10 worst ingredients for sensitive skin
If buying new products for yourself is like skincare Russian roulette, as you have no idea which ones your skin will love and which ones will make your skin feel like it’s on fire, you might have sensitive skin. You probably take precautions in whatever you do- whether its constantly washing your hands, cleaning your living area or avoiding physical contact in public spaces. You most likely are always cautious, so as not to cause an outbreak with your skin. From a case of hives, to crazy inflamed rashes and reactions, anyone with sensitive skin knows the struggle. We present our 10 worst ingredients for sensitive skin.
1.Fragrances are a no-no
Scent is the first thing that most dermatologists cut out when a patient has sensitive skin. It is ranked as one of the top 5 most common allergens when doing a patch test. Both synthetic and natural fragrances are a problem. They’re easily among the most irritating and unnecessary ingredients found in skincare products.
Sure, they might make your face cream smell great but you aren’t using it for the scent are you? As long as it doesn’t smell terrible you just need something that works for its intended purpose.
Oftentimes the individual ingredients forming the fragrance aren’t explicitly labeled. You’ll find the words “fragrance” or “parfum” but no mention of what constitutes either one of them. Even products marked as “unscented” sometimes aren’t really so because they use chemicals called masking agents to help eliminate the true odor within the product.
Instead of “unscented” look for the words “fragrance free.” This is not to say the product will have no smell, but that no artificial agents were used to mask the natural scent of the product. All Ultra Bee products are naturally scented with essential oils.
Ditch the dyes
Second on the list of worst ingredients for sensitive skin is any kind of artificial dye or colourant, especially those found in hair dyes. Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) is a common ingredient found in permanent hair dyes that can cause an allergic reaction. The result is a rash at the hairline, nape of the neck, and around the ears. PPD is most often found in darker dyes.
Look out for preservatives
Preservatives are necessary for keeping any product that contains water fresh and stable. Some preservatives, like parabens, while not considered harmful to health, can cause an allergic reaction in certain people. Preservatives made our list of worst ingredients for sensitive skin as parabens are more likely to irritate those who already have skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, and contact dermatitis.
Sulphates are not your friend
You’ve probably seen a lot of products such as shampoos being marketed as “sulphate free”, and that’s because ingredients like sodium laureth sulfate and sodium laurel sulfate can strip the hair of its natural oils- and the same goes for skin.
Sulphates are cleansing agents that help create a rich, foaming lather. They can prove too harsh for some, drying out skin and hair and contributing to rashes and blemishes.
We don’t recommend these whether you have sensitive skin or not. They’re simply too drying and they severely disrupt your skin’s natural pH balance. The acne causing bacteria, P. acnes, thrives when the pH level of your skin is far from its natural range which sulfates can drastically change, making it one of the worst ingredients for sensitive skin.
Chemical sunscreens can do more harm than good
Check your sunscreen’s label for the following ingredients: oxybenzone, octocrylene, octinoxate, or avobenzone. You will most likely find one or more of these on the label.
These are some of the most common irritants found in chemical sunscreens. They quickly absorb into the skin which is why they’re so commonly used. But not only are they skin allergens, some of them like oxybenzone are also endocrine disruptors and affect your body in ways you really don’t want your sunscreen to be affecting it.
lnstead, look for products that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These are called mineral or physical sunscreens and they’re superior compared to chemical sunscreens in doing what they’re supposed to do (ie, protecting your skin from the sun!).
Most mineral sunscreens will leave a thin white coat on your skin, so you won’t be winning any beauty contests while wearing them. They are far superior at getting along with your skin than sunscreens with the chemicals listed above. They also won’t absorb into your body as much because the molecules are larger than the pores of your skin which lessen irritation.
Don’t cheap out on makeup
There are several nasty ingredients which can be found in drug store makeup which are by far the worst ingredients for sensitive skin.
Methylisothiazolinone (MI) is a common preservative that has been named the cause of one of the worst allergy outbreaks in history.
Bismuth Oxychloride has been known to cause redness, itching and stinging! If you’ve ever had an issue with mineral makeup, this is likely the culprit.
Beware of DIY recipes
Just because you see a natural recipe on Pinterest, it doesn’t mean that you should try it, ESPECIALLY, if you have sensitive skin. Essential oils, when not diluted properly, can wreak havoc on your skin.
This is more of a problem with DIY skincare because most brand products are in fact, properly diluted with a carrier oil and contain the correct concentrations. Just don’t be fooled by products labeled with higher percent concentrations thinking they’re better because they’re stronger.
Let’s keep the alcohol for the bar. Alcohol is one of the worst ingredients for sensitive skin. It is commonly found in toners and astringents. Alcohol is used as a preservative. Alcohol excessively dries out skin by stripping it of its natural moisture, which greatly increases the chances of your skin becoming irritated.
Avoid citric acids
Lemons are great for food but not always so great for your skin. The pH of lemon juice is way too low meaning it’s too acidic to make it viable for an effective skincare routine.
Your skin hovers around a 5.5 on the scale. Anything too high above or too far below isn’t good. Citric acids in create more problems than they solve and it’s better to avoid them completely especially if you have sensitive skin.
Some people use citric acids to help solve hyperpigmentation problems but you’re better off using an ingredient less irritating. There’s plenty of safer options — Our pigmentation balm for example.
Check your powder
Last on our list of worst ingredients for sensitive skin is mineral powder. The talc and mica used in some powder makeup and bronzers can be a skin irritant. These mineral particles often have rough edges that can cause microscopic tears, which will aggravate sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, look for a makeup brand which is advertised as talc free.