A. Your Sensitive Skin Care Routine Questions Answered
“Sensitive skin” is often used in the packaging of skin care products, by doctors and even in casual conversations between friends and family. But how do you know if you really have sensitive skin? And if so, what do you do with it?
“Over 60% of my patients describe their skin as sensitive in some way,” says dermatologist Ellen Marmur, M.D., founder of MMSkincare. It turns out that sensitive skin is a complicated condition without the definition of “one size” and can be used to describe anything from redness to dryness, rashes and more. The causes can be as varied as allergies, skin irritating products and even the sun.
But don’t get stressed (stress can make sensitivity worse!): We have answers to your most common questions about sensitive skin directly from experienced dermatologists.
1. What does it mean to have “sensitive skin type”?
Sensitive skin is related to a number of conditions, from genetic conditions like rosacea and eczema to severe allergies, explains Dr. Marmur. Although many people may, at some point, have a skin reaction when exposed to a product or ingredient, people with persistent problems are classified as sensitive.
2. What are the symptoms of sensitive skin?
The sensitivity to the sun is great, says Dr. Marmur. You can also have sensitive skin if your skin reacts easily to new products, burning, tingling, flushing, pink, bumpy or breaking easily, she explains. Other common symptoms include redness, itching, dry spots and frequent skin rashes.
3. What causes sensitive skin?
The main cause of sensitive skin is inflammation, says Dr. Marmur. It is now more commonly referred to as inflammatory because it accelerates the breakdown of collagen and extracellular matrix, causing redness, scaly and irritated skin. This condition may not last long, but it is usually chronic. Sensitive skin can be genetic if it is associated with rosacea, eczema or other skin conditions, such as lupus or hormonal problems.
4. I get red bumps and itchy eyes. Because?
Eyes are number one for women who develop skin allergies that are not normally caused by eye creams, says Mona Gohara, M.D., a dermatologist at Yale School of Medicine. Think of all the things you touch during the day: “People get allergens on their fingers – nail polish and gold and nickel on jewelry are the common culprits – and then rub their eyes,” says Dr. Graber. “You may not have a reaction to the thick skin on your hands, but you can develop one in the delicate area around your eyes.” The solution is simple: don’t touch the face.
5. My skin reacts to everything! How can I control this?
Here is some good news: “The healthier your skin, the less reactive it will be, because allergens can get into dry, cracked skin more easily,” said Emmy Graber, M.D., a dermatologist at Boston University School of Medicine. To keep your skin in shape, replace the soap, which can rid your skin of its natural oils, with a soap-free cleanser like the beauty bar for sensitive skin Dove. Then apply a moisturizer with ceramides to strengthen the top layer of the skin (CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM is a good choice). When all else fails, reducing the number of products you use can also help keep your symptoms in check.
6. What ingredients should I look for and avoid for my sensitive skin?
First, avoid fragrances, a common cause of allergies, and anything labeled “antibacterial” (which can contain desiccant ingredients like alcohol and triclosan). Choose products for sensitive skin, rich in moisturizers, to help maintain skin balance. Dimethicone, glycerin and petroleum jelly are good options that are generally well tolerated.
And while there are no industry standards for products labeled “Hypoallergenic” or “Sensitive Skin”, using these cosmetics is a good starting point if your skin is very reactive. (We like hypoallergenic VMV, an allergy tested skin care and makeup line.) Also, remember that the less ingredients you put on your skin, the less likely it is to react.
7. Are natural and organic products better for sensitive skin?
Not necessarily. Many natural ingredients are irritants and allergens: “Tea tree oil and lavender are two great ingredients,” explains Dr. Graber. Although these types of products are less likely to contain irritating parabens, many still have fragrances added that can also cause reactions. So read the ingredient labels carefully.
8. How do I know if a product irritates sensitive skin?
Symptoms like redness, itching, swelling or peeling may appear immediately after trying a new beauty product – or it may take days to appear. Time lapse can make finding the culprit difficult. So, if you are prone to reactions, do what Derms calls a “test in use”. Apply some of the product to the inside of the arm, cover it with a bandage and keep the area dry for 72 hours. If your skin is still smooth and intact, you have the green light to use the cosmetic as instructed. When your skin reacts, it is obviously a red light: you have an irritation or an allergy. Only a dermatologist’s patch test can tell if it’s an allergy, but the conclusion is the same: don’t use the culprit.
9. Why can I use a cream for years without problems and suddenly it irritates?
“You can develop an allergy at any time because, like your other organs, your skin changes with age and your immune system suddenly becomes sensitive to something you used to tolerate,” says Dr. Gohara. “I see this all the time in middle-aged women, especially women who use a lot of products.” Dr. Marmur had similar experiences. “One of my patients had a favorite lipstick that she had been using since she was 18, but after many years she developed an allergy to an ingredient,” she says. “She was sad to change, but relieved to have an easy cure.”
