FAN MAIL FRIDAYS: How To Know if a Product is Causing Breakouts



This FMF is inspired by a reader, Nica, who's breaking out with a product that she just invested in; take note, INVESTED, meaning it's expensive; sometimes, life can suck like that: you invest in a makeup/skin care brand only to endure a horrifying breakout with it in the end. Some, out of frustration, ditch the product/s right away without thorough analysis while some give it a try and put their detective hats on to discover if the product/s in question are truly causing them breakouts, or something else.

If you're the latter person, then this is a nice topic for you. How do you know if a certain product is causing your breakouts?


If you've been getting unusual recurrences or this is the only time you had a break out in your existence, then something you are using is truly causing the problem, but how do you know which one? Here's a quick guide:

1. Check the ingredients: If you're using a new product, compare the ingredients of your staples vs. the new ones; if your new one has an odd ingredient or something that you've never seen before in your previous and current skin care products, then it's possible that that's what's causing your break outs.

2. Check the consistency. Although this isn't always accurate, it may still be a factor in determining which product is giving you breakouts. If you're using a new formula or something that's slightly different from your usual, your skin may not be taking it nicely. Stop using the new formula for a while and if your breakout stops, then you finally have your answer.

3. Alternate product usage. If you're having a hard time concluding which product is causing your breakouts, then do this; this is what I also do in order to determine the culprit: I stop using one line/product for a week and use the other religiously, and vice versa; this is the long way, but it gets me the correct answer most of the time.

There you have it! I hope this is something that will be of use to you in the coming days. For severe, sudden break outs, make no mistake, head to the dermatologist and seek professional medical help immediately!

**Got a burning question on makeup, skin care, beauty, exercise, career, blogging, and whatever? Feel free to email me at martha.stabarbara@yahoo.com, message me via POWR form, or message me at THE BEAUTY JUNKEE'S OFFICIAL FACEBOOK FAN PAGE.

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27 Lovely Thoughts

  1. That's heartbreaking. It also happened to me before and ever since I always check the products I use. That's the time also when I started to have journal to list down products I have use and currently using, I even wrote a mini review and rate it based on my experience:D
    Thanks for the tips btw:)

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    1. You're welcome; keeping a journal will greatly help to so at least you will know right away which ones to avoid!

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  2. I woke up to budding pimples on my nose and chin. I was thinking maybe this is caused by my new Tony Moly CC Cream that i used yesterday along with my current foundation. Ms. Nica's question is so timely and your tips are really helpful. I'll try to know if my new CC cream is the culprit for my sudden breakouts. It will break my heart if it is because i really like it but if i have proven that it's causing the pimples, i'll just give it my mom whose skin is not so sensitive and always want to try new face products.

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    1. Yikes! Sorry to hear about that. Glad this helped!

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  3. the only product where i got break out is from olay (the blue one) intended for moisturizing my skin after using it for two days (night only) i wake up on the third day with red face!!! (it was itchy and bit stingy) i immediately stopped using it though it costs less than 300 i feel sayang pa rin for the said product.. talagang hiyangan lang, kasi i am loving the one i got from BDJ (olay body wash + day time moisturizer) so i opt trying other line.. not for my skin =( but i am still using the olay bar soap (the white one) and it makes my skin hydrated and soft =)

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    1. Oh, is this Aquaction? Yikes! Sorry to hear about that; I'm okay with this line though. :)

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  4. I just recently learned that the products I used are causing my breakouts, after years of battling with my pimples!
    Me, whenever I try new products, I don't use them all right away. I give one product one week before putting another skin care product to my regimen. This gives me ample time to know which gives me breakout or if my skin is hiyang.
    Sometimes though, my staple makeup causes me breakouts when mixed with other base makeup. It usually happens when I layer on mattifying products. I think it's because they all clog my pores. Lol

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    1. That's a great technique also! Another great way to know if a product will break you out while controlling damage is using a patch test; you can try it at the back of your ear, side of your neck, or jaw line. :)

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  5. I always alternate product usage because I dunno if it is only on my skin but when I use new products, I'll see rashes on the areas where I applied it. So if those products didn't irritate my skin, I'll totally keep it and but more!

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    1. We're doing pretty much the same technique! :)

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  6. I think I'll try doing step 3. But I think it's gonna take me a month or two? Haha. I also have breakouts in my T-zone, especially near the eyebrows. I'm using maybelline's eyebrow pencil and eyebrow mascara, I dunno it if it's one of the culprits. Haha. Will email you some of my questions and concerns Ms. Martha. Hope to hear some answers from you! :)

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    1. yes, makeup can break you out too, fyi; try alternating your current brow makeup with other products to pinpoint the culprit. :)

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  7. Such a bummer, especially when the product is expensive. When I'm really into a a pricey skincare product, I try to swallow my shyness and just ask for a sample. Better safe than sorry?

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    1. That's actually the most ideal! Unfortunately, in the Philippines, not all luxury brands offer samples while in other countries, it's mandatory. :P

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  8. This is true! Consistency affects the skin. And the change in weather can also cause breakouts. In addition, if the product makes your skin extra dry, most likely, your skin will produce more oil and can also cause pimples.

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    1. Yes, agree on the weather! Age has a factor as well; not a lot of people know that your skin type evolves; you can be oily skinned now and when you age, you can be dry skinned next!

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  9. There's only one product that's causing me a breakouts. The Ponds facial cream. I Have no idea that it's causing me to have pimples and.. I stopped because I'm out of it .haha But when my pimples are gone I tried to continue using again and my pimples are back and that's the time I really discontinued using Ponds. Haha
    Thanks for the tip though.

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  10. I'm an olympiad (well if such word exist) in reading and it didn't cross my mind to READ LABELS!

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  11. I will never EVER use Pond's anything. Also, that Pink Sugar concealer. Sure it was good at hiding spots but it eventually caused the spots to breed even MORE spots and pimples. :(

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    1. Awwww sorry to hear about this! :( will tell manufacturer.

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  12. I'm also doing your third tip. Usually it is giving the products second chances... but like everybody else say, only those worth it should be given second chances. #hugot #whogoat

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    1. Yeah, with your statement, it reveals that skin behavior also plays a role; there are times when the product and skin just clash, and there are times when they're okay with each other; you just have to find that timing!

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  13. I know how that feels. Anything with dimethicone breaks me out. 99% of the products on the shelves break me out. I think sometimes it is product overdose. I have 'just water'days when I don't wear makeup and since then my skin has been so much better.

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    1. What's weird with me is dimethicone in makeup doesn't break me out, but dimethicone in skin care does; I guess I can't let it stay too long on my skin!

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  14. Late ko nang nabasa to, paurong kasi akong magbasa haha. I just asked this on your post na tungkol sa pagpunta mo dun sa Ponds. This helps me a lot thank you Ms. Martha! :)

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Thank you for your comments!