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Having silky, smooth, blemish-free skin is a dream for all and with modern skin-care products, I used to think that I am one step closer to having the perfect face like celebrities.
However, when my face started burning whenever I put products on it, I started asking: why does everything I put on burn my face?
Your face may burn from skin-care products with harsh compounds (retinoids, acids etc) ~Dr Alexis Stephens. These compounds make your face sensitised, leading to burning, irritation, redness, and swelling. It can also cause darkened skin complexion and overthrow skin’s natural pH balance.
Anything you put on your face should be soothing and should leave your skin hydrated and moisturized, not burning. If you are as worried about your face burning as I was, keep reading as I have a few thoughts to share with you!
Why does My Face Burn and Turns Red? Top Reasons
The first thing you need to know is: your face is not supposed to burn when you put anything on it.
I have had people tell me that they think the products work only if it tingles their face. This is not true.
Burning could be an indication of several skin related issues. Top reasons why your face burns whenever your put something are as follows:
Top 4 Reasons Why Your Face Burns
Compromised Skin Barrier
Using products like chemical peels and acids etc. on your face can cause it to become sensitized to these harsh chemicals.
According to Dr. Alexis Stephens – a consulting dermatologist for Urban Skin Rx, using these harsh products can disrupt the skin layers of the face and compromise them.
These layers which are meant to protect the skin against the environment become damaged hence the face gets irritated and burns every time you put something on it.
You have Sensitive Skin
If you have skin conditions like eczema and rosacea, your skin is at its weakest.
If your face, while suffering from such conditions burns when you apply anything on it, it could be signs of chronic inflammation, according to Karyn Grossman, MD, a dermatologist.
Your face could develop more issues if you keep using the burning products.
Ingredients in the Product
Usually, Skin-care lines – consisting of products including sunscreen, toner, serum, scrubs, and exfoliators etc., are made to work together in balance.
If you find that using a particular line of products is burning your face, the ingredients in the skin care must not be right for your skin.
Your Pores are Exposed
If you suffer from skin conditions like acne or extreme dryness, your pores are often compromised and open.
It means that the chemicals from products that you put on your face are in direct contact with your pores. Similarly, applying anything on your face after using a razor can burn your skin too.
Is it Normal for Skincare to Burn My Face?
One thing that you need to keep in mind is this: skin care should NEVER burn your face. It is not normal for skincare to burn your face.
Lucile White, MD, a dermatologist says that the skincare “should not sting, tingle, or burn on a daily basis. If it does, you’ll get redness, peeling, and flaking.”
However, products such as acids and retinoids can sting for a bit initially.
If you find that your skin burns every time you put anything on it, it could be a sign of underlying issues.
Remember! Your skin is your best friend, and you need to listen to it well. If your face stings, it is definitely struggling.
The products would be harmful for your face and you need to take actions accordingly. Stinging can be a sign of inflammation which then develops into further issues, like dryness, tightness, and increased sensitivity.
Why does My Face Burn When I Put Anything on It? A Thorough Discussion
According to a new study, face is the main part of attraction when it comes to relationships and it is more important for women. That’s why women have a tendency to use many different products on their face.
Probably, you will find tons of solutions that women try to put on their face. But they don’t get a positive effect in their favor. Sometimes, their face starts to burn due to putting anything in it.
According to market research, I found the following products that women love to use for their face care.
- Face Mask
Now let’s discover why your face may burn when you put these items on your face.
1. Face burns when using moisturizers
Why is my moisturizer burning my face all of a sudden?
For a smooth skin, moisturizers are the holy grail. Though, some people are not aware of the complexities and importance of finding a good moisturizer. This results in people using moisturizers not fitted for their skin.
Dr. Marmur, president/founder of Marmur Medical says that if your face burns after putting on a moisturizer, “it’s a pH issue.”
Since skin is inherently on a lower pH level, i.e. acidic, a stinging sensation could indicate a pH disruption on the skin of your face.
Another reason for your skin burning could be that the moisturizer is too strong for your face. This is often the case for sensitive skin so choose your moisturizer with care.
One thing you can do to stop the stinging is to try your new moisturizer on the back of your hands or behind your ears, before putting it on your face. In any sort of burns, you should take off the moisturizer immediately and wash your face with water.
2. Face burns when using toner
Why does toner burn my face? A toner only causes burning on the face if it contains active ingredient(s). Since facial skin is very thin, harsh toners can burn due to high concentration of acids or alcohols.
Toners are generally used to restore the pH of the skin but too concentrated toners can further worsen the pH and burn your face.
3. Face burns when using sunscreen
Why does sunscreen burn my face? Sunscreen like all other skin-care products is not supposed to burn. However, it can for a number of reasons.
You might be using your sunscreen wrong, or your sunscreen might be interfering with your other products, or the sunscreen is not for your needs.
If you have not given your sunscreen enough time to absorb on your face, or are not using enough sunscreen with a high SPF level, then the sunburns might be causing your skin to sting.
Moreover, the other products in your skin care might be working in opposition to your sunscreen. They might not be compatible with each other, thus causing reactions on your face making it burn.
Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients like avobenzone, octinoxate etc. which are known common allergens. You could also be allergic to one of the ingredients in the sunscreen which could be irritating and burning your face.
4. Face burns when using cleanser
Why does Cleanser burn my face? The main reason why your cleanser is burning your face (which it is not supposed to be) is because it might contain products which are not suitable for your skin. One of the active ingredients in your cleanser is either an allergen or irritant.
