Every Moisturizer Burns My Face : Causes and Solutions

every moisturizer burns my face
Every moisturizer burns my face because they contain alcohol or other chemicals that dry out my skin .Here’s how to fix it.

Moisturizers are made up of fat and oil, and that’s just the basics of all moisturizers. Well, there are rye gel ones and also lotion ones. With gel moisturizer, the amount of water in it is higher than average, and that is why it feels like nothing on the skin, but still, the skin feels super hydrated. And the lotion moisturizers are made up of very liquid fats, so they tend to absorb more easily into the skin.

There are several other moisturizers on the market as well. So most moisturizers shouldn’t have any sort of allergy or burning sensation. And if every one of your moisturizers burns, then there might be some serious reasons behind it. In this article, we’ll include an insight for people who have a complaint about why every moisturizer burns their face.

The main reason why a moisturizer might burn is that it is not suitable for the skin. Skin is naturally acidic, and when the particular moisturizer affects the PH, there’s a high chance that the skin will sting. And that is why you might want to turn to anyone else. And with that, there are also other reasons. If all of the moisturizers you use give you a burning sensation, then there’s a chance that you have susceptible skin. Or, with the moisturizer you’re using, there might be a chance that you might have an allergic reaction to it. Allergies are not something you can control.

So you better see a dermatologist and find a moisturizer that doesn’t burn you.Moisturizers are one of the critical products in skincare, and they are also the basics. No matter what kind of skin you have, you’ll always need a moisturizer in the morning and at night. Moisturizers are also made up of essential ingredients that lock moisture into the skin, and they hydrate and rehydrate dull skin at the same time.

But what about when the face suddenly starts to sting? Will there be a reason why every moisturizer burns my face? And there are some crucial reasons why moisturizers do not suit you anymore. This article will go through the grounds, what to do when the skin starts to burn, and what alternatives are to using a moisturizer. No matter what you use, you might want to circle back to the moisturizers, as they give you maximum hydration.

What are moisturizers made up of?

What are moisturizers made up of

Moisturizers are mostly emollients, but other ingredients are on the list to make it work. Here we’ll be including some of the essential elements for the moisturizer.

Water: oil in water emulsions are the best way to describe a moisturizer. So the primary ingredient you see is water. While applying the product, the water tends to evaporate, and some of the water might still soak in. Without water with the fats, the skin will feel like a greasy pool and will not absorb the oils. And that’s why water is the most basic of moisturizers. And most importantly, they do not cause any allergic reactions on the skin.

Humectants: the best example of a humectant is glycerine. These sorts of products tend to seep water from the air to the deep layer of the skin. But they also work in reverse when there’s less water in the air. This way, the water is absorbed from the skin, making it dry. This is why moisturizers are formulated according to a particular climate. But in general, humectants will trap the water in the skin.

Occlusive: The oil in the moisturizer acts as an occlusive, preventing water from evaporating. Petroleum is the most common ingredient in moisturizers, and they tend to stay on top of the list. Others are not minerals, such as fatty alcohol, lanolin, paraffin, lecithin, and stearic acid. Silicone ingredients can also be used. With dimethicone, the moisturizers don’t look sticky and tend to feel exceptionally smooth on the skin. But some moisturizers use all-natural ingredients.

Emollients: Some ingredients in Occlusive serve as emollients and tend to smooth out the skin, and some humectants also work in the same way. Most moisturizers use alcohol, and that can be a source of allergies and burning.

These are some of the essential ingredients of moisturizers. Besides this, vitamins A and E are used, and vitamin A stimulates collagen production, making it an excellent anti-aging supplement. And vitamin C works as an antioxidant and visibly brightens the skin.

 Menthol is often added to calm the skin. Lactic acid is also common in moisturizers, and it might be why the skin burns, but we’ll get back to it later. So do all moisturizers contain the same ingredients? They don’t. Rather, the ingredients we mentioned are just the basic ones. If you’re allergic to any of it, then there’s a high chance that every moisturizer burns your face.

What causes a burning sensation in my face when applying moisturizer?

Well, there are multiple reasons why moisturizers burn the face. And this has everything to do with both the skin and the product. So here we’ll be enclosing some of the key reasons why moisturizers burn:

  1. Sensitive skin
  2. Extremely dehydrated skin
  3. Allergies
  4. Over exfoliation
  5. Bad formulation
  6. Reactions
  7. Starting retinol
  8. Incompatible skincare

Sensitive skin

Sensitive skin

This is the most important reason why every moisturizer burns my face. Most people are born with sensitive skin, and everything they put on tends to burn or cause breakouts. So if you’re using a general moisturizer on your skin, there’s a high chance that your skin will burn. For this, you might want to check with a specialist and find out which one is best suited for your skin.

Extremely dehydrated skin

Extremely dehydrated skin

When the skin has been neglected for months and feels extremely rough or dry, even a good moisturizer will not be able to save it. Most importantly, this skin tends to reject any form of hydration, resulting in a burning sensation. The skin’s pH will not match the pH of the cream, resulting in a burning sensation. This will take time to heal.



They should be at the top of the list of why every moisturizer burns my face. But still, we put them third as this reason is not for everyone. If you’re allergic to the basic ingredients of moisturizer, then look for alternatives. Also, there might be some added ingredients in the moisturizer, which will cause it to burn the skin. Here are some products that cause the burning sensation most severely:

  • Essential oils
  • Alcohol
  • The fragrance of any sort

So when these ingredients are present in the moisturizer, the skin might just burn badly. So what to do? Read the ingredients of the moisturizer and then buy it.

