What is Sensitive Skin?

Sensitive skin means that your skin reacts to or gets irritated easily, especially when you put products on it.  Your skin may react to the application of a product in different ways.  Some symptoms of sensitive skin include stinging, burning, itching, redness, dryness, peeling, or scaling of skin after the application of products. Other factors that can irritate sensitive skin include wind exposure, cold weather, or sun.

Many people may have sensitive skin, but those who already have an underlying skin condition, like rosacea, eczema, or acne, are even more susceptible to irritation.  Because of this sensitivity, people often try to use products that they think will be less likely to irritate their skin.  Many times, this means using products labeled “hypoallergenic,” meaning “less allergenic” or less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

Are Hypoallergenic Products Better for Your Sensitive Skin?

Hypoallergenic products can still be irritating to your skin. Companies often use the term hypoallergenic when products are fragrance-free or don’t contain ingredients that are considered to be the most common allergens, but any component of a product has the potential to be an irritant to your skin. This is especially true if you have an underlying skin condition that makes your skin already sensitive. However, just because a product says hypoallergenic, it does not mean it is NOT IRRITATING. There is no product proven to be non-irritating to everyone.

What Can You Do to Prevent Irritation if You Have Sensitive Skin?

Test all products before using them—apply a pea size amount of product to a small area on your face for a few days and watch for a reaction, i.e. red/angry, irritated, or itchy skin.  If you have a reaction, then that product is not right for you!

It won’t work to test the product on your arm (or any other body part).  The face is more sensitive than other areas of the body, thus you need to test products on your face.

Dr. Talakoub may recommend as part of your treatment stopping your products to see if they are the cause of, or contributing to, your skin irritation.

Sensitive skin is hard to treat, and it can be difficult when looking for skincare.  If your skin gets easily irritated, please call the office to schedule a consult with Dr. Talakoub to discuss what products she would recommend for your skin.

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