Top 10 Irritants That Could Be Preventing Clear Skin

Lisa Cohen Lee

10 irritants-that-could-be-preventing-clear-skin

That ugly rash you can’t shake? It may be a common preservative or ingredient that’s found in your skincare, OTC first aid creams or even your jewelry. Irritants that make contact with your skin can cause a red, bumpy, itchy reaction, aka atopic dermatitis. When the Mayo Clinic conducted patch testing on participants, they identified the top 10 irritants that are bound to make even the hardiest skin types scratch. For clear skin, avoid these irritants whenever possible. And if you do come in contact, a cortisone cream will bring down the redness and irritation:

1. Nickel: This metal is all around us, in jewelry, coins, zippers and even cell phones.

2. Gold: Yup, the same karats you’d find in jewelry. Some skincare products contain tiny flecks of gold in their formulas, so check the ingredient label.

3. Cobalt chloride: Mostly found in hair dyes and antiperspirants. Keep an eye out for this metal.

4. Neomycin Sulfate: It's an antibiotic commonly found in OTC creams.

5. Bacitracin: Another antibiotic that can cause a reaction.

6. Thimersol: It's used as a preservative in antiseptic formulas.

7. Balsam of Peru: An ingredient derived from tree resin. It’s mostly in perfumes and lotions, and can be super irritating despite its natural origins.

8. Fragrance mix: If you can’t quite pinpoint why you don’t have clear skin, it may be the scent. Most skincare and makeup contain fragrance allergens, so look for unscented products whenever you can.

9. Formaldehyde: This preservative (you may remember it from science class) can be found in cosmetics too, especially hair products. Besides being irritating, it may cause cancer, so stay away if you spot it on a label.

10. Quaternium-15: An ammonium salt that’s found in cosmetics, that’s a derivative of formaldehyde. Avoid this preservative as well.

Next time you have a break out make sure to check the ingredients in the products you use, you never know what you could be allergic to.  

Do you have any other weird things that cause your skin to break out? Let us know in the comment section!

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