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Starting a Skincare Regimen That Includes Active Ingredients

Article: Starting a Skincare Regimen That Includes Active Ingredients

Active Ingredients

Starting a Skincare Regimen That Includes Active Ingredients

Are you experiencing skin reactions from active ingredients in your medical skincare? Our blog post delves into the common side effects that can occur when using powerful skincare ingredients like retinoids, hydroxy acids, and vitamin C.
Learn how to identify normal reactions like dryness, flaking, and redness, and find out how to manage them effectively. We'll also offer tips on how to introduce new products into your skincare routine gradually, so you can minimize the risk of adverse reactions. Read on to discover how you can achieve healthy skin with medical-grade skincare products.


Whether your skin is happy with the new product or not, you’re bound to notice a reaction, which can range from mild stinging, burning, and itching to red rashes and skin swelling. It can be an expected irritation reaction - like the mild stinging from an acid-based product or the peeling and redness from using a topical retinoid. An actual allergic reaction, in contrast - could be painful and long-lived, instead of a mild bout of side effects. If a product stings your skin beyond tolerance: Wash it off. Try the product again in a few days in a small area, and see if your skin can tolerate it better.


When starting a new product or regimen, pay close attention to how your skin talks back to you. Check for dry skin, flaking, redness, and of course, acne. If your skin becomes dry, red, and irritated from a product (and this can be an expected result from certain products like chemical exfoliators), reduce the frequency of use: Start one to three times a week. Give your skin a few days between applications to get used to it.


Most skincare products with active ingredients can take about two months to show efficacy. These include topical antioxidants, retinoids, and pigmentation treatment.


You may experience tingling and stinging from active ingredients. This is where it may get confusing - Not all products should sting! It all depends on the product and the elements. Many proven skin-care ingredients, like acids and retinoids, might sting; in that particular case, they're supposed to. Tingling and stinging for these types of active ingredients are to be expected and even beneficial if it is for a short period. The desired result is immediate inflammation and then skin peeling. This reaction encourages new collagen growth and cellular renewal. However, there is a fine balance. Skincare products should not cause prolonged burning and irritation. Stop using the product if you have an allergic reaction, such as the eyelid, lip swelling, or hives. If your adverse skin reaction doesn’t improve in a few days after discontinuing the product and you can’t manage it with over-the-counter skin-calming options, see your medical practitioner. Tingling and stinging sensations from irritating and sensitising ingredients can harm your skin, accelerate the ageing process, and worsen skin conditions like acne and rosacea.


Mild temporary dryness or flaking is expected when using glycolic products because of dead skin cells startingto shed.. We suggest wiping off your facial cleanser with a lukewarm facecloth or microfibre sponge. This will help to remove the loose, flaking, dead skin cells.


Signs that you may experience sensitivity reactions include:

The eye area looks crinkled, dry, puckered, or wrinkled, making your eye area look older; this is a temporary side-effect. Cutting back on applications will allow the dead cells to stick together, causing the skin to pull together or pucker like a scab, to flake or exfoliate off, returning your skin to normal. We suggest wiping off your facial cleanser with a lukewarm facecloth. This will help to remove the loose, flaking, dead skin cells. Thinner skin around your eyes, mouth, neck, and nose is sensitive. Reducing applications in these areas until your skin adjusts will solve the problem. Eventually, these areas will catch up with the rest of your face, and all sites will have the same application schedule.


OPTION 1: Dilute the strength

  • Apply your cleanser to a wet face and rinse off after 1 min. or less.
  • Apply your Glycolic gel / Salicylic gel to a wet/damp face, or mix half with water or a moisturiser in the palm of your hand before applying.
  • Gradually decrease the water and/or moisturiser per application until you can apply your product directly to your skin without side effects.

OPTION 2: Decrease application frequency

  • Use your Facial Cleanser only once per day. Use your cleanser as described in option 1.
  • Use your Glycolic Gel / Salicylic Gel only once per week. Stay on this level for four weeks, gradually increasing to twice per week over time. If you are able to tolerate the product, you may use Glycolic gel every second night. The salicylic gel can be used daily until acne or pore congestion has cleared up.

OPTION 3: Stop usage until the skin returns to normal

  1. Stop all chemical exfoliating products, wait until your skin returns to normal, and resume with the below "pulse treatment" schedule. This stops problems by giving your skin time to rest between applications. When your skin has adjusted, the applications are increased.
  2. When skin returns to normal use your facial cleanser once per day. Apply your cleanser on a wet face to dilute the potency.
  3. After one week, use your Glycolic gel / Salicylic gel once weekly for four weeks. Mix with water or moisturiser in the palm of your hand before application. Stop diluting slowly over some time until applying straight to your skin without irritation.
  4. If you don't experience any side effects of dryness, irritation, redness, or stinging, start washing your face twice per day.
  5. If you don't experience any side effects of dryness, irritation, redness, or stinging, start applying your Glycolic gel / Salicylic gel twice per week.
  6. Slowly increase the frequency of use as tolerated. If irritation re-appears, start with step 1 in managing your reactions.


When you choose DermExcel™, you're not just opting for skincare; you're entrusting your skin to a legacy of pharmaceutical excellence and innovation.