Hi I have really sensitive skin (as professionally “diagnosed” by my dermatologist). What are some ingredients in commercial skincare I should avoid?
Hi @ingridtan I would say the more natural the ingredients the better. I would definitely try and avoid anything with parabens and sls if possible. That said there are probably some natural ingredients that may irritate your skin as well. Has your dermatologist given you any ideas of products that might be good?
I’d definitely stay away from anything that has “Alcohol” & “Fragrances” in them as they will more then lightly really aggravate the skin.
Synthetic fragrance,scented lotions & creams can react with skin, causing inflammation and weakening the inner layers of skin. Luckily, there isn’t really a need for perfume in skincare, so opt for fragrance-free formulas.
The number one ingredient i’d suggest weeding out of your routine is “Alcohol”. Many toners and creams have alcohol, which delivers a quick-dry finish, but can also sap your skin’s moisture levels, leading to irritation, itchy & uncomfortable skin (stay clear of wipes & read the ingredients in them before using).
Bisabolol is good for senstive skin
The plant extract has soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits when applied to skin, and is often found in serums and moisturizers.
I would DEFINITELY AVOID natural/organic/essential oil type stuff. Too irritating and not well-studied enough. The manufacturing process is also not as stringently controlled for small/boutique “natural” skincare type companies. Your best bet is something chirally corrected and rigorously quality-controlled.
If your skin is seriously flared-up, I’d recommend a gentle cleanser like Aspect Gentle Clean, and a desensitising serum like Cosmedix CPR serum, and maybe even an oil like Aspect Redless 21. Once you’ve successfully controlled the acute inflammation it’s time to tackle the chronic process that’s causing the sensitivity - and that means strengthening your skin up.
The “gold standard” for strengthening skin is:
Topical niacinamide at around 10%
Topical retinol (start at a low concentration a few nights a week and progress to higher concentration every night).
A cleanser which will clean thoroughly and respect your water-lipid balance.
A nourishing protective moisturiser/emollient
SUNSCREEN SUNSCREEN SUNSCREEN.
I’d suggest starting slowly on these things. Don’t smash your skin with too much too soon. If you’re dehydrated add in a hyaluronic acid serum because barrier impairment only makes sensitivity worse.
Increasing your dietary Essential Fatty Acids may help, and reducing sugar in your diet will probably help as well. I suggest seeking out a good respectable medical skin clinic or medispa (ie not a shopping centre one) and booking in for a skin consult to see what they say. Good professional help is invaluable here.