My skin can be really sensitive and seems to really play up in the cold weather in particular,I don't mind paying extra for some so called luxury brand's but what really hacks me off is paying a ton for an it product only to find out I've just blown 60 euro on packaging due to the fact that said miracle product is basically 70% petrochemicals and 30% hype so if I going to be shelling out the bucks it better include some great botanicals,natural butters and oils.Luckily in recent years natural products not only include all these skin loving goodies combined with a good dose of luxury(right up my street).So I will be looking more and more to natural products because their value for money because the raw ingredients cost more to produce and you pay for what you get.
As up to 63% of people have sensitive skin here are a few ways sensitive skin can be controlled,soothed and even prevented alltogether.
STREAMLINE YOUR ROUTINE.
A quarter of all sensitive skin conditions are due to product overload.Most people use between 15 and 20 products at any one time,altogether containing as many as 200 different chemicals,on our skin every day-yikes!.IC t makes sense to pare down our routine to the basics-cleansing lotion,moisturiser and sunscreen-to make skin less reactive.
DO A PATCH TEST.
Really sensitive skin has a very low tolerance for synthetic fragrances and preservatives,as well as anti-ageing ingredients such as retinol andAHAs .Before buying a new product,test it on a small section of your neck and be alert for stinging,redness or a feeling of heat.Always look for products with10 ingredients or less for truely sensitive skin.
BOOST YOUR BARRIER
Over-zelous exfoliation and dehydration can damage our skin's natural protective barrier,resulting in tiny cracks on the surface,which allows irritants to sneak in and cause flare-ups.Repair by drinking at least 8 glasses of water during the day to hydrate skin.Place bowls of water on window sills around the house to create a humid enviorment,and if you work in an air conditiones office spritz your face with a moisturising mist such as evian.Great products for sensitive skin include Dermalogica UltraCalming cleanser for face and eyes,£20,Soothing Protection Spray£20.55 and Barrier Repair £25.45(http://www.dermalogica.co.uk/)
Evening -primrose oil has multiple skin benefits.It contains gamma linolenic acid,which is said to strengthen skin cells and raise moisture content to help combat dry skin,sensitivity and eczema.
GET SUNSCREEN SAVVY
Chemical sunscreens are one of the most common sensitivity triggers.Benzophenones(uva filters0 and PABA can irritate the skin,and if you are allergic to asprin you will find you react to suncreams containing salicylates.Artificial fragrances found in most chemical sunscreens can also cause watery eyes and reddened skin .Switch to mineral suncream ranges,which keep irriating or potentially toxic ingredients to a minium but still block out UV rays such as MD Formulations total daily protector SPF 30£15 which contains the strong reflector zinc-oxide and has a non greasy feel.Look out for Piz Buin Allergy spf15 £13.99,which contains titanium dioxide and other hypoallergenic ingredients.
MAKE OVER YOUR MAKEUP
Out of date makeup also makes skin flare up.Look on the back of the packaging for a symbol of an open pot with a number abive it.This teels you how many months you can use a product for before throwing it away.
CHECK YOUR NAIL POLISH
Formaldehyde and toluene are used in nail polish,but can trigger sensitivity when we touch our faces Zoya nail colours are free from toluene,formaldehyde and dibutylphyde(DBP),from http://www.nailcareclub.com/ and http://www.zoya.com/
INGREDIENTS TO AVOID
Fragrence-other labels include-perfume and parfum -these are usuallypetrolatum-based and a common cause of flare ups.
Mineral oil and petrolatum-often found in hydrating bailms and creams.There a cheap substitute for natural oils,and some scientists believe they block pores because they sit on the skin preventing it from eliminating toxins.
Lanolin-is an emollient,but has a rep for causing sensitivity,though recorded cases are very low.DEA,MEA,TEA-may cause allergic reactions,irritate the eyes and dry out hair and skin.
Alchol or isopropyl-are solvents,also said to have a drying effect on skin and hair.
Sodium lauryl sulphate(sls)is the ingredient that makes shampoos,face and body washes lather.Some scientists clain it can cause eye irritation,skin rashes,hair loss,flakey skin and mouth ulcers.
Methyl,propyl,butyl and ethyl paraben are preservatives used to extend a product's life and inhibit bacteria.
They may cause rashes and other reactions and maybe cancer causing.
Synthetic colours (FD&C orD&C)-Followed by a number are dyes made from coal tar and may be carcinogenic.
Formaldehyde-often found in shampoo,shower gel,nail polish and handwash.It can trigger allergies and is banned from cosmetics in some european countries including sweden.
HOW NATURAL IS NATURAL
Any product can bill itself as natural even if only 1 per cent of it contains natural ingredients so always check the label.
SOME SKIN FRIENDLY BRANDS
Natural elements-antioxidant-rich skincare made from essential oils without chemical nasties.www.essentially-yours.co.uk.
Greenpeople-www.greenpeople.com or wwww.greenpeople.co.uk-an award winning organic range-also available in most whole food and health stores.
Liz Earle-www.lizearle.co.uk has been recommended to me more than once for it's quickly becoming cult cleansers and balms.
AVENE-Frances most trusted skincare brand.Find it in boots and most independant chemists nationwide.
Weleda body therapy-Great value organic productd for face,body and hair.www.weleda.co.uk
or find in most health food stores.
Lily lilo-for pure mineral cosmetics without a heafty price tag-visit-www.lilylilo.co.uk .
BE YOUR OWN PI
If you relly want to know what your putting on your skin see http://www.safecosmetics.org/ -you can check ingredients.
If any of you girls have found a great natural alternative product you can't live without,share your secret in the comments :).