Common Skin Problems for Moms and Families With Sensitive Skin


families with sensitive skin: skin care tips from Dr. Bailey MDIf your family has sensitive skin, you need to be especially careful about the skin care products that are stocked in the household.

I’m a dermatologist and mother and in my household, we all have sensitive skin.  I’m careful about the skin care products that are in every bathroom and next to every sink in my home because it matters to the skin health of my family.  As a dermatologist I know the scientific facts about skin problems and as a mom I know that my kids want to try new products and my husband wants me to make budget friendly choices when I shop.  Here is how I try to keep us all happy.

First, do you know what the two of the most common skin problems are for families with sensitive skin?  

The most common skin care problems for people with sensitive skin are:

  1. Allergic reaction to allergens like fragrance in skin care products
  2. Irritation from harsh skin cleansing products like soaps

These are skin problems for both we sensitive skin moms and for our entire sensitive skin family. Gentle, fragrance free products are safer all the way around and that’s what I stock for my household.

Even if only one family member has sensitive skin it can mean that the entire family has the potential for sensitive skin problems.  That’s because sensitive skin can be genetic. Often the most sensitive family member develops the skin problem first, like a fragrance allergy or skin irritation. Then, slowly over time, more family members develop sensitive skin problems too.

By stocking the household with only gentle, fragrance free products you’ll help to keep your family’s skin healthy.  You’ll also help to prevent the development of allergic skin reactions, which can become a life-long skin problem. That’s because the more often a person’s skin is exposed to allergens like fragrance ingredients the more likely the person’s skin will finally become allergic. Likewise, repeated exposure to harsh cleansing products gradually breaks down the skin’s healthy outer barrier and eventually the weakened skin develops irritation.

What are the 3 most important things you should do if your family has sensitive skin?

  1. Don’t stock fragrance containing skin care products in your home such as soaps, cleansers, skin creams, sunscreens, lip balms etc.  Natural fragrance ingredients can be allergens too.
  2. Use only gentle skin cleansing products such as synthetic detergents (called syndets), glycerin soaps or naturally made soaps that have retained their natural glycerin, which is a by-product of the soap making process.
  3. Don’t forget to use hypoallergenic and fragrance products in the laundry too since laundry product residue can cause allergic reactions on sensitive skin.

If you enjoy wearing fragrance don’t think you have to go entirely without.  You can add your favorite scent to your hair or clothing, but keep it off your skin.

What are the gentle and hypoallergenic products that I use for my family and that I recommend for my dermatology patients who have sensitive skin?

The best fragrance free skin cleansing products for sensitive skin:

Toleriane Cleanser, which is my favorite syndet for sensitive facial skin cleansing families with sensitive skin: Dermatologist recommended facial skin cleanser for sensitive skin

Vanicream Cleansing Bar, which is my favorite bar syndet for face and body cleansing for sensitive skin Vanicream Soap dermatologist recommended bar soap for the family

Naturally Best Bar Soap, an economical and a glycerin rich, entirely natural soap for the entire family naturally best bar soap natural sensitive skin care for the family

All Natural Foaming Hand Soap for every sink in the house best all natural foaming liquid hand soap for sensitive skin

The Best Moisturizers for Sensitive Skin:

The outer barrier of sensitive skin (called the stratum corneum) is always healthier and stronger when you regularly apply a moisturizer right after washing. Towel skin dry and within a few minutes apply a good, hypoallergenic moisturizer matched to your skin type. Hypoallergenic moisturizing products that I depend on for both my sensitive skin patients and for my own family include:

My All Natural Face and Body Butter and My All Natural Lotion, both products are made from natural ingredients and are entirely hypoallergenic.  These are the products on the counter in my bathroom.

All Natural Face and Body Butter Cream for sensitive skinAll Natural Face, Hand and Body Lotion for sensitive skin

Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream is another simple and dermatologist trusted skin moisturizer for people with sesntive skin.

vanicream dermatologist trusted skin cream for sensitive skin

My Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Oily Skin  is a trusted hypoallergenic face cream for people with oily complexions.Daily Moisturizing Face Cream Normal to Oily Skin

The best hypoallergenic lip care for sensitive skin

Don’t forget that delicate lips are subject to allergic reactions too.  Avoid complex scented and flavored “healing” lip balms that are often filled with potential allergens.  For sensitive skin, I recommend Ceralip to hydrate and prevent chapping Ceralip best lip balm for chapped sensitive lips

The best sun protection for sensitive skin

Hypoallergenic sunscreens are important skin care products that the entire family needs too.  Remember, sunscreen is the single most important anti-aging skin care step for healthy skin.  It’s worth the effort to get each member of your entire family to wear sunscreen on their sun exposed skin daily. Unfortunately, sunscreens are often also a source of heavy fragrance and other ingredients that can cause allergy or skin irritation for sensitive skin. Even natural fragrances like the popular citrus essence in many sun care products can cause an allergic skin reaction (called allergic contact dermatitis). When I pick sunscreens for my dermatology practice and web customers, I read product ingredients carefully and select only sunscreens that are safe for sensitive skin. Click here to see the collection of mineral zinc oxide sunscreens that I trust for my most sensitive skin patients. 

Taking these few steps and buying sensitive-skin-friendly products can help protect your family’s sensitive skin and save future skin problems.

If you have found these families with sensitive skin care tips helpful, please show your thanks by commenting on, sharing, “liking,” Google+, tweeting, and “pinning,” using the social sharing buttons above and below this blog post with friends and family. 

Sincerely, Dr. Bailey Skin Care Team

Photo attribution: Thanks and gratitude to © Ned Frisk Photography/Corbis

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3 Responses to “Common Skin Problems for Moms and Families With Sensitive Skin”

  1. Renovo Cremeld April 16, 2014 at 4:27 am #

    I have been read your article very carefully, you know its awesome, really informative for me, but i was looking for some thing which can help me to removes cheeks and freckles from my face skin,
    Do you have any better solution for that?

  2. Cynthia Bailey, M.D. April 17, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    Renovo, check out the AHA facial skin care kits combined with the facial sunscreens. Those are the products I often use for facial hyperpigmentation. For tolerant skin the Vitamin C Serum can be added during the day as well. We are also introducing a new Retinol Cream for night treatment. These 3 key ingredients (AHA, Vitamin C and Retinol) along with a broad spectrum sunscreen all help to lighten pigment significantly.

  3. Evie Dawson May 1, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

    In a lot of cases, sensitive skin is something you’ll have to deal with your whole life, but there are alternatives to take care of that. :)