Nearly 60-70% of women and 50-60% of men deal with some form of sensitive skin, meaning the majority of people–including many of our patients–suffer from dryness, redness, discoloration, and general irritation on a regular basis.
Thankfully, managing sensitive skin correctly is possible when you know how to choose the right products. And with the guidance of a board-certified dermatologist! Here are some of our top tips for dealing with sensitivity, based on common patient questions. If you don’t see your question included, just give us a call for a consultation, we’ll be happy to discuss your specific needs and develop a plan with your skin in mind!
Q: How will sensitive skin impact my product choices–do I need to use products labeled exclusively for “sensitive skin”?
A: People with sensitive skin do not necessarily need to use exclusively products labeled sensitive skin, but they use caution when trying new products. Always apply to a small area on your skin to make sure you can tolerate the product, and if successfully, gradually introduce the product to your skin. Start by applying the new product just three times a week, increasing to every other day and daily if tolerated. Be sure to look for signs of irritation, which can include redness, peeling, burning, dryness or itching. If you experience any of these issues, stop using the products immediately. If products are irritating your skin stop using them.
Q: Do you have any “favorite” products I should consider, if I have sensitive skin?
A: Yes! We have tons of great products in our Skin Secrets store that are perfect for people with sensitive skin. Here are just a few of our favorites:
All EltaMD products are great – we really love this physical sunscreen option
Epionce Enriched firming mask (available in store – call to purchase!)
Vitamin C Serum:
If you’d like to learn more or sample any of these products, set up a free skin care consultation in the Skin Secret Store with Charmaine!
Q: Are there any products that people with sensitive skin should avoid?
A: Typically we recommend anyone with sensitive skin use caution with Retinoids, which can be irritating for people with sensitive skin. Start with lowest strength retinol and discontinue use if you experience any irritation.
Alcohol based products can also be irritating and strip the skin of its natural oils, so avoid alcohol based products, such as toners.
Q: Can people with sensitive skin use an exfoliant? Which one do you recommend?
A: Yes, people with sensitive skin can exfoliate with the right one and the right way. There are different types of exfoliants so people with sensitive skin want to choose one that is gentle and will not irritate your skin. Start using only once or twice a week and increase as tolerated. And after use apply a moisturizer to keep skin hydrated and reduce irritation. An example of a good gentle exfoliant is Zo Skin Health Exfoliating cleanser.
Q: What about peels or similar treatments–can people with sensitive skin have these kinds of services?
A: Absolutely! During your consultation, talk to your provider about your sensitive skin and any previous reactions that you’ve had to either treatments or skin care products. This will help your provider best design a treatment plan for your skin care needs and goals. Be sure to bring up your sensitive skin again the day of your appointment, to ensure all of your questions or concerns are addressed. If you have had any new reactions, be sure to mention them.