Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ten Sensitive Skin Care Myths

You've probably heard skin care myths before. But you never know which are true and which are fact.  "Eat this, not that", "use this cream", buy that acne cure", and the list goes on. To clear up the top ten most common sensitive skin care myths, they are listed below with explanations. 

1.  If a new products says it's for sensitive skin, I have to try it.
New products spend a lot money on marketing to get noticed and increase sales.  Instead of jumping from one brand to another, test a product and if it works, stick with it.  Buy based on what you've learned about irritating ingredients to avoid and which are safe to use.

2.  Well known brands of sensitive skin care products, no matter how much they cost, work best.
Don't judge a product by the price.  You don't need to spend $300 for a cleanser or an antiaging serum.  Educate yourself on what ingredients may be the cause of skin problems, and buy based on safe formulas.  You'll be surprised to learn these may be most reasonably priced.

3.  Sensitive skin care companies spend a lot of money on research.
Sensitive skin care and makeup for sensitive skin companies are not regulated by any government agencies, such as the FDA.  Their labels are also not regulated, unless they make medical claims.  Learn which ingredients are irritating and avoid brands with them in it.  Once you find the right match for you, continue to use it. 

4.  Plant ingredients or anything that is good to eat, must be good on my skin.
Many falsely believe not only is 'natural' or plant based ingredients good for them, but the more the better.  Most plants are sprayed with pesticides and have side effects.  The worse culprits are the ones with several plant ingredients in one product.  Dermatologists report most allergies are due to plants.  Why would you want several plant ingredients in your creams or makeup?  Any one of them could cause skin problems.

5.  Herbal and all plant ingredients in skin care are always safe and good for my skin.
This statement is also absolutely false.  For example, tea tree oil is an anti-fungal ingredient.  There is no reason to use it in a cream daily unless you have a fungal infection.  This alone may cause side effects and even severe allergies.

6.  The higher the SPF, the better the protection for my sensitive skin, and you don't need sunscreen on a cloudy day.
Most sunscreens, no matter how high the SPF, only protect from UVB rays or sunburn.  They increase your safety time in the sun without the risk of a sunburn. You need broad spectrum sunscreen which means you are protected from UVA and UVB.  UVA rays are the ones that penetrate the skin deeply, altering our pigmentation and result in a tan.  These are the dangerous harmful rays that can end up as skin cancer. A natural sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are your safest bets.  These two ingredients have been rated as the most effective broad spectrum and safest ingredients. You should use sunscreen on cloudy as well as sunny days.  It's best if your sensitive skin makeup also contains sunscreen.

7.  Scrubbing your face daily with soap will keep your skin healthy.
Soap is one of the worse products to use for sensitive skin.  Most soap contain sodium lauryl sulfate which dries your skin and may cause sensitivities and allergies.

8.  Spa facials are good for your skin.
Most spas use products that contain plant based ingredients.  As discussed above, most of these types of ingredients may cause allergies.  Many spa products may also contain other irritating ingredients.  You can give yourself a spa facial with a gentle exfoliating scrub and facial mask.

9.  Antiaging products can make you look years younger and erase wrinkles.
Many antiaging products contain salicylic acid, which is another allergy producing ingredient.  This ingredient may temporarily reduce redness, but eventually can be a problem.  Parabens, harsh ingredients such as retinoids can eventually make skin sensitivity worse. A sensitive skin antiaging product with gentle non-irritating ingredients such as shea butter and antioxidants is the better choice.

10.  Moisturizer will cause you to breakout in pimples.
Your skin needs to stay hydraded, not dry, and therefore to be moisturized daily.  Most acne medications dry the skin.  This dryness may cause inflammation which may exacerbate acne breakout.  Make sure the sensitive skin moisturizer does not clog pores (noncomedogenic), or it's labeled as oil-free. 

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