Skin Care for Sensitive Skin

What may be causing your skin allergies, breakouts, and long-term damage.

PharmacyChoosing the right product for your skin can make you feel like a guinea pig in a round of FDA testing. You expose yourself to brand after brand, hoping that  one magic cream will solve all of your problems. I understand this firsthand because I have sensitive skin.

During the past year, I have had problems with eczema, acne, and perioral dermatitis. After doing some extensive research, I discovered that checking ingredient labels on beauty products is essential to maintaining your skin’s health. I also realized that your doctor can only do so much in helping you solve the mystery in what’s causing the breakout. They are good at treating, but bad at preventative help. You know your body better than anyone else, so you just have to be attentive to how it reacts to products and the environment.

In this blog, I am going to give some tips and review a few good products for the sensitive skin girl. Please do not take my suggestions as actual medical treatment or advice. What works for me may not work for you since every female body is different. However, I can point you in the right direction to discover what may be causing your skin woes and worries.

Parabens

Parabens are in almost everything. It has been reported that about 85% of cosmetics have them. They are used as preservatives and antibacterial agents in make-up, soap, shampoo, and lotions (just to name a few). Pharmaceutical companies have been using them in products since the 1950s. Only recently have they been under fire. In the 90s, a British cancer researcher found parabens in malignant breast tumors. Experts began to believe that parabens mimicked estrogen in the body, disrupting hormones and causing cancer and other reproductive issues. The FDA responded by saying that parabens in products were at such a low level that they could not cause significant harm. Some scientists also questioned the validity and quality of the study. So should you be concerned? Scientific evidence seems to show that you shouldn’t throw away all your favorite make-up just yet. The link between parabens, cancer, and estrogen is inconclusive. But given that there are so many brands without it, it would be easy for you to try a more natural line to see if it makes a difference. I don’t want to encourage paranoia, but in my opinion, if there is any cause for concern, why not switch it out for a better product?

Sulfates

I have read a lot of blogs and articles that advocate for getting rid of products with sulfates, especially, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Sulfates are synthetic ingredients that act as detergents. They are found in shampoo, soap, and face wash. Though the majority of people will not have a significant reaction to SLS, some people do. The reason is that it’s a harsh chemical that can irritate the skin, causing redness, dryness, and itching. It also strips the skin of natural oils that it needs for protection. Sulfates can fade hair color and cause it to become brittle.

Fragrances 

The word fragrance can represent hundreds of chemicals, causing allergic reactions and irritation. Look for products that use essential oils or plant extracts instead. Mineral oils, alcohol, and talc can also irritate the skin or dry it out. Switch out mineral oil for jojoba oil. Look for mineral wear that says “talc-free” on the label and check ingredient lists for sopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol 40, and ethyl alcohol. These are just a few of the ingredients that may be causing your skin problems. But I do believe that SLS, parabens, and fragrances are the main ones. Here are some beauty products without these harmful chemicals that I use.

cucumbersSay Yes to Cucumbers Face Wash

This gentle cleanser is paraben and SLS free. It has calming agents such as cucumber and aloe to soothe and hydrate the skin. It has a light lather, a clean and fresh scent, and feels cool on the face. This is a great option for people who are looking for a basic cleanser free of many synthetic ingredients. A bonus to this line is everything is certified organic!

lorealL’Oréal’s EverSleek Shampoo and Conditioner

This product line came out in 2009 in response to many complaints about how SLS was making their hair fizzy and dry. The shampoo and conditioner are free of harsh sulfates and salts. Unlike other sulfate-free shampoos that are drying and don’t make enough suds, these products moisturize your hair and still feel like most shampoos–giving you a nice lather. The best thing about these is they smell amazing, like vanilla. It also has a lovely creamy feel on your hair in the shower. You can choose from a variety of hair care depending on your needs. There are EverStrong, EverPure, EverCreme, EverCurl, and EverSleek.

simpleSimple Nourishing 24/hour Day and Night Cream

The Simple skin care line contains no dyes, artificial perfumes, or harsh irritants like SLS and parabens. It’s hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic. Just like the name says, it’s simple. There is nothing fancy about this moisturizer. There are no frilly ingredients like lavender or essential oils. This is a fantastic moisturizer that can be used all day and night. It’s light and creamy, giving you just enough needed moisture to feel comfortable.

ology soapOlogy Soap

Ology is a wonderful brand sold at Walgreens and most grocery stores that is paraben, SLS, and fragrance-free, and eco-friendly. They make laundry detergent, hand soap, shampoo, and bar soap as well as some other household products like toilet paper. I love their bar soap. It comes in four different kinds: Aloe Vera & Olive Oil, Shea Butter, Oatmeal & Honey, and Lemongrass & Olive Oil. I have only used the Aloe Vera & Olive Oil, but I’m confident all of these soaps are lovely to cleanse with. The one I have been using makes a nice lather, has no scent, and leaves the body clean and moisturized without any residue.

PF2Physicians Formula Make-up

Physicians Formula is a make-up line that is paraben, SLS, and fragrance-free. The mineral powders are also talc-free. It is a brand designed and marketed for the sensitive skin woman. It’s also very affordable. The downside is it can be hard to find over-the-counter. I looked for it at three different stores until I found it at CVS Pharmacy. Recently they made a CC and BB cream, as well as an organic line. I like most everything I have bought under this brand. However, I have not used it regularly, so I can’t tell if it makes me break-out or not yet. But the value of this brand is you can trust it being free of any harmful chemicals or potential irritants.

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