Skin Itching? 7 Grooming Products You May Be Allergic To

Most of us have plenty of lotions and potions to give our skin the best care possible, but that doesn’t mean they’re all good choices. Many products are filled with potential allergens and skin irritants. And some people simply have more sensitive skin, which can create a heightened susceptibility to dryness, itchiness, and redness. If you’re itching for a change, check out these seven products and ingredients that you may want to swap for something a bit more kind to your face and body.

1. Bar soap

Bar soap

Bar soap is one of several grooming products that can irritate your skin. |

While many people gravitate toward standard-issue, grocery store bar soap for washing their face and body, many of those soaps can tend to make skin feel dry, tight, and a little itchy. Handcrafted or more natural bar soaps with moisturizing ingredients that include glycerin, vitamin E, olive oil, or jojoba oil will be a bit kinder to your skin than the bright green and blue megabrand soaps in a box. Or try a gentler, liquid cleanser with a natural-based formula.

2. Shaving cream

Man stroking his face

Shaving cream can be a huge skin irritant. |

While shaving alone can be a big irritant to your face and body by causing dry, itchy skin, your shaving cream may be another culprit. It’s best to invest in a high-quality, natural or organic-based shaving gel or shaving lotion that’s free of petro-chemicals and infused with calming ingredients such as aloe along with moisturizing oils. For men in particular, pre-shave oil can also help prevent itchiness when applied several minutes before shaving, as it helps moisturize the skin and soften facial hair.

3. Fragrance

Perfume bottles

Anything with fragrance has the power to irritate your skin. |

Fragrances in skin care and grooming products may smell quite good, but they can do a number on your skin. They can be one of the biggest causes of allergic reactions and itchy, irritated skin. We know you don’t want to give up your go-to scents, but you may have to compromise and seek out grooming products with essential oils and natural-based fragrances as opposed to synthetic ones. For those with super-sensitive skin, you may have to switch to products that are totally fragrance-free, which is not the same as unscented. Unscented often means that product may contain a masking fragrance to camouflage a pungent, unpleasant odor.

4. Aftershave

Man touching his face

Aftershave may smell nice but it could be full of chemicals. |

Aftershave splashes and with toners often contain alcohol which can cause dryness and irritation. Skip the itch and find a gentler products that are all-natural and alcohol-free to soothe your face and prevent irritated skin, bumps, and redness. Into the Gloss shared some great toner options for those who have sensitive skin. The fragrances in many aftershave products can likewise be problematic, so look for a fragrance-free variety or one that features a naturally derived scent from essential oils.

5. Shea butter

attractive young man looking in mirror

Not all shea butter is created equal. |

Shea butter features a rich, luxurious texture and all-natural moisturizing and protective benefits from its fatty acid profile and vitamins A and E, making it a relatively common addition to lotions, soaps, and even some hair care products. But it’s not good for everyone, proving that even organic or natural ingredients such as this one can cause allergic reactions. While the butter may seem skin-friendly enough, it is derived from the tree nuts of the Karite tree that grows in Western and Central Africa. So that means that anyone with a nut allergy could find themselves allergic to it or with a heightened sensitivity to it.

6. Triclosan

Washing hands

Anti-bacterial soap is full of chemicals that can dry out your skin. |

Washing your hands is a good thing, but all those germ-killing products might be the cause of itchy, dry skin. Triclosan is a harsh antibacterial agent found in many hand soaps, sanitizers, and even some heavy-duty body washes. Most of the time, good old soap and water do a solid job of washing away the germs that can cause illness. So, if you find your hands chapped and itching, check out your soap and swap it for a standard, non-antibacterial variety. Alternatively, follow up your hand-washing with a hand cream to soothe any irritation.

7. Parabens

young woman applying face cream

Parabens give skin care products their long shelf life. |

Parabens, which are preservatives, are nearly ubiquitous among the mass manufactured grooming products that require a cheap and stable solution for long shelf life. They may be named in the ingredient list as methyl, propyl, and benzyl hydroxybenzoate — and their chemical composition could cause itchy, irritated skin.

Follow Rachel on Twitter @rachellw