The One Product A Skin Expert Told Me To Ditch From My Routine

Photographed by Kate Anglestein
Skincare isn't one-size-fits-all and a lot of the time, what works for one person might have the opposite effect for another. Take facial scrubs or alcohol-heavy face toners, for example.
If your skin isn't responding well to a product, a reaction might present itself through dryness, a burning sensation, breakouts, itchiness or redness to name a few symptoms. While the skincare product you're using might not necessarily be bad, if it seems to be doing your skin more harm than good, it pays to push it to the side instead of powering on through.
In my case, I try to avoid fragranced skincare. Of course, there is something sensorial about skincare that smells nice. It's enjoyable and uplifting but it has the potential to harm sensitive or reactive skin, as I recently found out while testing a batch of heavily fragranced products. "Fragrances should be avoided altogether within your skincare routine," says Dr Kemi Fabusiwa, medical doctor and director of Joyful Skin. "In general, the more wonderful it smells, the worse it is for your skin. To achieve the desired aroma, brands use ingredients such as linalool, cinnamal and limonene, which have the potential to irritate, potentially causing breaks in the skin's protective barrier." If this happens, you might experience soreness, redness or cracked skin. In which case, stop using the product immediately.
Luckily, there are lots of unfragranced options out there (R29 loves CeraVe in particular). But it doesn't stop at fragrance. Ahead, we asked skin experts to detail the products they recommend their clients step away from, especially if they are experiencing sensitivity and other uncomfortable skin gripes.
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