Over exfoliation

Over exfoliation

This is one of the reasons that the skin gets sensitive, and thus even a little bit of moisturizer might also harm the skin. With over-exfoliation with a chemical or physical exfoliator, there might be a severe issue as the outer layer of the skin is destroyed. This makes the skin stingy to even the slightest of changes. And the same goes for moisturizers. This can lead to dryness and redness of the skin over time.

Bad formulation

We are not saying that all drugstore moisturizers are bad, but most of them use an alternative to expensive ingredients. So, if most moisturizers irritate your skin, it’s time to try something new, perhaps a little more expensive. And this is why you might have to spend more than a few bucks. Even some high-end products contain overpowering fragrances, a sworn enemy of sensitive skin. So just check the ingredient list first.


These are also very common when you scream, “Why does every moisturizer burn my face?” The improper reaction between the skin and the moisturizer might cause burning, leading to an all-over red face. The first reason would be the pH of both products. And then come the allergic reactions and the reaction from over-exfoliation.

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Starting retinol

Starting retinol

When you start to use retinol, at first, the skin gets sensitive to all things. Even the sun is not a good thing for retinol. After using retinol, your skin may become overly sensitive, and even your regular moisturizer may burn. But these problems won’t stay for long. After a few weeks, everything will be back to normal.

Incompatible skincare

Incompatible skincare

We first go with a cleanser, toners, serums, and moisturizers. So if one of those products is incompatible with the moisturizer, that will start burning the face. For this, do a swatch on your hand to find out what’s causing the problems.

What to do when the skin is burning after applying moisturizer?

What to do when the skin is burning after applying moisturizer

Well, here we’ll include some of the remedies that need to follow through. It’ll help you protect the skin and also prevent any further damage to the skin.

  1. Wash the face
  2. Cool press
  3. Use aloe vera
  4. Colloidal oatmeal
  5. Burning creams
  6. Anti-allergy pills

Wash the face

Start with taking the product. You can use a cloth and just cold water to wash off the moisturizer. Make sure to apply a face wash to eliminate the product. Do not rub; just do it gently.

Cool press

You can use a cool compress on the face to save the skin from the burning sensation. Or just dunk your face in cold water and wait a few minutes. An ice bag should also work; just press it in for the time the face is burning.

Use aloe vera

Well, I think aloe vera prevents skin damage when it is slightly burned. And this will also calm the agitated skin. For safekeeping, use a thick layer of aloe vera gel and hold a cold compress over it.

Colloidal oatmeal

This will relieve the itchiness, redness, and burning sensation of the skin. Because oatmeal is high in antioxidants, it will immediately soothe the skin. Aloe will work fine if you can’t find any colloidal oatmeal cream.

Burning creams

If the burning sensation on the skin feels too much, then a burn cream will also work. But make sure to use a thin layer, as the skin on your face is sensitive.

Anti-allergy pills

If you think the burning sensation on your skin is due to any allergies you have, then take the pills for allergies first. This should relieve the skin from the burn.

What are the alternatives to moisturizers?

Alternatives to moisturizers

Well, if no moisturizer seems to suit you, then some other products will also work, and they even cause no reaction. These are:

  • Aloe vera gel: because it is made entirely of natural ingredients, it does not cause burning.
  • Shea butter: they are also very hydrating and safe for the skin, and there’s a low chance of stinging. But they might feel greasy.
  • Hydrating toners are very lightweight and made with a few humectants that are mostly skin-safe.
  • Hyaluronic acid: This is one of the most potent humectants out there and is perfect for overly hydrated skin.
  • Face oil: the majority of face oils are non-comedogenic. And they glide on fine without making the skin greasy.
  • Facial mists: these are very hydrating, but they have to be applied over and over for optimal hydration.


1. Why does everything I put on my face burns? 

The main reason why your face burns with everything is that it is overly sensitive for different reasons.

2. Why do my moisturizer burns all of a sudden?

There are two reasons why moisturizers start to burn all of a sudden:
1. Over exfoliation
2. Changes in skincare

3. Why Cetaphil moisturizer burns my face?

When the facial skin is incompatible with the product, it might start burning. That might be the reason why Cetaphil moisturizer burns the skin. Do a patch test first while buying

4. Why do all moisturizers irritate my skin?

When your face is extremely dehydrated or when the skin is over-sensitive with a lifestyle change, then even the basic moisturizers will burn the skin.

5. Why do my eyelids burn when I apply moisturizer?

The eyes are more sensitive than the face skin, and this is why your eyelids burn.

Final thoughts

Moisturizers are a must for the skin. Even if you live with the oiliest skin, your skin will still need moisturizers. When oily skin becomes dehydrated, it tends to secrete more oil in order to hydrate itself, resulting in severely oily skin. This might also clog the pores. And using regular exfoliators can lead to very sensitive skin, which is not good. With sensitive skin, your skin might start to burn, basically with everything. Even a basic moisturizer will not be able to heal this part. So what’s the best thing to do when the skin is burning? Stop using everything and go see a specialist for the problem.

Key Points

  1. Skin is inherently acidic, and when a moisturizer impacts the PH, it is quite likely that the skin may hurt.
  2. There’s a potential you’ll have an allergic response to the moisturizer you’re using.
  3. Over-exfoliation using a chemical or physical exfoliant can be dangerous since the skin’s outer layer is damaged.

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