Messages found on skin care product packaging often read, “proceed with caution,” or “consult your dermatologist before application.” For one Klog writer, these messages were something to take seriously. Below, she outlines the gentle Korean beauty routine that’s compatible with her allergy-prone skin.
At the age of seven, I had a severe allergic reaction to amoxicillin, a prescription antibiotic used to treat strep throat, amongst other common infections. Hives developed all over my body and didn’t go away after a week. Fast forward five years later, and I’d started to develop red patches on my face, arms, and legs due to an urge to placate the tingling sensations I felt on my skin. A visit to my dermatologist revealed that the red patches, combined with a desire to scratch my itchy skin, was eczema. Overall, I ended up learning that my skin is very sensitive and therefore prone to allergic reactions and environmental triggers.
From perfume to body wash to even facial toners, nothing that I apply is immune from potentially irritating my allergy-prone skin. For that reason, I’m abundantly cautious when shopping for and using products. Over time, though, I’ve found a regimen that works for me.
My Go-To Cleanser
One of my favorite products is the Then I Met You Living™ Cleansing Balm. Since this cleanser is free of artificial fragrances, I have not experienced any irritation or redness when applying this balm to my face. It’s also formulated with soothing, nourishing ingredients — including sea buckthorn oil and persimmon extract — that are gentle on my skin.
A Little Bit of AHA
The thought of applying acids to allergy-prone skin may seem like a big no-no, but acids are not necessarily as caustic to the skin as the word implies, as long as you’re choosing what type of chemical exfoliant you use with care. One AHA-based exfoliating toner I use every day is the Some By Mi AHA-BHA-PHA 30Days Miracle Toner. As its name suggests, this magical toner not only contains AHA, but all three types of chemical exfoliants, including BHA and PHA. AHA helps to clear away dead skin cells while BHA removes excess sebum and PHA prevents moisture loss. More importantly though, amidst its powerful ingredients, this toner has been dermatologically tested for sensitive skin types. For anyone that regularly struggles with mild skin allergies or sensitive skin, I highly recommend this product since it serves the benefits of a chemical exfoliator without irritating the skin.
A Game-Changing Emulsion
It’s not a product that everyone uses but incorporating an emulsion to my skin care routine a few weeks ago has added an extra layer of protection from the elements, like harsh winds, that trigger my eczema. I currently use the Etude House SoonJung 10 Free Moist Emulsion, along with my moisturizer twice a day, and I’ve noticed that my skin tends to not be as irritated. Plus, my skin feels more elastic and hydrated than it did previously, which is helping me inch closer every day to achieving that dewy look.
A Soothing Moisturizer
Moisturizers should always be an essential in anyone’s skin care routine. For sensitive skin types, they can help to soothe the skin in addition to providing hydration. My favorite is the Good (Skin) Days™ On The Bright Side Moisturizer.
This probiotic moisturizer is formulated with one of my favorite K-Beauty formulation staples, fermented ingredients, including rice ferment filtrate, bifida ferment lysate and lactobacillus ferment lysate. These probiotics coupled with humectants, ceramides and madecassoside help to deeply hydrate, soothe, calm, fortify the skin barrier and balance the skin’s microbiome. It’s a great moisturizer for all skin types, but it works wonders on my sensitive skin. Even one of Who What Wear’s editors recently mentioned that it helped hydrate soothe her eczema-prone skin.
The Bottom Line
It’s never easy to find skin care products that can appease allergy-prone skin, but looking out for products that have low percentages of acid, only have natural fragrances or are fragrance-free, and are designed to hydrate and soothe the skin, can help keep skin healthier, happier and ultimately help to alleviate skin allergy symptoms.