Sensitive Skin 101: The Best And Worst Ingredients

Apr. 30, 2020
If you are like many people out there who suffer from sensitive skin, you know how hard it can be to find products that won’t cause irritation. You can suffer from redness, dryness, itching, and burning, and even breakouts from using the wrong products on your sensitive skin. Environmental factors such as wind, cold, and pollution are already worrisome enough for sensitive skin sufferers, so knowing the best products to use to take care of your skin will make all the difference. 
What Causes Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin isn’t a disease on its own, but it’s usually caused by another condition. So finding out what that is should be first on the list to figure out how best to treat your skin. There are many factors that can cause sensitive skin, most of which aren’t serious but the symptoms can be aggravating to deal with. From allergies and skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis to side effects from certain medications can all trigger sensitive skin. Although there are many causes that we can’t control, there are some that we can - such as stress, poor diet, smoking, and drinking too much caffeine and alcohol. Most cases of sensitive skin can be treated by lifestyle changes and over the counter treatments, however, if you experience severe symptoms you should see a dermatologist.
What’s The Best Care for Sensitive Skin
Keeping your skincare routine simple and not using too many different products will be a big help in easing irritated skin. Washing your skin a maximum of two times a day with warm water is plenty. Overwashing will make the symptoms worse. Using the right ingredients on your sensitive skin is very important to keep your skin healthy and beautiful. 
Here are the best and worst ingredients to use when you have sensitive skin:
The Best Ingredients for Sensitive Skin
  • Oatmeal: Approved by dermatologists everywhere, oats are an excellent ingredient to use to treat eczema and itchy skin due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Use in a bath or as a mask to moisturize and soothe very dry skin.
  • Honey: Not only is honey delicious to eat, but it is also great to use on sensitive skin. The antibacterial properties of honey can treat rashes, hives, and even acne. It’s also calming, gentle, and doesn’t irritate the skin.
  • Shea Butter: Shea butter has been used for centuries by cultures around the world. This ingredient is high in vitamins A and E and is mild enough to use without inflammation. Shea butter is often used on dry skin and to promote a healthy glow without redness. 
  • Cucumber seed oil: Cucumber seed oil is a natural ingredient, gentle on skin, but provides many health benefits - even for the skin. It is high in fatty acids and works wonders for preventing wrinkles, treating acne, and cleansing the skin without any irritation. 
If your skin is already having an allergic reaction to another product, all of the above ingredients can be used to treat the affected skin, reduce swelling and redness, and protect against future breakouts. 
If you feel that there is a product in one of the beauty products that you may be allergic to, test the product alone on a patch of skin for a few days and then stop. Without using another product, take note of whether your skin still reacts without it and then try another product. You can also Google the ingredients on the back of the bottle to find out if they are common allergens.
The Worst Ingredients for Sensitive Skin
  • Alcohol: It is best to stay away from any products that contain alcohol as it can dry out your skin, kill the healthy bacteria, and leave your body more irritated and sensitive than before
  • Fragrance: Artificial fragrances are a huge no-no when it comes to sensitive skin. Try to stick to products that are fragrance-free as they will be less likely to react with sensitive skin. If you’re looking for some sort of scent to your moisturizers, etc., use essential oils (such as rose oil) or natural ingredients like honey.
  • Apricot kernels: Any kind of exfoliator containing harsh particles is too harsh for sensitive skin, especially on the face. Apricot kernels are used in many products and may seem harmless but in fact, can be stripping away the essential oils in your skin, leaving it susceptible to surrounding irritants. 
  • Methylisothiazolinone: Methylisothiazolinone is a preservative and anti-microbial solid that is added to hundreds of healthcare and beauty products in order to prolong its shelf life. In addition to it being highly toxic and possibly leading to neurotoxicity, there is a high percentage of people allergic to Methylisothiazolinone so it is best to stay away from any product that contains it.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate: These are ingredients that are found in many cleansers but try and avoid them if you can because they can affect the PH balance of your skin which leaves your skin dry and open to allergens.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can find the right products to use for your sensitive skin, reach out for a conversation today or check out some of our current stock here.
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