Skincare Ingredients On The 'to Dump' List For Sensitive Skin

Knowing the right products to apply on your skin is the recipe for a healthy skin. More so, knowing your skin type is as important. Having a sensitive skin requires caution as regards the products applied on the skin. If you have a sensitive skin, you'll find this post informative, because it reviews full-body product-ingredients (the good, bad & ugly), including diet recommendations.
beauty . 18 min read
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Skin Care: What's the Fuss About?

Skincare entails the totality of habitual practices, inclusive of products and routines, that are targeted at cultivating healthy habits that nourish the skin, thereby, preventing skin damages and cleansing blemishes. Applying the knowledge of various skin types - oily, dry, sensitive, combination - to the practical aspect of skin maintenance and treatment is the bedrock of skincare.

Most people think that skincare is only exclusive to facial treatment; well...that is just the tip of the iceberg. Every part of the body makes up your skin, and as such, none should be neglected. Now, 'drinking water and minding your business' is the popular recommendation for healthy skin, which in fact could be a helpful tip; but there's so much more you need to know about skincare, especially for your skin type. 

Remember that skincare is routinely in nature; it requires dedication and self-discipline. In every regard, eating the right foods for your skin type, hydrating your body, working out, keeping all skin contact objects clean (towels, pillowcases, clothes, etc.) is crucial to nurturing healthy skin.

Still don't get the fuss? Now let's make it more apparent. Having healthy skin boosts your confidence. A recently conducted research reveals that...this invariably has an impact on your mood and the manner in which you carry out daily activities. Additionally, treating skin ailments aren't pocket friendly and, not to forget, exhausting. Now you know the relevance of skincare, it is important to know how to take care of your skin type.

Since this post is specifically about treatment for sensitive skin, it will reveal the ingredients embedded in products that should be avoided for sensitive skin, as well as dermatologist-approved treatment for sensitive skin. This would feature products for various parts of the body and recommended diet.

Ps. You don't have to fret if your skin reacts poorly to products; it's very natural for people with sensitive skin. And there's no such thing as having bad skin, all skin is good skin. Skin can only be unhealthy if poorly taken care of.

If you have sensitive skin, you probably have been having skin reactions and irritations but have no idea of the cause. Knowing the cause is as important as the cure. With that knowledge, you are halfway through the treatment—of course with the avoidance of the causal agents.

What are the Common Symptoms and Causes of Sensitive Skin?

Having sensitive skin is not a death sentence—so take a deep breath. It just means that your skin is easily prone to irritations due to exposure to surfaces or ingredients that do not gel with the skin. Sensitive skin can be easily detected especially if the infected area of the skin is red, stinging, dry, itchy, bumpy or tight. However, it is advisable that you visit a dermatologist to have an accurate diagnosis of your condition. 

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Sensitive skin reactions do not just occur instantaneously, they result from allergic reactions and skin disorders like rosacea, dermatitis, eczema. Additionally, excessively dry skin, racial variations, gender, genetic makeup, age, exposure to harsh environmental and weather conditions could be a possible trigger.

Full-Body Products You Need To Ditch ASAP If You Have Sensitive Skin.

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As earlier stated, skincare involves the full-body treatment, maintenance, and protection. Applying suitable products to the skin—whether it is the face, scalp, lips, arms, legs, or genital region—augments the all-round development of the skin, as such, the application of skin products should be a deliberate action resulting from ample knowledge of the ingredients and their compatibility with the skin.

In a nutshell, if you are the type that doesn't carry out research on ingredients of skin products prior to purchase and use, or the ingredients are incomprehensible to you, make sure to seek professional recommendations first.

With that said, here are some products that contain ingredients that are bad for sensitive skin.

Skin Care For Sensitive Scalp

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The scalp has many hair follicles, hence making permeation faster during exposure to substances. You can tell if your scalp is sensitive if it gets flaky, dry, induces redness, secrets oil frequently (extremely oily). Similarly, if your scalp feels tender when combing or groping your hair, it could be a possible sign of an irritated scalp.

