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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Allergic Reactions to Products & The 72-Hour Test

How do I know if I’m having an allergic reaction to a new product? And what should I do if I’m having a reaction?

If your skin changes for the worse after starting a new product, you may be having an allergic reaction. Or you could just be intolerant to one or more ingredients in one or more of the new products. Contrary to what you might have heard, a product should not cause breakouts when you first start using it. One client said she was told to give a new product three weeks for her skin to adapt. Even though she was breaking out from using this product, that was acceptable as far as the salesperson was concerned.

If your skin reacts adversely upon first using a new product, stop using it! If, however, you develop a skin condition such as eczema (a dermatitis or skin inflammation) or some other intolerance to a product you have successfully used in the past and just now are reacting to, try The 72- Hour Test. This test is helpful in narrowing down possible culprits that have caused a skin reaction.

Many times allergic reactions like a dermatitis can occur because something is compromising your immune system. And a product that you have used, perhaps for a long time, without any issues may suddenly give you problems. Stress is a known culprit when it comes to skin reactions and allergies. So if you are going through a stressful period in your life and are having problems with products you normally have no reactions to, I think you have to look at the state of your inner health before completely discarding your skin care regime. Pregnancy also can cause skin sensitivities or a reaction to products you may have used for years.

You may have to find other products in the interim that you can use without reaction, but you may not have to give up your old products altogether. Once the stress in your life has subsided, you may want to dig up those formerly OK products and give them another try. They may cause no reaction, and then again, you may have to forgo using them if you do indeed continue to react. In this case, as well as with new products that may have caused reactions, take the following test to determine whether or not you can use a particular product.

The 72-Hour Test. In order to perform a controlled experiment and get some definite answers for yourself, I recommend taking The 72-Hour Test. This trial is meant to help you figure out what product or products that you just began using (or perhaps have used for a long time) might be causing any skin reaction you are experiencing. 

Let’s say you just purchased a whole line of skin care products (or even just a single product), and after using them for a few days, you notice redness or skin sensitivity you didn’t have before. First, stop using all the new products and go back to what you had been using. You want your skin back to normal before proceeding with the test.

Once your skin has calmed down, take one product, let’s say the new cleanser, and use it for three days (72 hours) along with your other old products (toner, moisturizer, eye cream). If your skin is OK with the cleanser, use a second new product for three days. If at any point you introduce a product and have a reaction, at least you’ll know which product is the troublemaker.

Keep in mind, you may only have a reaction to one or two of the products—not the whole line. So by doing The 72-Hour Test, you can find out which products you can use and which ones you can’t. This process takes time, but if you want to find an answer to what is causing the reaction, it’s worth the time spent.

If all goes well and you don’t react to the individual products, it may have been too much for your skin to try out so many products at one time. Sometimes this happens, but most likely if you had a reaction the first time you used it, you will find at least one product causes a reaction when doing the test. If every product causes a reaction, there may be a common ingredient in the line that may prohibit you from using any of it.

If you begin to react to a product three or more weeks after using it, I doubt it is really the product breaking you out. Usually your body (skin) will react within a short period of time after trying a new product—instantly or within a few days. This is not an absolute, but it’s doubtful it will take your skin three weeks to realize it is intolerant to particular ingredients. The breakout could be due to something new in your daily routine, severe weather changes, or stress—something current in your life. Don’t automatically blame a product for causing problems when it could be something unrelated. Take The 72-Hour Test and see what you come up with.

With all that said, over time you can develop intolerances to certain products or ingredients, just like with foods. You may have been able to eat certain foods in the past that today you are intolerant to. Sometimes this can happen with skin care products as well. It all boils down to ingredients and your skin and how the two are suited to each other. If you feel like you have become intolerant to a certain product (or even the entire line of products) simply stop using them, go back to products that in the past didn’t cause problems, and then take The 72-Hour Test. The test should help you find out if it is indeed your products that are creating skin issues. 

Regardless of what is causing the problem, having a reaction is undesirable. If you have just purchased new products you can’t use, try to return them. Companies have varying return policies (something you might want to consider before purchasing). Make sure you are aware of the likelihood of getting your money back (or not).

For information on skin sensitivities in general among other articles, read