1st Aid For Skin Reactions: I got a reaction to a product…what do I do? Try the 7-Day Skin Fast
We recommend reading Reactions on possible reasons for product reactions, and tips on how to avoid them. For the 7-Day Skin Fast, follow these steps…
STEP 1: STOP! … using ALL products for 7-10 days.
This product “fast” helps your skin recover and sets the stage for a process of elimination as you re-start your products. This can help you and your doctor identify the real culprit, which is not necessarily the last/newest thing you applied.
No cleansers, soaps, toners, lotions, creams, makeup, sunscreens, nothing. Any additional thing that you apply now may worsen the situation.
During these 7 days, use only pure virgin coconut oil (VCO) to cleanse.
Make sure that like VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® Know-It-Oil or Grandma Minnie’s Oil’s Well Nurturing Do-It-Oil, the VCO is free of preservatives, dyes, fragrances, flavors, and other additives.
For added comfort, keep the oil in the refrigerator, not the freezer.
For severe reactions: with your physician’s guidance, take an aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medication and an antihistamine.
To reduce swelling:
- Run cold water over a clean, white or natural (dye-free) cotton towel.
- Pour VCO on the towel to create a cold-oil compress. Dab gently on skin or gently leave over affected areas.
IMPORTANT: If your reaction is a flare up due to atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, herpes or another skin condition, do not apply anything on the skin without first consulting your dermatologist. During an active flare-up, even plain water can burn or sting, so it’s best to proceed with your physician’s directions.
STEP 2: DO! … an impromptu patch test.
After your 7-day Skin Fast, before re-introducing a product, apply a tiny dot of it on the underside of your wrist or inner part of your elbow.
If it reacts immediately, quickly wash it off with water. If no reaction occurs,
Keep it dry and observe your skin for a few hours (or up to 72 hours to be extra safe). As soon as a reaction occurs, wash it off. If no reaction occurs,
Continue with the following steps.
STEP 3: RE-INTRODUCE your products one at a time.
Start with your cleanser, only at night:
- Use the cleanser one night, then stop for 3 days. Observe the skin.
- If the skin shows no reaction, use the cleanser for 3 straight nights.
- If it does show a reaction, stop using the cleanser and either see your dermatologist for a patch test, or re-start the 7-Day Skin Fast from the very beginning, and when you get to this point, try this step with a new cleanser.
- If your skin shows no reaction after 3 straight nights of using the cleanser:
- Use it 2x-a-day for 3 straight days. Observe.
- If the there is no reaction, repeat these steps with your next product, such as your sunscreen.
Repeat this process with each product, one-at-a-time, with at least 3 days in between, slowly observing your skin as you go.
IMPORTANT: As you slowly add products remember …
- Add one product at a time, with 3 days in between for observation.
- When re-starting products with active ingredients: if you were already using the advanced formulation of your active treatment product, go back to the introductory or lower concentration of the product. You will have to work up to the advanced level from the very beginning. Re-start at the very beginning, with only once-a-week applications. Slowly increase: you should not achieve once- or 2x-a-day applications until week 8 of therapy at the earliest.
- When re-starting multiple products with active ingredients, go extra slow and re-start each product at the very beginning, slowly increasing: again, you should not achieve once- or 2x-a-day applications until week 8 of therapy at the earliest. This means that while you may be at once- or 2x-a-day applications of your Toner already (for example), you may not get to the same application frequency of your other active products (such as your creams) until week 16 or later.
- If you have a history of skin sensitivities you might also want to try an impromptu VMV Patch Test. Apply a tiny dot of the product on the underside of the wrist or inner part of the elbow. Click here for a step-by-step guide to doing an impromptu VMV Patch Test. Ideally, and especially if you have a history of allergies or a specific condition, do this with your doctor’s supervision.
STEP 4: MORE ATTENTION! If you observe new reactions …
… ask your dermatologist about getting a patch test.
This simple, painless procedure requires a little investment up front but because it shows you exactly which ingredients you are sensitive to, it can save you a significant amount of expense, frustration and pain from trial and error.
If your doctor is also a member of the American Contact Dermatitis Society, your patch test can make use of the Contact Allergen Management Program (CAMP) which tells you which products/brands you can use, instead of just the ingredients you need to avoid.
Click here for more information about reactions.
Click here for more information about getting a patch test.
Click here to find a dermatologist in your area that does patch tests.
Click here for more information about hypoallergenicity