Additionally, these symptoms could result from scalp diseases like seborrheic dermatitis, folliculitis, psoriasis, or hair loss, which could aggravate scalp sensitivity. According to Sejal Shah M.D, a dermatologist,  Other external factors such as harsh shampoos, ingredients in hair products, pollution, stress, chlorine, climatic conditions (sun, wind, etc.), can induce a sensitive scalp.

Speaking of shampoos and ingredients in hair products, here are ingredients that should not be found in your hair products, if they are, on the contrary, you know where to dump them.

Harmful Ingredients in Hair Products for Sensitive Skin

Shampoos, Conditioners, creams, sprays & Styling gels

Harmful ingredients for a sensitive scalp are as follows:

1. Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate

Sulfates cause severe damage to the skin. They embody harsh detergents that merge with water and sebum on the scalp. When you rinse out the shampoo, sulfates gather the leftover oils and remain on the scalp with them. Even during cleansing, sulfates can cause damages, making the scalp frizzy and brittle.

2. Parabens

It is a preservative that comes in various forms— butylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, and isobutylparaben. Their primary use is to avert bacterial growth in shampoos and other cosmetics. People use them because they are more affordable and simulate antimicrobial agents in plants.

However, it is advisable to avoid them because they easily permeate the skin and cause internal damages.  Recent studies discovered the presence of parabens in the bloodstream, breastmilk, and urine of people who use products that contain parabens.

If you are struggling with scalp irritation, dwindling hair mass and color, and dry hair, there's a likelihood that your hair products contain parabens. Do you know what to do next? Play 'Bye Bye Bye' by NSYNC as you trash that product and get a new one that is paraben-free.

3. Sodium Chloride

Does this ring a bell? Sodium chloride is the chemical equivalent of salt, usually added in hair products to produce a denser texture. Indeed, salt has a number of valuable functions, such as, preservation of foodstuff and terminating bacterial growth or spread. But when used in hair products it could cause side-effects that exasperate the sensitivity of the scalp, thereby stimulating dryness, itching, and hair loss. 

4. Formaldehyde 

This is a gas that has a distinct pungent smell, typically used in the production of building materials, adhesives, nail polish, hair products, and embalming corpses alongside other ingredients.

Formaldehyde is not only perilous because it is carcinogenic, but it damages hair follicles and induces hair loss; furthermore, it induces rashes, allergic reactions, and itchiness on the scalp. Conditioners, shampoos, and hair straightening formulas (keratin-smoothing formulas) are common carriers of formaldehyde.

Now manufacturers of these products have found witty ways of infusing this chemical in products without consumers knowing that it's what is being applied on their scalp because it is disguised as chemicals like formalin, formic aldehyde, methylene glycol, methanal, methylene oxide, methane diol, methyl aldehyde, paraform, oxomethane, oxymethylene, timonacic acid, thiazolidine carboxylic acid, benzylhemiformal, and glyoxal. Be on the lookout!

5. Alcohol 

Don't get carried away now...we are not talking about ditching margarita Mondays or avoiding tequila shots (well...hold that thought, we'll discuss it later). We are referring to alcohol found in hair products that actually damage the scalp. Notice the emphasis on actually? That is because not all alcohols in hair products are bad for the skin, just as all mushrooms aren't poisonous.

Reading a lot of hair treatment articles online can be so misleading because the overly told narrative is that alcohol is bad for the skin which is partly incorrect. Since we are focusing on damaging ingredients, let's discuss bad alcohols for your skin. Ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, alcohol denat, and methanol are added to lighten the consistency of creams, that way, other ingredients can permeate the skin faster.

As mellifluous as that sounds, it is disadvantageous to the protective layer of your skin, causing the inability to trap moisture, excessive secretion of oils (equals more breakout and irritations). Fatty alcohols extracted from vegetables are much healthier.

