The concern: stinging, blotchy, itchy skin
The expert: Celeste Lutrario, Vice President, Research & Development, Burt’s Bees
The skin condition: “Sensitive skin is used to describe a skin condition of people who easily break out in rashes or exhibit irritation in response to internal or external stimuli. The most common symptoms are redness, peeling, swelling, tingling and even acne. Skin easily reacts to products and overreacts to external factors as stress, shaving, weather, etc.”
Contributing factors: “Your daily habits, work stress, the foods you eat, the skincare products you use and the climate you spend time in can all contribute to sensitive skin.”
Pollution: Researchers now belief airborne pollution can be a contributing factor to increased incidences of skin sensitivity. These tiny particles land on skin and adhere like glue in many cases. That is why it is essential to gently cleanse skin twice a day to remove these particles.
Compounding ingredients: “There are typically over 20 ingredients in one single skincare formula. If the formula contains fragrance, it can have anywhere from 50 to 100 ingredients within the blend. So a single product with fragrance can have upwards of 70 ingredients. If you use multiple products, you could potentially be putting over 300 ingredients on your skin in one day. This many different ingredients can put a strain on your skin and cause sensitivity.”
What to look for: “Choose fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, as well as allergy-tested and dermatologist-tested products.”
Pro-tips: Fragrance is one of the most common irritants. Strong anti-aging ingredients like Alpha Hydroxy Acids can also be irritating. Exfoliants can cause sensitive skin since they strip some of the top layers of skin and reduce barrier function. People with sensitive skin should use basic care products that are formulated for sensitive skin. Most important, keep your skin as moisturized as possible to help build barrier function.”
Pro-tip: Avoid heavily scented fabric softeners and detergents – especially on your bed linens and pillowcases.
Pro-tip: A humidifier during cold, dry months can help fortify skin’s moisture barrier.
Clinique Redness Daily Relief Cream
Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Gentle Hydrating Cream SPF 15
Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Face Mask
Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator
Clarins Extra Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream