Chemical Burns From Your Skincare

Have you ever applied a skincare product and then felt like your face was on fire?

Ever since retinols, chemical peels, and other harsh products have taken over the internet, a lot of people have been experiencing chemical burns on their face despite the general positive effect of these ingredients.

This could be because the products you are using are disrupting your natural skin barrier and causing chemical burns/reactions on your face. Here’s what I’ll talk about in today’s post:

What Are Chemical Burns?

In skincare, it’s common to use many products with active ingredients. There’s retinoids, acids, hydrants, and so much more. While utilizing these products are great for personalizing your skincare routine to match your needs, it’s important to know how to layer different ingredients.

Your skin has the perfect balance to keep it healthy including it’s pH level and moisture barrier. When you apply too many products that don’t react well together it can cause chemical reactions that disrupt your skin’s happy balance, which is when a chemical burn occurs.

“A chemical burn is damage to tissue on your body due to a harsh or corrosive substance. You can get chemical burns on your skin, eyes or inside of your body. “

-Mayo clinic
This is a really popular chemical peel that has caused some chemical burns. It’s important to know that there is a difference between gentle stinging (like this product is supposed to) vs burning

How To Stop/Avoid Chemical Burns

Chemical burns can be neutralized with cold water/a cold wash cloth. I personally use ice cubes when it stings really badly, though I don’t recommend this all the time since ice cubes can also harm your skin if used too much. Try not to use a facewash that has active ingredients or is not meant for sensitive skin.

When you have a chemical burn, it’s important to restore the balance in your skin’s pH and moisture barrier while using products for sensitive skin. Ingredients such as Hylauronic Acid, ceramides, glycerin, and other moisturizing ingredients are great to restore your skin’s natural moisture barrier. Also avoid harsh face washes and products until your skin has healed.

You can avoid chemical burns by testing the products out before applying it to your entire face. Test a little bit of the product on the most sensitive part of your face (usually near the eyes) and see if the product causes any stinging or burning.

Knowing your skin type will also help you avoid products that will be too harsh for your skin.

How Bad Is a Chemical Burn?

Chemical burns usually heal on it’s own in 1-2 weeks. If it’s a severe burn and there is peeling, intense redness, or further discoloration it is recommended that you visit your doctor!

This picture is a pretty good representation of the degrees of burns without getting too graphic. The first picture shows that the burn is pretty surface level. It really only shows up as irritation and redness. The second picture shows a deeper burn that causes welts and skin peeling, but even then a second degree burn will heal overtime on its own with some care. The final picture shows a third degree burn, which goes the deepest in the skin. It causes discoloration (blue, purple, black) and someone with a third degree burn or higher can lose feeling in that area, which is a lot more serious. It is recommended to call the doctor at second/third degree burn or higher.

Hopefully nobody reading this gets a severe chemical burn like in the second and third pictures though!

Sorry for not uploading last week, I got busy with school work!

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Have any questions or something you’d like me to write about? You can email me or send me a DM on Instagram!


Instagram: @skincare.tea


“Chemical Burns: First Aid.” Mayo Clinic, 17 Feb. 2022,

O’Connell, Lauren. “Is Your Skin Burning after You Apply Skincare Products?” Grazia Middle East, Accessed 4 May 2022.

West, Mary. “Treating a Facial Chemical Burn Due to Skin Care Products.” Clare Wightman MS, PAC, 29 Apr. 2022,

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