6. Fragrances

you might be wondering—If my shampoo has no fragrance, would I enjoy using it? If you're thinking, No, we're on the same boat. But of course, you would not enjoy your scalp either if it is dry, itchy, or prone to allergies and irritations. So make your pick (the lesser of two evils).

Everyone loves a pleasant aroma; it's therapeutic, not if your skin is sensitive. Then it is a nightmare you'll want to avoid.  Dr. Naissan O. Wesley, M.D., FACMS states, “Switching to a fragrance-free shampoo can be helpful for those with sensitive skin on the scalp, dry flaky scalp, or itching." 

For Sensitive Scalp Use Hair Products That Contain: 

  • Jojoba Oil 
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Avocado Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Purified water

Ps. The more natural the ingredients are, the better.

Skin Care for Face with Sensitive Skin

Ingredients for Face Products
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Your face is an extension of your scalp; it should be treated with utmost care as well. As for your scalp, redness and reactions can be concealed with your hair, but your face is quite exposed to public viewing. It's usually the first part of your body people see when they look at you, hence you need to be more conscious of what it is exposed to.

A lot of times people jump on moisturizers, creams, face wash, scrubs, and other cosmetic products when they notice that they are manufactured by prominent brands— if you do this too, stop immediately, It's not about how intriguing the ads look or the celebrity influencers marketing them, but the compatibility of the products' ingredients with your skin. 

In view of this, we'll be reviewing some of the facial product-ingredients that should be permanently banned from your shelf, or avoided when shopping.

Harmful Ingredients in Facial Products for Sensitive Skin

Facial soaps, Moisturizers, Creams, Masks & Makeup

If you are into the cleansing, exfoliating, toning, and moisturizing regimen, there are harsh chemicals you should never let kiss your skin surface. Even before getting a face beat, make sure to double-check. Your skin will thank you later. While you're at it, here are some harsh ingredients contained in facial cleansers, creams, makeup products that bad for your sensitive skin.

1. Astringents

They are not bad for all skin types; it is recommended for people with oily and acne-prone skin because it helps to vanish skin irritants, reduce pores, tighten skin, reduce acne and inflammation. However, this is bad for sensitive skin. Having mentioned the benefits of astringents, you should know why. Sensitive skin is already susceptible to dryness, and so it does not need such a product to worsen it. This ingredient is typically found in moisturizers.

2. Cosmetic Dyes (Color Pigments F, D, and C)

Colors are a huge part of reality as we see them everywhere we go; in our clothes, towels, furniture, nature, candies, cakes. And because they are attractive, we're naturally drawn to them, but they are harmful.  Dyes are bad for the skin because they require a combination of multiple synthetic chemicals, and pigmentation which might not be suitable for the skin.

Conversely, customers who purchase products with colors argue that give them a better experience, which is why brand add artificial coloring to bathing soaps, lotions, lip balms to boost sales. Dyes are bad because they trigger skin irritation, blockage of pores, allergic reactions, blemishes, cancer (particularly the ones produced with coal tar). So whether it's in your shampoo, lipstick, lotion, or other cosmetic products, you should firmly avoid them.

3. Lemon

Indeed lemons are splendid in fragrances; beverages; candies; but not on your sensitive skin. Why? Because they have a high acidic content. Dermatologists have revealed that using lemons for DIY skincare routine has more harmful effects than benefits. 

They can cause skin irritation, sunburn, phytophotodermatitis, leukoderma for sensitive skin, and after exposure to the sun after application. Also, it would do you good, if you can check the presence of acidic ingredients like lemon in your facial products before adding them to your routine.

4. Retinol

Is the use of retinol on sensitive skin is an all-time bad idea? when not used appropriately, yes. However, there's still an exception—when used with a moisturizer, the effect can be lessened.

It is essential to know the classifications of retinoids, that is, the good ones and the bad ones. You should know well enough to avoid the Bad ones— Accutane and Retin-A—as they have impending side effects. People who have used retinoids have complained of skin irritations, redness, itchiness, dryness, increasing sensitivity to the sun, and formation of skin patches.

