This is the only time your skin care should sting

IIt’s not uncommon for you to feel your skincare actives in action. Sometimes that feeling is a sign that your product is working, but other times it’s a big warning sign. According to renowned esthetician Renée Rouleau, the difference between the two is the severity. That’s why she coined the term “stinging”—describing the level of sensation between a stinging and tingling sensation—to suggest to you what range of the spectrum you’re experiencing. that range.

Rouleau, who is also the founder of a skin care line of the same name, says: “The stinging sensation is like a slight stinging sensation, which makes the skin appear slightly flushed. “Although it should go away on its own, it takes about 10 seconds to do so, which is twice the duration of the tingling sensation.”

She explains that the stinging sensation is most likely to occur when you use exfoliating acids like alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs). When it happens in this context, that’s a good thing. “This includes glycolic, lactic, malic or salicylic acids,” says Rouleau. “They work by lowering the pH of the skin, so it’s possible to sting when they do so.”

Know that once you get used to these ingredients, the stinging sensation may go away. Take that as a good sign. “Sometimes an acidic product causes a stinging sensation on first use that goes away with time,” she says. “This is because the exfoliating acid helps repair the skin barrier, so as it gets stronger, you’ll feel less stinging. Never fall for the common misconception that ‘ if you don’t feel it, it won’t work.” “

However, sometimes, your skin care can sting for not-so-good reasons. “The product may not be right for your skin,” says Rouleau, “which could be due to an irritating ingredient. “Products can also sting when you have a damaged skin barrier, as they are getting closer to the deeper layers of skin.” In those cases, you can reduce the amount or frequency of application to let your skin get used to it. But if you apply one product and feel more than one, it may not be right for your skin.

“If you’re getting to the point of stinging or burning, the stinging sensation is more severe and can last for more than a minute,” says Rouleau. “You may also notice other symptoms, such as redness. Sometimes it goes away on its own, but often when it’s more than just a sting you have to wash off any product that caused the reaction that has already occurred. smeared.”

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