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Hypoallergenic

Dermatologists typically use the term ‘hypoallergenic’ to mean that all of the ingredients of a skin care product have a low potential for causing a skin allergic reaction. Fragrance and preservative ingredients are the most common product allergens. This means that we select fragrance-free products containing only those preservatives with low allergen potential for our patients who need hypoallergenic skin care.

Consumers often expect hypoallergenic products to also be non-irritating. Technically speaking, an allergic reaction is different from an irritant skin reaction in terms of the cause and the reason for the rash (called 'dermatitis'). So while these two rashes may look and feel the same on your skin, they are actually different, and understanding how they differ will help you avoid a problem ingredient.

A skin allergic dermatitis results from your skin's immune system finding something 'foreign' and mounting an allergic reaction against it. Irritation (called irritant dermatitis), however, is caused by exposure to a product or substance that is too harsh for your skin, which damages the outer dead cells and eventually even deeper parts of your skin.

To help you understand the difference, think about the itchy rashes caused by poison oak and poison ivy, which are classic examples of skin allergic reactions. Skin care product ingredients can be similarly ‘foreign’ and cause an allergic itchy red rash. Compare that to dishpan hands, which is a classic example of irritant dermatitis resulting from overexposure to harsh dish soap.

Thus, in skin care, the term ‘hypoallergenic’ is not strictly defined and can be confusing. For this reason, I list products here that are truly hypoallergenic in that they are fragrance-free and made with preservative systems with low allergy potential. I also, at times, have excluded products that in my experience are very risky when it comes to irritating moderately sensitive skin. I’ve done this because over my years of practicing dermatology, I've found it helpful to add this level of interpretation to the term for people.

I hope I have helped you to find products for your skin problems that your skin can tolerate well. If you have sensitive skin or want to avoid both allergens and some of the stronger irritants in professional skin care products, know that most of the products listed here are tolerated by my patients with moderately sensitive skin. Some of the most effective skin care ingredients to fight acne and skin aging, such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide, are inherently irritating. When I include these, I try to give you enough information to decide if your skin may tolerate these ingredients in a product. Understand that there is never a guarantee, however, and each sensitive skin complexion is unique. 

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  1. Facial Redness Relief Kit - with Resveratrol™

    Facial Redness Relief Kit - with Resveratrol™

    $80.00

    This is the same magical ingredient combination as my Facial Redness Relief Kit - Oil Free but now with the newest Green Tea Skin Therapy Cream containing resveratrol, the powerful grape antioxidant, in a paraben-free cream base.

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  2. Professional Foot File

    Professional Foot File

    $3.00
    The perfect professional foot file to keep your feet soft. Learn More
  3. Soft and Smooth Feet - Rough Skin Remover Kit

    Soft and Smooth Feet - Rough Skin Remover Kit

    $50.00
    Professional products to remove painful calluses and unwanted dry, hard, rough, and cracked dead skin from your feet. Learn More
  4. Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Oily to Normal Skin™

    Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Oily to Normal Skin™

    $21.00

    Gentle, oil free hydration for facial skin. This light glycerin moisturizer is perfect for acne prone skin and to use in combination with all of our therapeutic facial products.

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  5. All Natural Face and Body Butter Cream™

    All Natural Face and Body Butter Cream™

    $24.00
    Highly Effective moisturizer to heal your extremely dry and sensitive skin. Learn More
  6. All Natural Face, Hand and Body Lotion™

    All Natural Face, Hand and Body Lotion™

    $20.00
    Elegant and light-textured, natural moisturizer for dry to normal sensitive skin. Learn More
  7. Naturally Best Bar Soap for Dry Skin™

    Naturally Best Bar Soap for Dry Skin™

    $5.00
    Unscented, glycerin-rich soap made with healing oats for your dry and sensitive skin. Learn More
  8. Vanicream Cleansing Bar

    Vanicream Cleansing Bar

    $4.00
    Dermatologist-recommended hypoallergenic cleansing bar for extremely sensitive skin. Learn More
  9. MDSolarSciences Mineral Tinted Creme SPF 30 Broad Spectrum

    MDSolarSciences Mineral Tinted Creme SPF 30 Broad Spectrum

    $32.00
    Luxurious, Broad Spectrum Sunscreen with a Silky "Barely There" Finish. Learn More
  10. EltaMD UV Lip Balm Broad-Spectrum SPF 31

    EltaMD UV Lip Balm Broad-Spectrum SPF 31

    $10.00
    Protect your delicate lips from the sun every day with a sunscreen lip balm you will love to use. Learn More

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