives. Typically, hives stay limited, remaining at or near the area of application.

Redness after using an anti-aging or exfoliating product (face masks, chemical peels, etc.) is a different matter. Because these products are by definition intended to remove a tiny layer of skin, some irritation is likely to occur. This is especially true with products containing retinol, salicylic acid, or other acne-fighting ingredients.

Acne breakouts are common when the formula of the beauty product is oil-based and clogs your pores, trapping oil and bacteria.

Finally, breakouts sometimes happen if you haven’t washed and exfoliated well, or you are using a product that is expired and that might contain irritating bacteria.

Specific Solutions to Specific Breakout Problems

If you are suffering from hives due to an allergic reaction, immediately stop using the product and get it off of your skin. Experts recommend removing the product with room temperature water or a gentle moisturizer.

Be careful not to scrub too hard or with hot water, as each of these can intensify the histamine reaction. Never try to camouflage or cover up the affected area with cosmetics.

If the hives are severe or painful, you can also take an over-the-counter antihistamine allergy medication, such as Benadryl or Zyrtec. These remedies reduce the inflammation, itching, and discomfort of the allergic rash.

Of extreme importance, if you suffer more serious side effects such as swelling of the tongue or throat, pronounced swelling of the face, or shortness of breath, this is a medical emergency, and you should either call 911 or seek immediate attention.

For puffiness and redness due to irritation, rinse your face several times with water to make sure you have removed all of the irritants. For added relief, you can apply soothing hydrocortisone cream or a light layer of Vaseline or Aquaphor.

It can be tempting to want to get rid of annoying pimples by picking or popping them. But this could cause the affected area to become even more irritated and inflamed. At worst, you could even develop an infection leading to permanent scarring.

Instead, carefully cleanse the area with salicylic acid and apply a topical antibiotic or a benzoyl peroxide gel.

Meeting and Treating All Your Skin Care Needs

The best way to ensure the optimal health of your skin is to only use products recommended by a trusted professional who is familiar with your specific skin condition and needs.

In the greater Chicago area, your best and most trusted resource is Beauty and Body by Mia. As one of the leading aestheticians in the area, Mia Valleskey offers skincare products, procedures, and services that keep you looking healthier and younger.

For a free skincare consultation or to book an appointment, contact Beauty and Body by Mia TODAY

Facial Care Products to Avoid

Facial Care Products to Avoid

Taking care of your skin requires the right products day and night. However, not all facial care products are worth your time or money. In fact, some can damage your skin, causing micro-tears, drying with alcohol, or adding preservatives. Which ones should you avoid? We’re not going to point fingers at specific products, but we will highlight key ingredients that should be on your no-no list. Avoid any product that contains anything from the following list.


There are a lot of conflicts out there about parabens. Some studies claim they’re fine. Others claim they are potential endocrine disruptors, which can lead to hormone imbalance. Usually, parabens are used as preservatives, and you will find them in a lot of moisturizers and cleansers. How do you tell if something is a paraben? The ingredients will have names that start with methyl, butyl, ethyl, or propyl.

The Ethanolamines

Found mostly in things like facial cleansers and some types of soaps, three products fall into this category. They are DEA, MEA, and TEA. Or, more accurately, they are diethanolamine, monoethanolamine, and triethanolamine. You may also find them in sunscreen and makeup products.

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is used in products as wide-ranging as a paint strippers and skincare products. It’s made from petroleum and can clog your pores very quickly. It also prevents the skin from eliminating toxins, which increases the chance of developing acne and other skin conditions. Where will you find it? Almost everywhere. Check your cosmetics, your creams, and your lotions.


At this point, this should be a no-brainer, but aluminum is still found in an incredibly wide range of skincare products and many women are none the wiser for it. Aluminum is a toxic metal. It also creates estrogen-like effects in the body. Because it disrupts the endocrine system, it leads to hormone imbalances.


PEG, or polyethylene glycol, is used to control moisture and as a product thickener. You’ll usually find it in cleansers designed to help you get rid of oil on your face. The problem is that eliminating your skin’s natural moisture leads to aging and skin damage.

These are just some of the toxins that you should avoid in your facial care products. There are tons of others, including commonly-used options like propylene glycol and butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, and sodium Laureth sulfate.

Interested in learning more about effective skin care and rejuvenation? Contact me to schedule your skin consultation.