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What is a good skin care routine for sensitive skin?

Sensitive skin needs products that are carefully chosen to avoid irritations and break-outs.  Always choose products that are chemical free and also contain no harsh preservatives or perfumes.  Do not use soap.  Keep hydrated.

Your skin’s natural barrier function is weaker than those with normal skin (whatever ‘normal’ is!) and so needs careful handling.

It is best to avoid hot water (just warm is good) and do not soak in the shower or bath for too long as this will strip your skin of its natural moisture.  Excessive heat, cold and sun should also be avoided.  When in the sun use a strong factor sun cream with natural minerals.

You may also have some allergies to specific skin products or food products.  Main things to avoid topically are:

  • Formaldehyde (and formaldehyde releasing preservatives like urea, quaternium-15, and DMDM hydantoin)
  • Dyes
  • Cosmetics and soaps
  • Preservatives such as parabens
  • Propylene glycol and ethanol
  • Perfumes
  • Bismuth oxychloride and mica (light-refracting ingredients found in makeup)
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Lanolin
  • Rubber latex
  • 4-tert-butylphenol in cosmetics (lip liners), plastics, and lacquers
  • Chemicals used in pesticides and herbicides
  • Menthol and peppermint

In fact it is best to avoid all synthetic chemicals and use natural and organic skin products.  It is also a good idea to avoid products containing paraffin or mineral oil, as these can irritate the skin, but also they can cause fires.

If your skin is very sensitive you may want to consider a water filter on your shower (easy to fit), which will filter out the chlorine, aluminium, and other additives put into our water.

Coconut oil can make a good cleanser and shea butter a good moisturiser, or choose natural products that contain these ingredients.

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