Sensitive Skin? You Are Not Alone!

by Samantha on Thursday

One thing I learned after years in the skin care business, is that there are TONS of women out there who are challenged by sensitive skin.

Did you know that more than 60% of women believe that they have sensitive skin? But the interesting thing is that it’s estimated that scientifically speaking, really only about 20% of women technically do have sensitive skin – and of this, only 2 to 5 percent can attribute the sensitivities to cosmetic ingredients. (Source: Milady’s Skin Care + Cosmetics Ingredients Dictionary – Second Edition, by Natalia Michalun) Interesting isn’t it?

The way skin becomes irritated is when the stratum corneum (top layer of skin) is damaged and products can penetrate deeper into the epidermis and/or dermis. Also – your own skin’s bacterial content can react with chemical components of a product and cause a reaction. The irritation typically appears as redness, burning, itching and/or some type of a rash.

The most common ingredients in products that cause reactions are fragrances (which, as I have mentioned before, can have hundreds of ingredients but are simply listed as “fragrance” or “parfum” or “perfume”), preservatives, and some of the chemical sunscreens. Other common irritants are sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. But every person is different and what bothers some, may not bother others.

If your skin becomes irritated, be sure to think about whether you have tried any new products – these could be skin care, bath care, laundry, dishwashing soap etc. Also – check ingredients and see if you can narrow down any commonalities that could be causing problems. To be safe, it is always a great idea to avoid products with any chemical fragrances as this is often the cause. Also, see products that are listed as “phthalate-free” as phthalates are commonly found in fragrances and often cause irritation to those with sensitive skin. Here is a link to a great list of the most common fragrances that can cause allergies. And of course, have any irritations checked out by a doctor to be safe!

The reality of that all is that there are many many women out there who are afraid of trying new products for fear of getting a terrible reaction. So as you can imagine, people with sensitive skin are incredibly happy to find products that work for them! The key is to spend time researching brands, understanding labels and trying to determine what it is that causes reactions with your particular skin. Once you have that narrowed down, your search for products that work for your skin will be more focused. Then, don’t be afraid to try smaller sizes or see if the company offers samples. Try new products one at a time so you can be certain you will know if that product causes a reaction. And don’t add another new product into the mix until you are certain that you aren’t getting a reaction from the first one.

There are many choices out there for skin care, and with a little caution and research, you can find just the right products that will give you glowing, healthy and younger-looking skin.

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