Many people claim to have sensitive skin because they have experienced irritations, including: stinging, burning, tightness or redness after using a skin care product. However, dermatologists diagnose sensitive skin when: there is very dry skin that doesn’t protect nerve endings, frequent blushing and redness occurs and when reactions su2ch as, skin bumps, erosion or pustules develop. Here are 9 frequently asked questions about sensitive skin!
Q2uestion #1- What Causes Sensitive Skin?
The2re are a few factors that have been linked to sensitive skin, including: having very dry skin where nerve endings are left unprotected, environmental elements including extreme heat or cold, the sun and wind and skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.
While skin sensitivity is less defined by genetics, gender, age and race, it is plausible that they help play a role in it.
Question #2- What Types of Cleansers Should I use with Sensitive Skin?
This is an important question, as many cleansers contain harmful toxins and allergens. Use mild cleansers or soap free cleansers. Utilize fragrance free alternatives and be aware of sulfates and dyes. Avoid oatmeal based cleansing products, as it oatmeal contains a gluten component that recent research suggests is a skin allergen. This applies to the makeup removal clothes and facial cleansing wipes too!
Question #3- What Ingredients or Chemicals Should I Avoid in Skin Care?
While there are hundreds of chemicals to be aware of and avoid, some of the most common skin allergens and irritants found in skin care are listed here for you to avoid:
- Potassium Sorbate
- Formaldehyde/ Formaldehyde Releasers
- Fragrances (3rd most common allergen for people with eczema)
- Silicone & Dimethicone
It is best to research which chemicals to avoid and make a list for your convenience when out shopping and reading labels. I always advise people to create a note within their smartphone with their allergen list.
Question #4- What Should I look for in Sunscreen?
Sunscreen is an important part of skin protection. Be aware of the allergens listed above and seek out sensitive skin sunscreens that are mindful of them. Sunscreen should be an SPF 30.
Question #5- What Types of Clothing Should I Wear with Sensitive Skin?
Clothing should be loose fitting and comfortable. Choose cotton, silk, rayon and linen fabrics. Avoid irritating fabrics such as wool and polyester.
Question #6- What Skin Disorders are affiliated with Sensitive Skin?
Common skin disorders associated with having sensitive skin, include: eczema, rosacea, acne, psoriasis and contact dermatitis.
Question #7- What Makeup Should I use with Sensitive Skin?
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using the following:
- Avoid waterproof cosmetics
- Don’t share cosmetics and throw out old ones
- Use products with fewer ingredients
- Use face powder
- Use pencil eyeliners. Liquid eyeliners may contain latex which is a common contact allergen
Question #8- Are Hypoallergenic Skin Care Products the Best for Sensitive Skin?
Yes. Hypoallergenic products are best for all skin types. However, there are no federal requirement or restriction to labeling a product as hypoallergenic, so be mindful of allergens and skin irritants. The best way to determine if it is truly hypoallergenic is to be aware of what chemicals to avoid and look for products with shorter ingredient lists.
Question #9- What Should I Look for in a Moisturizer?
As with all skin care products, you need to be cautious with your moisturizing care, as well. Look at the ingredient list and avoid products with the allergens listed above. The best skin care products for sensitive skin will incorporate ceramides within their formulations. These help the skin barrier to repair itself. When you have sensitive skin or a skin condition, your skin’s barrier is lacking the essential skin lipid ceramides, and needs to have them replenished. Moisturize your skin at least twice per day.