If you have sensitive skin or allergies to certain skincare products, then finding a skincare regimen that works can be a pain. You already know to steer clear of harsh routines like washing with extreme hot or cold water or using a loofah to cleanse with. But how do you know which skincare products will work best on your sensitive skin? Below, we’ve outlined some ingredients to steer clear from. Start by avoiding the ingredients on this list, and you should be headed toward more hypoallergenic-friendly products.
Aluminum Oxide Crystals
Aluminum oxide crystals are just one example of an ingredient present in many face scrubs. It serves to exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells. For some people, this can prove beneficial and improve the skin’s appearance. For people with sensitive skin, however, products with crystals, beads, or other ingredients designed for exfoliation can prove irritating or even damaging. Other overly abrasive scrubs to avoid include those with walnut shells, apricot kernels, or pumice in them.
Alcohol and Methanol
Alcohol and methanol are ingredients commonly found in toners and astringents, but don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you can’t use a toner if you need one. The problem with toner comes when the product contains irritating ingredients, and alcohol and methanol are some of the harsher ingredients you’ll find in these types of products. Also watch out for alcohol in creams that promise a quick-dry finish.
Many facial and skincare products come with “essential oils” listed in the ingredients. They add fragrance, but they’re also often left unnamed. That means that if you choose the wrong product, you could be putting an irritating product on your skin all thanks to the essential oil fragrance present. Essential oils in the citrus family are particularly harsh. These irritating oils can be found in products like face masks—a skincare product that’s also best to avoid if it contains polyvinyl alcohol.
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Sulfates like ammonium lauryl sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate are present in countless beauty products, from shampoo to toothpaste. These ingredients are what deliver that lathery feel in cleansing products. While that lather may feel great, these ingredients can be irritating to those people with sensitive skin, so try staying away from them for a few weeks to see if you notice a difference in your skin.
The problem with the sun is that sun exposure itself can be irritating to sensitive skin, but most sunscreens also cause irritation. It’s a catch-22, but the good news is that there’s a solution. There are two types of sunscreens: chemical and physical. It’s the sunscreens packed with chemical ingredients intended to reflect UV rays that are the problem. While these types of sunscreen are fine for normal skin, a person with sensitive skin is better off going with a physical—or mineral—formula. Look for sunscreens with Zinc as an active ingredient.
The main thing to remember if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin is to be gentle! Avoid harsh external stimuli such as hot water, strong chemicals, and abrasive scrubs, and don’t poke at acne or overuse skincare products. Soon, you should start seeing an improvement in your skin. If you’re still experimenting with skincare products, look for ones specifically designed for sensitive skin. What will your new skincare regimen look like?