Monday, August 29, 2011

Help for Sensitive Skin

Help for Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is a problem familiar to many, even millions of people. It usually means they have an allergic reaction to mostly products. I get quite a few questions from our customers each day. Some I like to answer through my blog, so others can get information who have similar concerns. Below is one of these questions that I'd like to share with you:

I have sensitive skin in that anything with perfumes in it irritates me. Also dust. God knows what else irritates me!
I am starting to get really dull skin and a few lines but I am not
sure if I should be using a sensitive skin range or an aging skin
care range. Can you please assist?? My skin feels terrible and I
really want to look after it.

thanks so much,

Sharon's skin problem is similar to what we hear at Cleure from many of our customers. One of her concerns is whether to look for 'sensitive skin' products or 'anti-aging skin care'. For years and clever marketing, companies have divided products into skin types. For example, we've been told if you have oily skin, use certain types of products, if you have dry skin use another, and still others for anti-aging. This means more products for you to buy, and more profits for the brands.

Truth be told, the skin is an organ, just like any other organ in our body, and it's the largest one. We should begin to look at our skin not by types, but whether it's healthy or unhealthy.

Healthy skin rebounds with health and radiance when exposed to occasional challenges. Unhealthy skin continuously looks dull and breaks out in rashes, blemishes, uneven color, etc. According to American Academy of Dermatology, all unhealthy skin, which may include acne, rosacea, burning and stinging, and allergies and irritants (contact dermatitis), have inflammation in common.

The question becomes how to keep your face healthy, when it is radiant and beautiful, OR how to bring about health, if it is unhealthy?

Skin Care for Sensitive Skin

All skin is delicate and should be treated with TLC (tender loving care), and especially as we reach our twenties and of course as baby boomers. Dermatologist agree that there are certain factors that effect our skin health:

  • Management of stress - this can be good or bad stress, but nevertheless, if we don't balance stress with rest and relaxation, it shows on our skin.

  • Diet and nutrition - what we eat also reflects in our skin. Foods high in sugar, simple carbohydrates like white bread, and excessive alcoholic drinks are all on the unhealthy list. On the other hand, organic vegetables, fruits, balanced with minimum amount of red meat free of antibiotics and fat, chicken, fish, whole grain breads and cereals, along with plenty of water contribute to a healthy glow.

  • Exercise - It's important to get your blood circulating, (which means getting oxygen and nutrients to your tissues) and give your heart a good workout. This could simply include a daily 20 - 30 minute walk, or a harder workout based on your current age and physical stamina.

  • Skin care products = what goes on, goes in - it certainly does. You absorb ingredients right through the skin. This is why skin patches are used to deliver tobacco cessation, pain relief and other drugs to the body. Most commercial brands (even expensive ones) contain many irritating ingredients that can affect our skin health, and eventually weaken any skin's ability to bounce back to health.

  • Sensitive Skin Chemicals to Avoid

    Since the skin is very delicate, long term use, or 'assault' by certain ingredients eventually harms the skin. If you continue to introduce these ingredients to your skin, it sets off a chain reaction, including inflammation which can lead to unhealthy skin and you in general:

  • You may notice your eyes watering or itchy skin.

  • Your immune system registers these symptoms as an attack by harmful agents and sends particular cells to fight the problem. This may worsen your symptoms by causing inflammation.

  • If the problem continues, the stress on the immune system may translate to other symptoms related to general health, such as fatigue.

  • Your skin problem may worsen to include rashes and acne, making it impossible to use products you have used for years (which probably were part of the cause).

  • Below is a partial list of some of the main culprits of ingredients to avoid whether you have sensitive skin now or want to prevent it.

  • Salicylic acid allergy - it's not uncommon to learn that you may be salicylate acid sensitive. Salicylates are used in many products including Aspirin, skin care, sports creams and mouthwash, among others. Reasons for sensitivity to salicylic acid could be the many products you have used that contain 'natural herbs or plant extracts'. Just because something is natural or organic does not mean it's good for you. Salicylate sensitivity can eventually lead to other symptoms such as chronic headaches, itchy skin, and rashes.

  • Perfume and fragrance - these also contain salicylates and other toxic ingredients that may be highly irritating.

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate - also known as SLS, is an industrial detergent that may dry your skin and cause allergies. Most well-known dental brands contain SLS toothpaste. Studies have shown this ingredient may also cause outbreak of canker sores.

  • Parabens - are used as preservatives. They were found in breast cancer tissue in some studies and may be irritating.

  • Treatment for Sensitive Skin
    Most treatment for skin conditions such as acne, rosacea or dermatitis from a dermatologist may include some form of antibiotic, either taken orally or in a product to use on the skin, or steroid creams or injections. Most of these types of treatments are temporary and may have side effects, if administered for long periods of time. If this makes common sense to you, follow the suggestions given in this blog, such as living a healthy, balanced lifestyle and using non-irritating skin and personal care products routinely.

    How to Choose Sensitive Skin Products
    Choosing the right sensitive skin products is not an easy thing to do. The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate personal care and skin care products. Companies are on their own to add any ingredient they want to their products, even some without appearing on their label. As a result you are at the mercy of the pretty package, marketing words on the label and the sexy model, who may not even use the brand, to help you buy.

    To say the least, it can be confusing. This is what motivated me to develop Cleure sensitive skin care products, which started with our sodium lauryl sulfate free toothpaste, since I am a dentist. Due to customer demands and years of research, our brand has grown to moisturizer for sensitive skin, hypoallergenic shampoo, and other high quality skin and personal care products.

    In conclusion, you have to take control and choose very wisely which products to use. Take inventory of your life, make sure you manage stress properly, eat right and use the best products for sensitive skin for healthy, beautiful complexion at any age. And do be patient, because it doesn't happen overnight. Stick with the right products, and eventually it pays off.

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