Another possibility: even if a lotion keeps the same name and the same packaging, for example, a change in formula or a new ingredient may be to blame. If you develop a problem, check with the manufacturer about any changes to the formulation. The easiest thing to do is to stop using this item.
10. What are the best ways to treat itchy skin?
If the itchiness is accompanied by flaking and tension, and your skin is not pink or red, it is probably just dryness. Apply a petrolatum moisturizer or ointment daily, such as Aveeno Cracked Skin Relief Cica. Another option: an anti-itch cream like Sarna anti-itch lotion, which contains menthol to make your nerves feel a cooling sensation that interferes with itching. If you also have bumps or hives, try an oral antihistamine. If it is accompanied by a rash, opt for an OTC cortisone cream. But if you itch everywhere, see a doctor, as it could be a sign of something more serious, like thyroid disease, explains Dr. Gohara.
11. How does my skin become more sensitive with age?
It can. “Age and hormonal changes make the skin drier and thinner and therefore more prone to reactions,” says Dr. Graber. And although some diseases like eczema can appear early in life, others, like rosacea, usually appear in people in their 40s. If you notice an increased sensitivity, check the anti-agers you are using. Some common ingredients, like retinol, are known irritants.
12. How do you get rid of sensitive skin?
We know that life with sensitive skin is not easy. The condition can be confusing and easier to correct when there is a single cause – such as an ingredient. Unfortunately, although there is no quick diagnostic test for sensitive skin, your dermatologist can help with treatment. There you can do a skin care analysis and a possible patch test, suggests Dr. Marmur before. They can help eliminate likely triggers, prescribe medications to soothe the skin and reduce inflammation, and suggest effective treatments at the office and at home.
B. 15 Best Moisturizers for Sensitive Skin, According to Skincare Experts and Dermatologists
When you have sensitive skin, nothing is more important than moisturizing to soothe, moisturize and restore the dry and compromised skin barrier. But you need to be careful when choosing the right moisturizer that does not further irritate your already irritated skin.
“Sensitive skin is usually irritated by products or environmental factors,” says Marina Isakov Peredo, a dermatologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. If you have irritation, dry skin or rosacea, “they all share the inflammation, which occurs when the outer barrier layer of the skin is damaged by lack of hydration, excessive exposure to the sun or exposure to irritants.” To relieve the sensitivity and uncomfortable itchiness of the skin, Dr. Peredo: “It is important to treat dehydrated skin with certain special products that make it less sensitive. Regular hydration is the best thing you can do to soothe sensitive skin and strengthen its protective moisture barrier. ”
1. Daily facial moisturizer without oil for sensitive skin
Calms a reactive complexion instantly, throughout the day, with the non-irritating, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, dye and alcohol-free moisturizer from Neutrogena, which carries the Good Housekeeping seal. In clinical studies, the formulation hydrated sensitive skin for up to 24 hours.
2. Intensive care advanced repair fragrance-free body lotion
The winner of the GH Beauty Lab body lotion test, glycerin-based petrolatum, achieved one of the highest levels of skin hydration the laboratory has ever recorded. According to laboratory measurements, hydration increased by an impressive 60%. The formula is odorless and therefore less irritating than perfumed formulas. “It calmed my skin,” reported a tester.
3. Dramatically different moisturizing lotion
A gold standard, Clinique’s gentle, fragrance-free and allergy tested lotion, developed by a dermatologist, has proven to be effective and moisturizes your skin for hours, despite its light feeling. Laboratory measurements showed that humidity increased by an impressive 41% in six hours of use.
This CeraVe body cream (which can also be used on the face!) Is recommended by dermatologists for sensitive skin and is composed of ceramides, lipids, natural components of the skin’s structure. “It is fragrance-free, contains hyaluronic acid and forms a protective barrier for the skin,” says Dr. Peredo.
5. Ointment healing moisturizing cream for dry skin
With the Good Housekeeping Seal, Aquaphor’s legendary multifunctional ointment has proven to heal skin from head to toe, including the face. The mixture of fragrance-free ingredients, such as nutritious panthenol and glycerin, protects the skin barrier and prevents water loss. This was the result of analyzing the data from the Beauty Lab. Clinical studies have found that the ointment is effective for wound healing, and 91% of consumers who tested the product agreed that it repairs extremely dry and cracked skin.
