A Skin Care Expert Says You Should Stop Using These Products During Allergy Season

With spring in full bloom and pollen permeating the air, many of us may find ourselves reeling from the yearly symptoms of seasonal allergies: sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, etc. And, as if the nasal congestion and watery eyes weren’t enough of a bummer, our complexions can also suffer from the effects of seasonal allergies. Has your skin been exhibiting sensitivity or dullness lately that’s not a problem the rest of the year? There’s a very good reason why.

According to skin care expert and Clarisonic co-founder Dr. Robb Akridge, ingredients in our skincare products may be responsible for these changes and cause unexpected reactions.

“Even if you are generally not allergic to a particular ingredient, you may be extra sensitive because your body is already stimulated from its environmental surroundings and what it considers a foreign substance. Your skin, every second, no matter what the season, is responding to moisture in the air, pollutants [or] allergens, temperature, and whatever contacts it.”

Dr. Akridge

Certain beauty-product ingredients, such as essential oils, fruit extracts, and fragrances that may be harmless during non-allergy seasons could cause problems for our skin. Believe it or not, this could be due to constant exposure over time.

“You eat lavender ice cream, you have fresh lavender flowers in your house, you put lavender oil on your pillows to calm you, and you apply a lavender-scented moisturizer,” Dr. Akridge told HelloGiggles. “As a result, with multiple means of exposure, your body becomes suspicious.”

In addition to such “suspicion,” it could also be the complexity of the ingredients that’s causing skin irritation.

“When an essential oil is created, it’s an extraction from the plant. This complex oil may have a component that’s slightly like something else your body has encountered as foreign, [so] to play it safe, your immune system labels it as foreign, too. Remember, your immune system is trying to protect you from anything it perceives as a threat; that can include your favorite perfume.”

Dr. Akridge

Swap your skincare products for gentle formulas and tools during allergy season to alleviate irritation. Dr. Akridge suggests using a gentle moisturizer with a formula that supports your skin type. Affordable options he recommends are trusted faves such as the Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion and Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer

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Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

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As for whether seasonal allergies can cause breakouts, we have great news: they don’t. Acne is typically not linked to seasonal allergies.

“The only [situation] where acne could cause an issue is when [you’re] using acne products on highly reactive skin due to an allergic reaction. The acne products have been designed to kick acne in the butt, but may be too much for skin responding [to] allergens.”

Dr. Akridge

So, go forth with those soothing moisturizers, seasonal allergy warriors. You’ve got this.