Monday, September 17, 2012

Types of Sensitive Skin

If you are like me who enjoys shopping for skincare products, you would surely know that there are indeed a wide range of products to choose from. The labels and ingredients could be very confusing. There are many products claiming that they are best for oily skin, dry skin, combination skin, or sensitive skin. But should we really believe on what these labels claim? Is it just as easy as following the claims?

The "For Sensitive Skin" label specifically, could in fact become a misnomer. Not all sensitive skin types are similar. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are four types of sensitive skin: Acne, Rosacea, Burning and Stinging, and Contact Dermatitis. A certain ingredient may work well for acne but may be irritable to a different type of sensitive skin. Therefore, it is best to identify which type of sensitive skin you may have before choosing a product.

Acne is a condition that is caused by excessive oil and bacteria. Products with noncomedogenic ingredients, or ingredients that do not clog pores, work best for this skin type. Antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinoids are used to treat this condition.

Rosacea is characterized by redness in the skin. It is also marked by pimples and the appearnce of broken blood vessels on the face. Treatment includes the use of anti-inflammatory ingredients such as caffeine, sulfur, sulfacetamide, feverfew, chamomile, green tea, and licorice extract. Acidic ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and vitamin C are the common irritants to this skin type.

Burning and stinging is a sensation that comes after applying stinging irritants such as lactic acid, glycolic acid, vitamin C, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), benzoic acid, and azaelic acid. Usually, a lactic acid is applied to a patch of skin to test for this type of sensitive skin, but some people with burning and stinging condition do not always sting to lactic acid.

Contact Dermatitis is caused by allergens or irritants. People with this condition should refrain from products with fragrances, dyes, preservatives, and formaldehyde. Different people have different reactions to specific allergens. If you have this type of sensitivity, you have to conduct a patch test first before using a new product. Note that even organic ingredients may also cause allergies.

Source: American Academy of Dermatology
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