Should I be worried about tingling when I use an activated charcoal skin or body care product?
We have all tried skin and body care products that have made our skin tingle right. So, should you be worried when this happens? You want us to say a definite “Yes” or a definite “No” don’t you? Instead we are going to say…it depends. Sorry!
This post is not your definitive guide to ingredients in your skincare products. It is really about understanding the difference between a tingling sensation and a burning sensation. The latter should be seen as a show stopper.
What is the difference between a “tingle” and a “burn”?
What one person might call a tingle, another person may call a burn. Either way the product is certainly doing something to your skin. But it is very important to work out whether it is doing a healthy thing for your skin or doing a detrimental thing for your skin.
It is really hard to define what constitutes a “tingle”. The best way we can attempt to describe it is a sensation on your skin that lasts for just a small amount of time and then dissipates. Again, we can’t quantify how long that will be for everyone. A “burning” sensation usually does not dissipate and can leave your skin inflamed and red for a prolonged period of time. Any product that creates a burning feeling is not a good fit for your skin type.
Unless you are under someone else’s skin (no pun intended) even a million positive product reviews won’t necessarily mean that the product will work well for your skin. It is really important to understand how the ingredients in a product work for your particular skin type.
What ingredients might make my skin tingle or burn?
We have posted previously about common “nasties” or toxins you might find in some activated charcoal skin and body care products. Some of those chemicals will go way beyond making your skin tingle – many of those ingredients may actually cause a burning sensation.
There are other ingredients that only cause irritation or burning for some people. Ingredients such as peppermint, menthol and camphor are examples of this. For some people, these ingredients can potentially cause skin inflammation and irritation. Again, this will depend on your skin type and the amount of each of these ingredients in the product.
Often preservatives, fragrances or acrylates can also cause a burning sensation but it is sometimes hard to work out which ingredient is causing the sensation. Seeing a reputable dermatologist and doing some patch testing may help you work out which ingredient you have a sensitivity to.
If the “tingling” you feel:
- Turns into stinging or burning
- Lasts more than a minute or two
- Goes hand in hand with redness or peeling
- Inflames your skin in any way
then it is definitely not a good thing and you should discontinue use of that product.
On the other hand, for some, natural fruit enzymes are more likely to make your skin tingle. That tingling sensation could be a symptom of the active enzymes dissolving dull skin. In this case, the tingling can be seen as “good”.
Charcoal and Body’s hints and tips to navigate tingles
It is important to be in tune with your own skin. Trust your intuition when you use skin and body care products. Once you pay closer attention, you will notice a big difference between a slight tingly feeling and a painful burning sensation which can lead to skin dryness, tightness and increased sensitivity.
The skincare products that work for you may not work for your bestie, your husband or your aunts’ neighbour. Here are our seven tips for getting on top of choosing skin and body care products that are right for your skin:
- Read the ingredients carefully. We have a great range of resources where you can learn a lot more about each ingredient in your skin or body care product. Click here to check those out.
- Consult a dermatologist if you have very sensitive skin. They may be able to perform a patch test of a few ingredients you think might be cause your skin sensitivity
- Use feedback from a trusted dermatologist to drive your future skin and body care purchases. Once you are clearer about which ingredients cause a burning, not a tingling, you will then know to avoid them
- YOU should decide what you are going to put on your skin. Everyone is different. Sometimes it will take a little trial and error to find the right fit of products for your skin. Once you do, you can then enjoy the tingles!
- Always do a batch test on your skin before you use any new product. A burn on just one spot of your body is ten zillion times better than having that uncomfortable sensation all over your skin
- Consult brands directly if you want to know a little more about the ingredients in a particular product you are keen to try
- Educate yourself on what impact some ingredients have on your skin. Know what a tingle feels like for you. Know what a burning sensation feels like for you. Discontinue using products that you feel are detrimental to your skin
Tingles are by no means a required sensation
Let us be clear. We are not suggesting that the skin and body care products you use are not effective if they don’t tingle. There are many gorgeous activated charcoal skin and body care products out there that rock…without tingling. C&B
Check out our activated charcoal skin and body care product reviews to start shopping the range and find products that are just right for you.
Which ingredients do you have problems with in your skin care products at home?
Alternatively, we would love to hear from you if you have found products that are great for particular skin types. For example, if you are have oily skin, what products seem to work best for you? We’d love to hear your experiences in the Comments section below.