If you suffer from sensitive skin then this is a must-read.
Dr. Leslie Bauman sheds light on the ingredients in your skincare products to avoid.
As you well know, your “Sensitive” skin is temperamental. The key to keeping it calm, cool and collected—and, of course, looking its best—is to avoid the ingredients that set your skin off.
Ironically enough, most skincare is geared toward dry/mature skin, oily skin, or sensitive skin, but this breakdown is way too simplistic, especially since there are four subtypes of sensitive skin. This is why you can’t believe everything you read on product labels, and it’s important to be educated so you can take make the right skincare decisions for your unique skin. The common denominator when treating all subtypes of “Sensitive” skin is reducing inflammation and eliminating the causes.
Acne subtype: When bacteria go to town on the oils and dead skin cells that clog pores, inflammation ensues. In addition to the rich, creamy products you’re avoiding, check your product labels to make sure there aren’t any hidden acne-causers like cocoa butter, coconut oil, isopropyl isostearate, peppermint oil, sodium lauryl sulfate, isopropyl myristate or myristyl myristate in there.
Rosacea subtype: We don’t really know exactly what causes the dilated facial blood vessels associated with rosacea, but we do know that inflammation and redness are the main symptoms. Despite the many theories and available treatments, over-the-counter and prescription topical creams and gels are pretty disappointing in terms of results. Though anti-inflammatory products may provide some relief, your best bet is to see a dermatologist for a procedure known as Intense Pulsed Light, or a vascular laser treatment. These can work wonders for your red skin and may prevent the progression of rosacea when used with the proper topical medications. Please don’t experiment with anti-aging products, as these can make rosacea flare-ups worse.
Stinging subtype: Stinging is caused by super-sensitive nerve endings in your skin. To keep skin calm, avoid alpha hydroxy acids, benzoic acid, lactic acid, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, sorbic acid, urea and vitamin C.
Allergic subtype: If your skin gets red, itchy and/or flaky, blame little gaps in your skin’s protective layer that allows irritants in. The most common culprits that cause irritation in allergic subtypes are fragrances and preservatives, but you should shy away from benzoyl peroxide, lanolin, parabens and propylene glycol-2 as well.