Featured News Tip Sheet

Sensitive Skin?

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.”

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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.

Best picks:

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Shiseido Ultimune

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Clinique Redness Daily Relief Cream

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Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Gentle Hydrating Cream SPF 15

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Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Face Mask

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Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator

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Clarins Extra Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream


  • Reply
    Alison Braidwood
    April 7, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    I just splurged on an expensive Guerlain eyeshadow compact from hbc.ca (GUERLAIN Ecrin 6 Couleurs). It’s sooo pretty and I love the purples, pinks and violets of the compact. But each time I’ve used the shadows (twice, a week apart), I’ve woken the next morning with red, gloopy eyes. The only previous reaction to eyeshadow I’ve experienced was from a drugstore palette. I’m sooon disappointed. This thing cost $99 and I don’t think I’ll be able to wear it. Am I just unlucky, or is expensive not an automatic guarantee of quality?

  • Reply
    Tracy Noll
    February 2, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Sent this to my sister for my niece. I took her to Cliniqiue to get the correct items. My sister let her get OTC products and she was allergic to them.

  • Reply
    January 29, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Forced air heating is a double whammy on my sensitive skin. By February its too late to prevent damage. My entire body feels dehydrated and soooo thirsty.

  • Reply
    Debbie Paiement
    January 29, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Thanks for the great tips in this article. I do suffer from sensitive skin and I am always seeking out soothing products especially in the colder months.

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