All these results from either using a more potent retinoid or excessive usage of retinol. “Those with sensitive or easily irritated skin should approach retinol use with caution."-  Christopher Panzica, a licensed aesthetician, recommends. In the midst of all the side-effects, there are some benefits, especially when used in eye creams.

“When applied topically, retinol help bring your skin cells and function back to a more youthful state, improving texture, fine lines, and brightness of the skin,” explains Panzica. He adds, "retinol increases collagen production in the dermis to provide anti-aging benefits." Retinol is not only found in eye creams but sunscreen and lip products as well.

5. Silicone 

This is a chemical additive made from silica, a natural ingredient, which undergoes chemical procedures to be refined. If you have ever applied a product on your face and immediately it feels soft and smooth, that's silicone speaking, not skin improvement.

Manufacturers add this chemical to products like creams or foundations to create the illusion that the products are extremely effective, hence making customers feel like their skin is improving faster than it should, after the application of the products.

Little do they know that it's actually causing a lot of damages to their skin, some of which include: clogged pores, the inability of the skin to absorb other ingredients, aggravates irritations and breakouts, dehydrates the skin leading to dryness and increases the aging process. Not only are harmful chemicals bad for the skin but the environment as well.

6. Petroleum distillates

These are hydrocarbon solvents made from crude oil which encompasses white spirits, kerosene, naphtha, mineral spirits, and Stoddard solvents. Based on this, you can tell it's a strong chemical. They're usually used found in hand cleansers because they are effective in removing strong oils, grease, and waxes.

However, exposure of the skin to petroleum distillates is harmful, therefore, usage is unadvisable. Petroleum distillates can cause skin irritation.  In the long-run, the skin would start drying or cracking—dermatitis—if exposure is prolonged. For your information, this chemical is usually infused in mascaras, so be on the lookout

7. Baking Soda

Wait… you might be thinking — am I reading the wrong article? No, you’re not. Baking soda is not only used in pastries; it’s used in deodorants, particularly natural products. The backing soda that improves the consistency of food does not react well with the skin’s surface. Because the skin is acidic and baking soda has alkaline, rashes begin to appear in the armpit area, when the two elements are combined.

Use Face Products For Sensitive Skin That Contain

  • Calendula extract
  • Chamomile extract
  • Squalane
  • Marshmallow extract
  • Beeswax
  • Shea butter
  • Melatonin
  • Tranexamic acid
  • Witch hazel
  • Oatmeal

Skin Care For Other Body Parts With Sensitive Skin

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Your hands, underarm, legs, belly might not be as visible as your face either but it needs to be properly taking care of. Now, because these body parts are frequently enclosed with clothing, they tend to lack sufficient aeration which could lead to perspiration. Now imagine what the combination of sweat and toxic chemicals would yield. Not so pleasant right—we thought so too—sweet moderately acidic with a pH 4.5 and 7.0. 

Skincare for the body involves all the products and routine aimed at maintaining and protecting the skin. Also, it includes the awareness of all ingredients found in products like soaps, shower gels, sunscreens, deodorants, perfumes, lotions, shaving creams, and their compatibility with one's skin type. 

Harmful  Ingredients In Body Products For Sensitive Skin

soaps, shower gels, sunscreens, deodorants, perfumes, lotions, shaving creams

1. Triclosan

This chemical could be represented as—Triclosan (TSC), triclocarban (TCC)—in products. Triclosan which is usually found in antibacterial soaps is known to cause skin and eye allergies.

Its adverse effect on health makes it even more unsafe to use, as it could lead to hormonal disruption in the body and liver damage. Because it’s a synthetic chemical and pesticide, it’s potent, and so it can remain on the skin for hours, even after rinsing.

For people with sensitive skin, it causes a skin rash. Now Triclosan is not only bad on its own when mixed with water containing chlorine, but it can also generate chloroform (a carcinogen).

So you might think you’re giving the germs on your skin double trouble by washing off antibacterial with chlorinated water, you’re are actually endangering your health. Beware of antibacterial soaps. Beware of Triclosan.

2. Phenoxyethanol

When you see ‘paraben-free’ inscribed on the lotion bottle, don’t get carried away and think it’s safe for application. You have to have a deeper look for its substitute— Phenoxyethanol.

This chemical performs the same functions as paraben with involves the prevention of bacterial and fungal growth in products.  Some products contain both parabens and Phenoxyethanol (as if the presence of one alone isn’t enough to cause damage), increasing one’s susceptibility to skin irritations, especially eczema. 

3. Methylisothiazolinone (MIT)

This ingredient is frequently used in conjunction with similar chemicals like benzisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone. It is a widely used preservative, albeit a potent biocide, a strong irritant that can trigger contact dermatitis, other allergic reactions, and nerve impairment.

4. Cocamidopropyl betaine(CAPB)

This is a foaming agent in shower gels that can cause eye irritation (redness, swelling, itching, and pain), burning, itching, or blistering.

Okay, let’s dive into the scientific zone. When water mixes with your bathing soap it gets slippery. That slippery feeling occurs when the molecules bind with themselves but with dirt and grease, so the dirt can be washed off easily with water.

Additionally, the implication of using a product that contains this ingredient is that it is an allergen (It was affirmed as ‘Allergen of the Year’ by the American Contact Dermatitis Society, in 2004).

5. Oxybenzone

This is a benzophenone derivative usually found in plastics. It’s a chemical used in sunscreens that serves as a shield for the skin. What it actually does is to cause a chemical reaction when absorbing UV rays from the so that heat is produced and emitted from the skin.

Oxybenzone permeates the skin and enters the bloodstream; research discovered the presence of the chemical in the blood, breast milk, urine, and amniotic fluid. 

NB: Parabens, Alcohol, fragrances are found across different categories of skin products, and in all cases considered harmful.

Use Body Products For Sensitive Skin That Contain

  • Bakuchiol
  • Rose
  • White tea extract
  • Green tea extract
  • Sunflower oil
  • Panthenol
  • Cucumber seed oil
  • Lecithin
  • Borage oil
  • Allantoin


Diet For Sensitive Skin: Relish The Nutritious, Trash The Infectious

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The statement, ‘you are what you eat’ cannot be emphasized enough because have a brilliant skincare routine is futile if not implemented in conjunction with healthy eating habits. In other words, what you eat is as effective as (if not more) the masks and scrubs you use every night.

Remember, skincare is about making a ‘conscious effort’ to maintain healthy habits and abandon the unhealthy ones. Healthy eating habits yield healthy glistening skin, and so do healthy foods. With that said, here are foods you should stuff on your shelves and refrigeVegetable fats and oils which are found in nuts, olive oil, and avocados.   

  • Fiber and healthy carbohydrates - Oatmeal, Whole grains, berries, beans.
  • Organic fruits and veggies that are rich in vitamin A (carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins) and have sufficient antioxidants.
  • Food containing nutrients like selenium, antioxidants, zinc, vitamin A and E.
  • Tea: Herbal tea (green tea) not coffee or cocoa.
  • Water: For detoxification and hydration, drink at least glasses of pure water per day.

If You want to improve the status of your skin, here are foods that should be consumed sparingly:

  • Alcohol
  • Fatty foods
  • Baked foods and pastries containing gluten
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Hot or peppery foods
  • Food additives, preservatives, coloring
  • Foods with high saturated fats
  • Red meat
  • Sugary foods

If all the foods you eat fall under the above category, you need to start making major adjustments. Remember, no pain; no gain. 

Also, you might want to consider discussing dietary changes with your dermatologist before you carry on, to your identify individual preference and create a personalized diet.

beauty . 18 min read
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An avid writer, highly distinctive and imaginative, who loves to share art in the form of writing. My blank screen is my canvas.

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