⚠️Five Ingredients to AVOID if you have sensitive skin

EllaaaaEllaaaa
Jun. 28, 2020
Compared to having dry or oily skin, having sensitive skin is one of the most complicated skin issues you can have. Not only do products that are designed for sensitive skin sometimes still irritate your skin, but it can be hard to decipher which ingredients aggravate your skin and which ingredients are safe. 
Reading labels is great, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for or what you’re trying to avoid, then it makes it impossible to pick out a product that will be good for your skin. Here are five ingredients that people with sensitive skin should avoid using in their skincare routine.
  • Fragrance. Fragrances are a big no-no. First of all, they’re wholly unnecessary, and the FDA does not require brands to mention exactly what kind of chemicals the fragrance contains. On labels, fragrances only need to be labeled as “fragrance”, not exactly what the chemical makeup of the fragrance is. This means harsh chemicals could be used in concentrated forms, so it’s best to avoid anything that has fragrances inside. When you’re looking for a fragrance-free product, there is a difference between fragrance-free and unscented. Unscented usually means that there was a scent added to mask the smell of other products, while fragrance-free means nothing at all was added to the product.
  • Alcohols. Alcohols are in almost every single skincare product, and they deliver a quick-drying finish, so creams and moisturizers don’t sit on top of your skin for too long. However, the trade-off is these alcohols can throw off your skin’s moisture levels and lead to irritation, itchiness, and generally uncomfortable skin. When looking to avoid these products, make sure the product you’re purchasing does not contain denatured alcohol. 
  • Harsh exfoliants. Whether your exfoliant is chemical or physical, you need to be careful with what kind of exfoliants you use on your sensitive skin. An exfoliant that is too abrasive can cause your skin to immediately become inflamed and irritated, while chemical exfoliants can cause dryness and irritation minutes, hours, or even days later. You can’t avoid exfoliating your skin, so if you’re looking for an exfoliant that is better for sensitive skin, look for products that contain lactic acid. Lactic acid is a good option because it doesn’t penetrate your skin as deeply. On top of this, you should only use exfoliators two to three times a week so that you can have the benefits of exfoliation without the unwanted side effects.
  • Chemical sunscreens. There are two major types of sunscreen. There is mineral sunscreen, and there is chemical sunscreen. For the most part, mineral sunscreen has two active ingredients: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These two products work by physically blocking UV rays from entering your skin. This is also known as physical sunscreen. Chemical sunscreen, on the other hand, uses a variety of chemicals to absorb UV light and release it as heat after the chemical reaction takes place. Chemical sunscreen has dozens of different ingredients compared to physical sunscreen, and this makes it more likely to irritate sensitive skin. For people with sensitive skin, dermatologists suggest using mineral or physical sunscreen instead. 
  • Essential oils. Finally, if you suffer from sensitive skin, then you want to be careful with what kind of essential oils you use. For the most part, if essential oils are diluted properly, then they are safe for your skin. You still have to be careful, though, because some constituents of certain oils like bergamot, turn into chemicals when exposed to the sun and can lead to a photoallergy effect. Other essential oils, like tea tree, mint, citrus, and lavender, should be avoided as well. Tea tree is safe in diluted doses, but most products contain high amounts of tea tree oil, and this can lead to dryness and irritation. The other three oils can also cause irritation and negative reactions if used at a high concentration.
  • Buying skincare products while having sensitive skin can be a minefield when it comes to what is safe and what is bad for your skin. The best course of action is to avoid anything with a fragrance and look for fragrance-free products specifically. Also, look for products that have limited ingredients or are all-natural to lessen the chances of having a chemical reaction. 
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