Common Skin Problems for Moms and Families With Sensitive Skin
If 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:
- Allergic reaction to allergens like fragrance in skin care products
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Vanicream Cleansing Bar, which is my favorite bar syndet for face and body cleansing for sensitive skin Naturally Best Bar Soap, an economical and a glycerin rich, entirely natural soap for the entire family
All Natural Foaming Hand Soap for every sink in the house
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. Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream is another simple and dermatologist trusted skin moisturizer for people with sesntive skin.
My Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Oily Skin is a trusted hypoallergenic face cream for people with oily complexions.
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
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.
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Sincerely, Dr. Bailey Skin Care Team
Photo attribution: Thanks and gratitude to © Ned Frisk Photography/Corbis