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 • Beauty Tips  • The Five Skincare Ingredients Everyone With Sensitive Skin Should Avoid

The Five Skincare Ingredients Everyone With Sensitive Skin Should Avoid

Sensitive skin is one of the most challenging skin types to deal with. Simply because there isn’t so much that you can do with it. You have to limit the number of products that you apply on top of it, make sure you’re not using harsh ingredients, and also try your best to still address your main skin concerns. However, as overwhelming as it may seem at first, dealing with sensitive skin doesn’t have to be nearly as complicated as you may think. All you have to do is make sure you’re avoiding these ingredients.


No matter if you’re skin is sensitive or not, I would pretty much recommend to anyone to stay away from products that contain fragrance in them. Why? Because even if you aren’t sensitive/allergic to fragrance at this moment, you could develop sensitivity after some time. In addition to that, there isn’t too much of a reason why fragrance is added to our skincare. The only reason is to mask the scent of other compounds. The fragrance comes in many different forms, including essential oils, synthetic fragrances, and natural fragrances. Unfortunately, even natural fragrances can cause irritation or allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin. So make sure you’re avoiding anything scented, including lotions, body washes, or even makeup.

Alcohol and Sensitive Skin

When it comes to alcohol in skincare products, it’s most commonly used to help other ingredients penetrate deeper into the skin. However, it can be very drying and irritating for sensitive skin. Alcohol can also strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and inflammation. There are different types of alcohol used in skin care products, and not all of them will cause issues. For example, fatty alcohols like cetyl and stearyl alcohol are often used as emollients to help moisturize the skin. However, drying alcohols like ethanol and isopropyl alcohol can be harsh and irritating. So make sure you’re reading the labels and avoiding the types of alcohol that do cause an issue for your skin.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

You’ve probably already heard about sodium lauryl sulfate or SLS. This is a common ingredient in beauty products, from shampoos to facial cleansers. SLS is a surfactant, which means it helps to break down oils and dirt on the skin. This is a strong foaming agent that can be very harsh to the skin, especially if it’s already sensitive. It can also strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and added sensitivity. SLS can even be problematic for people with acne-prone skin, as it can clog pores and contribute to breakouts.

Retinol and Sensitive Skin

You probably already know that retinol is a popular ingredient in many anti-aging skincare products. However, it can also be very irritating for sensitive skin. Retinols work by increasing cell turnover and promoting collagen production, but they can also cause dryness, flaking, and redness. So if your skin is already sensitive, you have to be extra careful when it comes to incorporating these products into your skincare routine. My personal recommendation would be to fully stay away from retinol, and stick to other vitamin A derivatives such as retinal. It’s a lot less irritating while delivering similar benefits.

Chemical Sunscreens

I’ve never been shy about confessing my love for sunscreen. However, when it comes to sensitive skin types, then chemical sunscreens could cause a problem. Chemical SPFs contain UV filters such as oxybenzone and octinoxate which can be incredibly irritating for sensitive skin types. Sadly, the USA is very strict when it comes to approving new UV filters, so most of our sunscreens still contain these filters. To keep things safe, you would be a lot better off using mineral sunscreens that contain ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.


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