The Best Skincare Products Around for Sensitive Skin
“Clean beauty” has become a buzzy term, but here's the thing: Many people assume anything that has "all-natural" on the label is uniformly safe for sensitive skin, and that's not the case. "They can still contain botanicals and fragrances, which can worsen irritation for some," points out Marisa Garshick, MD, an NYC-based dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College.
While clean skincare might mean different things to different people depending on your skin's sensitivity, you’re probably not looking for beauty products packed with ingredients that will irritate your skin and cause redness, dryness, itchiness, or pain. So look carefully at the ingredients in your beauty products rather than relying solely on labels like “hypoallergenic,” which can be misleading. In fact, according to a recent study published in JAMA Dermatology, 83 percent of products considered "hypoallergenic" contained at least one common allergen ingredient.
There's little regulation when it comes to certain common statements made on beauty product labels, like "dermatologist recommended" and "hypoallergenic," and the FDA doesn't have a standard or set of protocols a cosmetics company would need to take before making such claims.
The best skincare products for sensitive skin should leave allergens like gluten, synthetic fragrances, and triclosan on the cutting room floor. Dr. Garshick also lists "parabens, propylene glycol (which was actually named the Allergen of the Year from the American Contact Dermatitis Society due to increasing awareness of its role in irritating skin), and lanolin" as skincare ingredients you'll want to avoid.
"Other things to look for in the label include tocopherol and various formaldehyde releases such as DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea among others and other preservatives such as methylisothiazolinone," she added.
The most common skin irritant is fragrance, Dr. Garshick says. "If someone comes in with sensitive skin, that would be be first ingredient I would advise them to avoid. If they are still sensitive, that’s when avoiding some other ingredients can be helpful."
While the ingredients mentioned above aren’t guaranteed to cause your skin issues, if you’re looking to spring clean your skincare routine, here are some of the best beauty products to revamp your regimen with fewer questionable ingredients.