Do You Have Sensitive Skin?
Sensitive skin is not really a medical term and can mean many things depending on whom you ask. To most laypersons, people who easily break out in rashes in reaction to commonly used products have sensitive skin. Doctors will say you are likely to have sensitive skin if you have acne, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, rosacea, or eczema. These medical conditions can run in the family. Allergic reaction to a cosmetic or household product is usually not hereditary.
What are some tips in choosing products for sensitive skin?
soap-free cleansers and cleansing bars with no fragrance, no sulfates, and no parabens. Avoid
antibacterial and highly scented soap bars and liquid
DERMAX Gel Cleansers are
fragrance-free, sulfate-free, and paraben-free.
- Avoid alcohol-based toners.
- Use silicone-based foundation for minimal skin irritation.
- Avoid waterproof cosmetics. Removing them require a special cleanser that may irritate skin.
- Use black eyeliner and mascara because they are the least allergenic. Pencil eyeliner is usually less irritating than liquid eyeliners. Earth-toned eye shadows are safer to use than darker colors.
- Throw out old cosmetics. They can spoil or become contaminated even before their expiry date.
- Products with exfoliants like hydroxy acids, tretinoin, and scrubs should be used with caution.
- Products with fewer ingredients are generally safer for sensitive skin.
Are skin care products labeled “hypoallergenic” or “sensitive skin formula” safer for sensitive skin?
- There are no government standards on the use of the term “hypoallergenic” and “sensitive skin” so they can mean whatever a particular manufacturer wants them to mean.
- Your best bet is to test your own skin reaction before using a new product.
- Every night before bedtime, apply a small amount behind an ear and leave it on overnight. Do this for 5 days.
- If there is no skin irritation, follow the same procedure, this time applying the product on an area alongside an eye.
- If you still don't see irritation, the product should be safe for your face and other sensitive body parts.
This column was published in the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section on January 28, 2014 . The author is the CEO of SkinStation. He received the 2011 Outstanding Chemist Award from Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) for his achievements in the field of cosmetic chemistry. Skin Smart aims to clarify facts and myths on skin care. Send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.