You have sensitive skin if you're finding you can no longer use your favorite mascara, moisturizer or other skin care or cosmetic products you've used for years. Your skin may burn, sting or break out in a rash when using these same products.
Burning, stinging, redness, and acne are just some of the symptoms common to sensitive skin. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) reports that approximately 60-70 percent of women and 50-60 percent of men have some form of sensitive skin. This number is rising and common to both men and woman, however, since women use more products on their face, they are more apt towards sensitive skin. As sensitive skin is not managed, allergic contact dermatitis or other skin irritations may be the result.
Sensitive skin may not always be seen. The most noticeable change is around the age of 25 years and older and shows by how the skin feels. Tightness, dry, itchy or red patches are more noticeable with advancing age. Decrease in collagen and elastin (the building blocks of skin) can make it difficult for the skin to bounce back from infections or skin conditions.
Sensitive skin may be caused by an allergic reaction or merely an irritation to an ingredient (contact dermatitis),. For example, if you are truly allergic to a product or ingredient, your immune system quickly or over time reacts by making antibodies against what you are allergic to, with results of particular skin reactions. However, your skin may react to an irritating chemical, such as laundry detergent. You may not be allergic to an irritating ingredient, even though your skin may react with symptoms.
Why is Fragrance Harmful?
The first essential for the care and prevention of sensitive skin is to avoid fragrance. Fragrance smells so nice, but have you ever wondered if fragrance is harmful and why it's harmful? Most people don't realize what ever we put on our skin is absorbed. Most skincare, personal care and cosmetics ingredients have not been tested for safety by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For example, fragrance is added to just about all skin care, personal care and makeup.
Dermatologists list fragrance as a known allergen and to be avoided by people with allergy prone skin. According to the FDA, there are 26 fragrance ingredients listed as allergens, including benzyl peroxide, linalool, and other hidden ingredients. However, the label will only refer to the generic term "fragrance".
In other words, the individual ingredients need not be disclosed on the label. The only way to stay away from these allergens, is to avoid skin care, makeup or personal care products that contain fragrance. Fragrance is also added to laundry soaps and fabric softeners and other household cleaners.
National Institute of Health (NIH) reports that fragranced products have been associated with a range of adverse health effects, such as migraine headaches, asthma attacks, respiratory difficulties, neurological problems and contact dermatitis.
Hydration & Your Skin
Our whole body needs moisture and hydration, and so does our skin. When dehydrated, the skin becomes dry and easily irritated and damaged. Itchy, flaky, burning skin are some of the signs of dry, dehydrated skin. With proper hydration, the skin becomes soft and protected.
The second essential for care of sensitive skin is hydration. lf you already have dry or very dry skin, you may wonder how to get your skin rehydrated. Applying moisturizer cream or oil two to three times a day can restore moisture back to the skin and prevent future drying.
It's important to choose fragrance-free moisturizers that are and dermatologist recommended. Look for products that are also free of plant extracts and essential oils. These ingredients may contain hidden irritants, or the plants themselves, cause side effects.
Hyaluronic acid or sodium hyaluronate are ingredients to help retain moisture. Cleure products such as Day Cream and Night Cream help moisturize and soothe dry, aging skin.
Soaps Can Damage Sensitive Skin
What you wash your face with can impact the health of your skin. Normal pH of the skin is slightly acidic and about 5.5, which is what you want for healthy skin. Most conventional soaps have a higher pH due to their ingredients.
Certain detergents used in soaps are actually just that, detergents. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is an industrial detergent that is irritating, drying and should be avoided. If the pH is too high, it results in oily skin and damages the skin's acid mantle. This is a protective layer of oils, fatty acids and amino acids. Acne, eczema, dermatitis and other skin conditions can become worse and can be avoided by using gentle and mild soaps.
Washing your face with harsh soaps can the protective layer of the skin is also washed away. This means vital oils are removed that your skin needs. Lotion cleansers that are free of SLS are milder. Oatmeal soap bar is another ingredient to look for and choose in a bar or liquid cleanser. Oatmeal is soothing and can calm irritated skin.
Get Rid of Dead Skin Cells
A gentle exfoliating scrub can do wonders for removing dirt and dead cells from your skin. This helps revitalize the skin and promote health skin all over the whole body. Following up with a gentle facial mask can also be helpful to not only complete the cleaning of your skin, but closing skin pores.
Ingredients to Avoid
Before picking up the jar or bottle promising the moon on the label, make sure they are void of the most common irritants dermatologists warn about:
- sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
- sodium laureth sulfate
- plant extracts
- essential oils
- balsam of Peru
Before using a new products do a self-patch test by applying a small amount to the inner side of the elbow or the inside of the wrist. Wait 24 hours and check for any changes on the skin. Then test one product at a time to determine which works for best for you. Once you find what works, it's best not to keep changing to different brands but to stick with what works best for you.
Sensitive skin is very delicate and it's best not to change products with different ingredients frequently. As the skin becomes more stressed by irritants, oxygen and nutrients are hard to reach the cells. This can lead to skin conditions such as eczema, rosacia and psoriasis.
Recommended Products for Sensitive Skin
Cleure for sensitive skin products contain none of the common irritants listed, such as SLS, fragrance, dyes and parabens. To ensure you're using the safest, most effective products for sensitive skin, shop Cleure skin care cleansers and moisturizers. Our rich Day and Night Cream with shea butter, contain sodium hyaluronate to help bring about a radiant, beautiful, soft skin.
Cleure zinc oxide SPF 30 sunscreen helps product your skin while being free of harsh sunblock ingredients. According to dermatologists, any up to an SPF of 30 should be adequate for protection. Learn more information about sun protection factor and what it means.