From all the skin types, sensitive skin deserves special attention. Unlike normal skin, sensitive skin is more reactive to environmental stressors and certain product ingredients. Rashes, itchiness and burns are common with those who have sensitive skin and can be fatal if one doesn't know how to care for their skin type. If it's face acids you're looking for, lactic acid is the best one for sensitive skin. It's a gentler version of glycolic acid that helps to balance and even out your skin's texture. Other ingredients to look out for aloe vera, marshmallow extract, chamomile extract, calendula extract and shea butter. While products that have these ingredients are great but do double-check their ingredient list once to ensure that they don't contain these other ingredients mentioned below.
No matter how pretty the packaging is, please don't fall prey to skincare products that contain these uncool ingredients.
Yes, most essential oils contain anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that are great for oily and acne-prone skin. However, they can be extremely harsh and drying to sensitive skin types. Especially lavender, tea tree, citrus and mint, can irritate the skin and cause rash and red bumps. Since they're highly concentrated, essential oils need to be diluted with another skincare product like an unscented moisturiser or body lotion. In spite of diluting the essential oil, if you still experience itchiness and rashes, stay away from essential oils altogether.
Physical exfoliators such as scrubs are extremely harsh for the skin. Whether it's fruit pits, ground-up shells, micro-beads or volcanic rock, using them often will cause micro-tears and will eventually weaken and destroy your skin's barrier. Once that happens, your skin will be prone to flakiness, redness and dryness. For sensitive skin, it's better to use mild cleansers and lactic acid to remove dead skin.
Alcohol is one skincare ingredient to stay away from. As an ingredient, its goal is to help other ingredients penetrate deep into the skin. It works as a preservative but has the tendency of irritating the skin and causing breakouts. If you spot denatured alcohol listed as an ingredient, stay away from it as it will strip your skin of its natural oils.
Any person with sensitive skin who uses an SLS product runs the risk of experiencing an allergic reaction. Like alcohol, SLS too strips the skin from its natural oils and can cause inflammatory skin reactions such as dermatitis and eczema. It's best to bid this ingredient adieu!
Ever wondered why fragrance exists in a product? Simply because to mask the less-pleasant scents of other ingredients in the product. As heavenly as they smell, don't trust heavily scented products because they contain harsh chemicals and that can irritate the skin severely. Look for labels on products that read as 'fragrance-free' and 'unscented' as these will be gentler and milder on the skin.
Whatever you do, don't give in to your itch. Do a patch test first and wash your skin immediately if you do experience itchiness after using these products that have these ingredients.