Q. My skin is super sensitive. Which ingredients should I be sure to avoid?

MyChelle Dermaceuticals licensed esthetician Catie Wiggy responds:

Redness, stinging, burning, itching—not ways we want to describe our skin, but for many people skin sensitivities can be a daily struggle. Dermatologists classify sensitive skin as skin that has pustules, bumps or skin erosion, and it can be very dry, not properly protecting nerve endings within the skin. Genetic factors such as age, gender and race play a role in causing skin reactions, and therefore sensitivities can vary from person to person. Sensitive skin types can also have a tendency toward blushing for various reasons.

Skin conditions and disorders such as eczema, rosacea and contact dermatitis can cause additional shutterstock_97494602sensitivities and inflammation. Excessive exposure to skin-damaging environmental factors such as sun, wind and excessive heat or cold can also trigger adverse reactions within the skin. One thing’s for sure. All sensitive skin types have a common characteristic: inflammation.

Inflammation can show up on the surface of the skin but it can also take place deep below at the subsurface. Even when you can’t see it, inflammation can be destructive, damaging collagen and elastin, slowing cellular turnover and weakening the overall structural integrity of the skin. Chronic inflammation can result in substantial and serious tissue destruction.

Approximately 52 percent of women and 38 percent of men have self-diagnosed sensitive skin¹. If you feel you have truly sensitive skin and experience regular inflammation, make an appointment with a dermatologist to discuss your skin. Only a dermatologist or doctor can determine if your sensitive skin is a reaction to cosmetics or a warning of a more serious skin condition like eczema. Skin diseases like eczema and rosacea are at times confused with sensitive skin, but are actually chronic skin conditions that cause itching and inflammation.

Often times we discover that the sensitivities we are experiencing can be caused from our own doing. Harsh chemical products, artificial fragrances and environmental irritants can all cause inflammation and sensitivities within the skin. Those with sensitive skin should practice playing it safe and keep their skin care routines simple. Avoid using soaps on the face because the alkaline pH of soaps can be irritating and drying. Keep clear of sulfates which can irritate and encourage breakouts within the skin. Also stay away from benzoyl peroxide because it can cause an increase in inflammation and dehydration. There is absolutely no need for artificial colors and dyes so avoid products containing them.  Other things to steer clear of are overly abrasive exfoliates and alcohol based toners.

Whether it’s an occasional irritation or a year-round sensitivity, MyChelle has designed the perfect products to ease inflammation and restore hydration in the most delicate skin. Purifying, detoxifying and healing the skin with bioactive cleansers, treatments and nutrients will balance and restore the overall health and radiance of your skin while reducing redness and inflammation. We offer hypoallergenic, allergy-tested, fragrance-free, vegan products that are gluten free and non-GMO. Our unique formulas will calm your complexion and still fight the signs of aging.

So when you take a look in the mirror, what do you see?  Are you struggling with sensitive, dull skin? Try the Pure Harmony Cleanser, this nourishing gel/cream hybrid cleanser is designed to soothe sensitive skin with nutritious, moisturizing ingredients including powerful sea Buckthorn, AquaCacteen and green tea.

Are you experiencing rosy, inflamed, dehydrated skin? Use the Pure Harmony Mask, comfort and calm sensitive skin with this restorative mask twice or three times per week. The advanced formula— fortified with arnica, magnolia and bisabolol, an essential oil of the chamomile flower—soothes irritation caused by environmental stress.

Do you have tight, flaky, rough, ruddy, skin? The Pure Harmony Serum will reduce the appearance of puffiness and swelling and give skin a fresher, more youthful glow. Blended with niacinamide (the water-soluble form of vitamin B3), kinetin and licorice, this restorative serum cools, calms and brightens sensitive skin without irritation.

Does your skin appear dehydrated and lackluster? Give the Pure Harmony Mist a try. This refreshing burst of skin-enhancing nutrients works to boost youthful radiance in sensitive skin.

Is your skin irritated, unbalanced and delicate? Use the Pure Harmony Cream. This gentle, restorative cream replenishes skin’s vital nutrients, protects against irritation and deeply hydrates.

If you find your skin is a combination of all symptoms described then you can mix and match the perfect combination of products to meet your skin needs. The MyChelle line works synergistically to give your skin exactly what it needs to be healthy and beautiful!

(1)CM Willis, S Shaw, O De Lacharriere, M Baverel, L Reiche, et al. Sensitive skin: An epidemiological study. Brit J Dermatol. 145(2) 258-263 (2001).


thumbnail-2Catie Wiggy is Innovative Programs Manager for MyChelle Dermaceuticals. She has been working in the skin care industry for over 10 years as a makeup artist and licensed esthetician. She holds several certifications in esthetics and has hands-on experience with chemical peels, microdermabrasions, acne management and anti-aging treatments.