Sensitive skin: skincare ingredients to avoid
What is sensitive skin?
Sensitive Skin is the general definition of a skin type triggered by a variety of factors resulting in stinging, burning, itching, tightness, and tingling sensations.
When your skin’s natural barrier function is weakened by a trigger, the skin's top nerves' endings become irritated.
Common triggers can be:
- Climate aggressors (sun, extreme temperatures, pollution)
- Lack of sleep
- Hormonal changes
- Chlorine (swimming pools)
- Dry, dehydrated skin
- Overuse of cosmetic products
Is sensitive skin a condition or a skin type?
Sensitive skin is a skin type - it can be caused and aggravated by skin conditions like rosacea or allergies.
How do I know if I have sensitive skin?
Sensitive skin feels like:
- Often dry and tight
- Itchy, inflamed, uncomfortable
- Flushes easily (spicy food, alcohol)
- Has patches of redness and flakes easily
- Reacts to some skincare products
- Turns red and dries out after a hot shower or bath
Can sensitive skin be healed?
Sensitive skin is a skin type so it can never be completely healed; however, knowing what triggers a reaction and using skincare that does not contain harsh ingredients and in the right amount/frequency, it can surely help to prevent skin reactions.
If you have sensitive skin and you protect, hydrate, and boost it with the right active ingredients, the chances of a reaction will be minimal. if none.
Which skincare ingredients shall I stay away from if my skin is very sensitive?
- Essential oils*
- Fragrance oils
- Parabens (methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and ethylparaben)
- Harsh physical exfoliants
- Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid, Ascorbyl palmitate)
- Vitamin C-rich oils (Rosehip oil)
- Retinoids (Retinyl palmitate, Tretinoin)
- Sulfates (Sodium chloride, Sodium lauryl sulfate Sodium Laureth sulfate Ammonium lauryl sulfate)
- Salicylic acid and Willow back extract
- AHA's, especially Glycolic acid
- Chemical sunscreens (Avobenzone, Octinoxate, Octisalate, Homosalate, Octocrylene, Oxybenzone)
* If the skin is inflamed, True Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) essential oil or their hydrosols diluted in very small percentages (less than 0.3%), can actually be calming and soothing.