Sick of suffering from red, burning or itching skin? Products that once worked perfectly now suddenly causing your face to freak out for no apparent reason? A few weeks ago we delved into the causes of, and some of the cures for sensitive and sensitised skin. This week we shed some light on a couple of the myths surrounding this skin classification, as well as which ingredients to look out for, and which to avoid in the plight to alleviate irritation…
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Myth one: You should only use mineral oil-based products to moisturise a sensitive skin.
False. Mineral oil creates a superficial moisture barrier on the skin – a little like cling wrap. Good quality emollients penetrate further into the upper layers of the skin, providing superior protection and increasing the suppleness of the skin. In saying this though, it is important to ensure that the formulations of the products you’re picking are designed for sensitive skin, as they will help you avoid some of the harsher additives that may be found in general cosmetics.
Myth two: Effective products for sensitive skin do not have the pleasant feel and scent of cosmetic products; they must smell and feel like medications.
False. While many products for sensitive skins are free of artificial colourants and fragrances, dermo-cosmetic ranges, such as that of Avene, are designed to have both therapeutic benefits and cosmetic appeal, allowing your skin to feel soothed as well as pampered.
Ingredients to look for:
– Rich emollients that mimic the skin’s natural water resistant barrier are essential as sensitive and sensitised skins are usually deficient in producing these naturally. Such ingredients include safflower oil, evening primrose oil, and coconut oil, which work to strengthen the skin’s outer barrier to prevent irritants from penetrating, in turn helping to normalise the skin.
– Avene Thermal Spring Water is known to alleviate symptoms of sensitive skin at all levels and is recommended by dermatologists worldwide. It is available in bottled form from most pharmacies and is also found in the entire Avene skin care range.
– Selectiose is a newly patented ingredient that is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory.
Products to avoid:
– Harsh foaming soaps and washes.
– Products with high levels of alcohol.
– Aggressive exfoliants.
– Highly fragranced cosmetics.
– Formulations that contain parabens – a preservative known to irritate sensitive skin.
What are your favourite ingredients in products? Are there any skincare myths you’d like answered?