With allergens, the reaction typically starts 12-72 hours after you have applied the cleanser to your face whereas with irritants the reaction starts immediately.
You should consult your doctor depending on when the burning starts on your face but it is highly important that you talk to your dermatologist.
5. Face burn when exfoliating
Why does my skin burn after exfoliating? If your skin is already in bad health, a little bit of burning when you use an exfoliant is expected. Exfoliation by virtue of its ingredients and nature scrubs away dead skin cells and impurities from the face.
It might sting initially because a layer of your skin is being removed. However, the burning sensation should not stay for long.
If you find that exfoliating causes prolonged burning, it could mean that the protective barrier of your skin is broken down, in the process of cleaning away bacteria and dead cells from the face. This leaves the skin in a compromised situation.
You might also be exfoliating, which can strip your face from healthy cells as well as dead cells. This could also cause burning.
As a rule of thumb, you should use gentle exfoliating products with no harsh chemicals. You should also limit exfoliating to maximum twice a week.
6. Face burns when using serum
Why does serum burn my face? Serum is made up of tiny molecules which penetrate the skin layers to deliver a high concentration of active ingredients.
It targets specific concerns like wrinkles, darkening and signs of ageing. Because serum gets absorbed very quickly and very deep, it makes its usage very sensitive.
Burning can occur if one of the active ingredients is highly acidic. It can cause irritation because of its potency.
It might also be that you are applying too much. With serums, less is always better. You should do a patch test first as well to stay safe.
7. Face burns when using products with retinol
Why does retinol burn my face? You might experience burning on your face after you have just started using retinol.
This could be because the skin of your face is adapting to retinol. This irritation and burning will only last for a bit and then your skin will get used to the product.
Another reason why retinol burns your skin is because of the high concentration product. These burns should subside once the sensitivity of your skin to retinol decreases. Your skin will return to its original but better state after it has gotten used to retinol.
According to a 2019 research, using retinol regularly can cause burning sensation as well. Consult your skin specialist to ask them for the optimal usage of retinol according to your skin.
8. Face burns when using Face Mask
Why Does Face Mask Burn My face? There can be many reasons for the burning feeling on your face after you have put on a face mask. One of them is the ingredients in the face mask.
Some face masks contain ingredients like peppermint which can cause stinging and burning. In the case your face mask contains ingredients like peppermint, mint etc in extract or oil form, burning is not a problem.
Another reason is that your skin is probably dehydrated. If you leave a mask to completely dry on your already dehydrated face, it is going to suck even more moisture out. This can cause your face to burn.
Like with all skin-care products, if you find that your face mask is making your face burn: take it off completely and use a cold towel on your face to soothe the stinging sensation.
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How to Stop Burning My Face/Skin?
Firstly, rinse off the product immediately if you have it on your face. Wash your face with cold water to soothe the burning. But make sure that the water is not ice cold as it can cause ice burning on your face.
Secondly, stop using the products which you suspect caused burning all together. This includes retinol, serums, and other high concentrated products.
Should I Stop Using Skincare Products if It Burns?
Definitely! It is recommended by skin experts to stop using skincare products to avoid further damage to the skin.
You should get your dermatologist on board with the products you are using and should use. This will help you prepare a skin care routine more suited to your skin health and needs.
How to Treat Chemical Burns on the Face from Skincare?
Firstly, you should focus on restoring your skin’s health. Use products like glycerin to restore the moisture.
You can also use skin soothing ingredients like aloe vera and licorice root extracts for relief and calming your skin.
Use sunscreen, with consultation with your dermatologist to protect the burns on your skin from harmful sun rays.
What to do when your face burns for no reason?
It could be due to hydration or other skin related issues. You should drink lots of water and consult your dermatologist.
Why does my face burn when I rub it?
The reason your face burns when you rub it is because you have a sensitive skin and/or a compromised skin.
Your skin might be so dry it has microscopic abrasions on it from splitting, thus rubbing it can cause the abrasions to hurt and burn.
Is la roche-posay burning my skin?
People have reported that using LA Roche-Posay burns at the start but the burn subsides after a while. If the stinging feeling is not unpleasant then it is not burning, and thus is not harmful.
Does hyaluronic acid burn my face?
Since hyaluronic acid is a drying agent, it can burn your skin if applied in excess or on dry skin.
Does face burn go away?
Usually, facial burns which are not caused by concentrated products like serums and acids go away after some time.
How long does a facial burn take to heal?
Superficial burns on the face take about 3 to 6 days to fade away. If the burns are deeper, due to concentrated skin care products, the burns can take up to 3 weeks to heal.
Will face burns create scar?
Light burns which heal within 14 days do not scar. Deeper burns which take more than 21 days are at high risk of scarring.
Is Vaseline good for burns on the face?
For mild burns on the face caused by skin care, Vaseline can be used. It keeps the affected region covered, hydrated and reduces the exposure to bacteria. Vaseline can be applied 3-4 times a day until the burn heals.
Which cream is best for burning skin?
To prevent bacteria growth and to keep the burn clean, silver sulfadiazine can be used. It has antibacterial properties. However, petroleum jelly and aloe vera gel can also be used to cover the burn.
With the onslaught of hundreds of skin care products, it can be hard to choose one which might be fit for your skin. Skincare is not supposed to burn.
Rather it is supposed to make your skin feel its best. If you think your skincare products sting and burn your face, you should stop immediately and consult a skin expert who can help you pick products which are for you!
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.