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Do You Have Sensitive Skin?

Sensitive
skin is not really a medical term and can mean many things depending on whom
you ask. To most laypersons, people who easily break out in rashes in reaction to
commonly used products have sensitive skin. 
Doctors will say you are likely to have sensitive skin if you have acne,
psoriasis, contact dermatitis, rosacea, or eczema. These medical conditions can
run in the family. Allergic reaction to a cosmetic or household product is usually
not hereditary.

What are some tips in choosing
products for sensitive skin?
  • Choose
    soap-free cleansers and cleansing bars with no fragrance, no sulfates, and no parabens. Avoid
    antibacterial and highly scented soap bars and liquid

    DERMAX Gel Cleansers are
    fragrance-free, sulfate-free, and paraben-free.

    cleansers.

  • Avoid alcohol-based
    toners.
  • Use silicone-based
    foundation for minimal skin irritation.
  • Avoid
    waterproof cosmetics. Removing them require a special cleanser that may
    irritate skin.
  • Use
    black eyeliner and mascara because they are the least allergenic. Pencil
    eyeliner is usually less irritating than liquid eyeliners. Earth-toned eye
    shadows are safer to use than darker colors.
  • Throw
    out old cosmetics. They can spoil or become contaminated even before their
    expiry date.
  • Products
    with exfoliants like hydroxy acids, tretinoin, and scrubs should be used
    with caution.
  • Products
    with fewer ingredients are generally safer for sensitive skin.

Are
skin care products labeled “hypoallergenic” or “sensitive skin formula” safer
for sensitive skin?
  • There
    are no government standards on the use of the term “hypoallergenic” and
    “sensitive skin” so they can mean whatever a particular manufacturer wants them
    to mean.
       
  • Your best bet is to test your own skin
    reaction before using a new product.

How do I test a new skin care
product?
  • Every
    night before bedtime, apply a small amount behind an ear and leave it on
    overnight. Do this for 5 days.
  • If there
    is no skin irritation, follow the same procedure, this time applying the
    product on an area alongside an eye.
  • If you
    still don’t see irritation, the product should be safe for your face and
    other sensitive body parts.

Whether your skin
sensitivity is the result of a skin disorder, a reaction to a product, or to sudden
change in weather, it requires extra care. Making these small changes in your daily
skin care regimen can help improve your skin condition.

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This column was published in the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section on January 28, 2014 . The author is the CEO of SkinStation. He received the 2011 Outstanding Chemist Award from Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) for his achievements in the field of cosmetic chemistry. Skin Smart aims to clarify facts and myths on skin care. Send your questions and comments to info@skinstation.ph. 

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