🌻🌻💙💙🌻🌻 The Theory! 🌻🌻💙💙🌻🌻 🌻💙💙 (Sequel to The Cautionary Tale) 💙💙🌻
Many many of you lovely people took the time to respond to my recent post about itching and irritation. Thanks so much for all your answers - you've given me much food for thought! As promised I've been working on a theory.
Let me start by saying my eyelids have healed dramatically in the past few days so obviously all your kindness has had magical skincare properties! Another benefit of this group! 😍😊😍
My theory deals with *Sensitisation* and *The Tipping Point*
💙💙 Sensitisation 💙💙
A trend I've noticed amongst group members recently: 💙 Long term users who are happy with their skin and routine 💙 Reactions including itching, irritation or rashes, seemingly out of the blue, and maybe only in certain areas, not the entire face 💙 Not related to the use of one specific product
Clearly irritation and rashes happen all the time when there's been undue stress to the skin, overuse of certain actives, lack of acclimatisation, etc. But the profile above doesn't fit into these common occurrences.
We coach each other to help with gradual introduction but it is less common to post about scaling back when everything seems to be just fine.
My theory of Sensitisation is a theory of happiness 🙂🙂🙂
It seems like once we've got a routine really dialed in that's when the magic happens. It makes sense. By practicing common sense, finding the right products and techniques and with consistency we are conditioning our skin. Specifically the top layer of dead cells.
[From Wikipedia: The stratum corneum (Latin for 'horny layer') is the outermost layer of the epidermis, consisting of dead cells (corneocytes). This layer is composed of 15–20 layers of flattened cells with no nuclei and cell organelles]
This layer of skin is the main factor deciding what goes in and what stays out of the skin. We also know is as a Moisture Barrier or Acid Mantle. When it's too thin the skin is easily damaged. If it's too thick our precious products can't sink in. Get it just right and actives can get where they're needed most. Sounds great, right?
The only problem is if you don't pull back as your skin becomes more and more efficient you will be heading for:
💙💙 The Tipping Point 💙💙
By this I mean a reaction where you normally wouldn't have had one. It could be your usual routine, or a new product that is quite gentle or used in very small quantity, or even just a general build-up.
In my case I believe my skin became sensitised from using the Vitamin C 23%. I love this product and have written about it over and over. My results at first were almost unbelievable. But after months of use I accidentally got some on my eyelid and suffered a small burn that took months to heal. I stopped the C, of course. I adapted my routine, I scaled back, I hydrated. I haven't used it as a serum since. If I used it anywhere on my face it made my eyelid sting so I switched to EAA for daily use.
A while later I tried introducing Resveratrol+ferulic. My skin was not happy. It was very very itchy, literally from the first drop, but just my neck and then my eyelids as well. I regrouped, tried it a few more times then dropped it. But the itchiness never left. After about a month it turned into a rash. It's healing now but ever since I've barely been able to tolerate any actives. Anywhere on my face. Even products I've used successfully in the past.
I tripped The Tipping Point. My moisture barrier was compromised in these spots, but not on my face. A lot of you have said this has happened to you as well.
My skin looks great, my irritation is receding and my routine is simplified. But I can't help but wonder if I could have caught it earlier and avoided moving from itching to irritation to rash.
In many ways this theory seems obvious. On the other hand it seems counter-intuitive to pull back on a routine because it's working so well. How would you know when it's time?
🌻🌻🌻💙💙💙Thanks to everyone for reading 💙💙💙🌻🌻🌻
And thank you for all your lovely comments and opinions - please keep em coming! 💙💙💙🌻🌻🌻
Have a great day!