6. Resveratrol Lift Night Infusion Cream
With moisturizing glycerin and the protective skin antioxidant resveratrol, this Caudalie cream, winner of the GH Beauty Lab test for the best night cream, has consolidated itself as a means of hydrating and improving the skin’s structure – without causing inflammation. It was the best night cream tested to not irritate the skin, obtain a perfect note and smooth the skin texture. According to laboratory measurements, the moisture content increased by 43%. Six testers reported how the cream became “soft” over time and how their faces looked. “It kept my skin hydrated in the morning,” commented one. “I woke up refreshed,” said another.
7. Nutritious youth serum
Developed by dermatologist Steven Wang, M.D., this liquid serum moisturizer is a great option for those who want easier and smoother hydration. “It was designed with sensitive skin in mind,” she says, director of GH Beauty Lab, Birnur Aral, Ph.D. It is also filled with vegetable oils, so it has a moisturizing effect. ”
8. Purely anti-aging and firming facial oil
Jurlique, who won the GH Beauty Lab facial oil test, was awarded non-irritating testers thanks to mild extracts of safflower, macadamia and avocado oils. The volunteers said the botanical blend “reduced red and blotchy patches” and made the skin look “balanced, uniform and clear”.
9. Multipurpose skin care oil
The fast absorbing organic oil for face and body with the Good Housekeeping Seal is a blend of natural oils that have been proven to improve the appearance of old and new scars and stretch marks, uneven skin tone and dehydration. In the dermatologist’s clinical evaluation, participants with sensitive skin had almost no skin reaction 96 hours after application – the formula caused less skin irritation than pure water. Studies have also shown that it improves skin dryness and decreases water loss on the skin, thereby increasing hydration.
10. Cicalfate Restorative Cream
Avène is a beauty laboratory moisturizer to reduce facial redness. Soothes sensitive or weakened skin with a high fatty acid content. “This is my main moisturizer, specially formulated to help recover sensitive or compromised skin”, says Wizemann. “It is quickly absorbed and soothes and moisturizes my skin without greasiness.”
11. Pure Nilotica Melt Nourishing Balm-to-Oil
This rich LXMI balm consists of just one ingredient, a special form of organic shea butter in a silky, spreadable form. He is the Holy Grail of the GH beauty editor who suffers from eczema on the face. Because it is made entirely of shea butter (without fragrance, without preservatives, dyes or even water), it does not cause irritation and helps to pamper even the most painful red, bumpy and inflamed skin. Use it to treat irritated areas locally or apply everywhere to protect and seal in skin moisture.
12. Solutions for dermatologists Centella Cica Cream
This Kiehl’s Cica cream is based on the healing herb Centella asiatica (also known as cica, tiger grass or gotu kola) and is hypoallergenic and contains no potentially irritating scents or alcohol. “It soothes my skin and reduces redness,” says Wizemann.
13. Ultralight moisturizing lotion with sun protection factor 30
CeraVe’s light sunscreen moisturizer was recognized as the winner of the GH Beauty Lab test for facial sunscreen and obtained the perfect score to avoid skin irritation, redness, burning or burning. The oil-free formula was formulated with ceramides to repair an impaired skin barrier. In addition to protecting the skin from the sun, which can cause irritation and redness, it also smoothes it effectively: 92% of testers agreed that the skin is hydrated to the touch.
14. Absolutely revitalizing eye cream
Treat delicate skin around your eyes with this luxurious Lancôme formula, the best eye cream in the GH Beauty Lab test. The score was perfect because it did not cause irritation or redness around the eyes and did not cause burning or stinging in the eyes. It worked best to moisturize the skin around the eyes and increase the hydration level by 41%. “It moisturized well and my eye area was smooth and smooth,” noted a tester.
15. Skin regenerating nectar
Alastin’s Serum Moisturizer, made with healing arnica, vitamin E and fatty acids, is a top dermatologist choice for sensitive facial skin. “It has high antioxidant activity, which supposedly soothes the skin and reduces the appearance of redness, in addition to supporting the skin’s natural ability to produce new and healthy elastin and collagen,” explains Dr. Peredo.
16. How we test moisturizers
Scientists at the Good Labkeeping Institute Beauty Lab have tested the effectiveness of skin care products for centuries, including moisturizers from pharmacies to sophisticated brands. When skin products make claims of moisture or moisture, Beauty Lab chemists use the Corneometer device to determine how well (or not!) A formula is moisturizing the skin. We use the machine to measure the moisture content of the testers’ clean skin before a standardized amount of product is applied and again six hours later to calculate how much the product has increased the skin’s moisture.
Finally, we send moisturizer to consumer testers across the country for comments on factors such as absorption, texture and smell. We analyze all this data to find the best moisturizing products for all skin types, including sensitive skin. Our recommendations for the best moisturizing moisturizers for sensitive skin are supported by our Good Housekeeping Seal or by tested or specialized selections from GH Beauty Lab, which also have dermatologists.