Ask the Expert(s): Can Antihistamines Cause Dry Skin?
The change of seasons is notorious for quite a few things, among them is a rise in pollen count and other environmental conditions that can cause all sorts of allergy symptoms. To find relief, many rely on allergy medication like over-the-counter antihistamines. They can work wonders on your itchy throat and sneezes, but can they have an impact on your skin? For the official answer, we tapped three Skincare.com consulting experts. Keep reading to find out if antihistamines can cause dry skin!
CAN ANTIHISTAMINES IMPACT YOUR SKIN?
As it turns out, antihistamines can have an affect on your skin’s sebum production. “The cells responsible for producing sebum respond to antihistamines by decreasing production,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Ted Lain (@DrTedLain). “This could lead to dry skin for those with normal to dry complexions.” That said, the impact is minimal according to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Arash Akhavan. “There is likely a negligible to very minor effect of antihistamines on sebum production,” he says. “Oil glands have receptors that are activated by histamine, and this plays a very minor role in increasing oil production. But sebum production is mostly related to other factors such as circulating hormone levels.”
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, the potential impact of antihistamines on your skin may not be such a bag thing. “[Taking oral antihistamines] can lead to drier skin, but this can be helpful for skin types that are susceptible to inflammatory acne from excess sebum production,” says board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. John Burroughs. However, as Dr. Burroughs states, it’s possible the impact is so minimal you barely notice a difference. To help control acne or excess oil on your skin’s surface, you’ll likely see better results by sticking to mattifying or acne-fighting skin care products.
THE BEST MOISTURIZERS TO USE IF YOUR SKIN IS DRY
If you are noticing skin dryness and you think it might be from using an antihistamine, the good news is you may not have to stop taking them. As long as you are taking them, you need to make sure your skin is staying hydrated. It’s possible that your current moisturizer could use an upgrade, especially if your skin still feels dry even after moisturizing. Below, we’re sharing the best facial moisturizers— from the L’Oréal portfolio of brands—to swap into your routine.
Looking for a rich, restorative moisturizer? Meet: SkinCeuticals Emollience. This nourishing facial moisturizer restores and maintains daily moisture for normal to dry skin types.
SkinCeuticals Emollience, $62 MSRP
CERAVE RENEWING SA LOTION
Looking for a moisturizing option that doubles as an exfoliant? Cerave’s Renewing SA Lotion fits the bill. You can exfoliate and moisturize your skin while helping restore the protective skin barrier with this lotion formulated with three essential ceramides, salicylic acid and vitamin D.
Cerave Renewing SA Lotion, $16.49 MSRP
LA ROCHE-POSAY ANTHELIOS DAILY SPF 15 MOISTURIZER
Hydration and SPF benefits? You can find both in the Anthelios Daily SPF 15 Moisturizer. This lightweight, non-greasy formula offers UVA and UVB protection and long-lasting hydration. The best part? It’s non-comedogenic, oil-free, and won’t clog pores.
VICHY AQUALIA THERMAL RICH CREAM
To achieve deep comfort and a fresh complexion, you need Vichy’s Aqualia Thermal Rich Cream. Formulated with the brand’s Mineralizing Thermal Water, the moisturizing cream can boost hydration. As a result, the skin is moisturized.
Vichy Aqualia Thermal Rich Cream, $31 MSRP