LETS TALK ABOUT SENSITIVE AND STRESSED SKIN
- Skin irritates easily.
- Fragrance, including essential oils, toners and products with alcohol may irritate skin.
- Skin sunburns easily
- May suffer from acne, eczema, rosacea or a number of other skin conditions
- Skin my be clear but blotchy, can swell, develop hives and flake.
- Fair skin or red hair people can often have sensitive skins and they may be prone to flushing easily (red veins and high colour are signs of potential sensitivity)
- Sensitivities are reactions to environmental and /or internal conditions.
- Delicate skin is easily irritated and/or inflamed, but can take up to 48 hours to produce a reaction but also may flush easily
- Irritation can take on the form of redness (erythema), blotchiness, flaking and rash. Eczema, Psoriasis, Roseacea also common
- Delicate skin usually has a genetic predisposition, but is also affected greatly by environmental stressors, such as, UV radiation, chemicals, products, internal stress, heat and cold etc.
- Delicate skin needs to be treated very gently with non-irritating and soothing products.
- Occasionally a person’s skin is so reactive that it requires non-allergenic products with no fragrance or essential oils. Presently all our products have essential oils and supercritical herbal extracts so for some sensitive skin types or products will not be suitable.
- Gentle cleansing and minimal exfoliation are required. Sensitive skin shouldn’t be ‘over’ scrubbed and exfoliated
- Moisturizing is important: the drier the skin, the more prone it is to sensitivity. Apply a light moisturizer twice daily.
- Anti-inflammatories ingredients can be good for sensitive skins
- Try not to use soap based products with SLS foam etc. on skin.
We recommend always patch testing first for those with sensitive skin. However
reactions may not occur for 48 hours in some cases. Potentially sensitive skin
however will flush slightly with the use of the products, in particular products heavier in oils which can be pitta inducing (increase redness and heat). If however a flushing occurs but is not uncomfortable or ‘burning’ the product will most likely be safe and the flushing in fact therapeutic as it brings valuable blood flow to the skins surface.
Remember that essential oils can be reactionary in some people as can
commonly used botanical herbs. Also sensitive skin types are often affected by dietary stimulation and / or stress rather than topically applied reasons. For that, elimination of the causative factors will be needed before the skin looses its excess histamine / reactive quality.
If we were to put out a product developed specifically for all types of sensitive
skins we would need to exclude all essentials oils, botanical extracts and
many cold pressed oils – all of which can be potential irritants to any particular
individual. We would be left with a basic glycerine type product, which would
have little goodness but provide good moisture and some protection.
This is the philosophy behind the basic aqueous creams that are so popular
and prescribed readily by doctors for eczema and other skin disorders.
However these aqueous creams still contain some questionable
preservatives. Generally fragrance and artificial colors are removed, but they
still contain parabens, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate and other
ingredients that have been shown by researchers to be irritating and
allergenic. A preservative know as a potential irritant, 2-phenoxyethanol (2-
PE), is found in most basic NZ chemist bought aqueous creams as well as
Cetostearyl Alcohol, Liquid Paraffin, White Soft Paraffin and Phenoxyethanol.
There have been several reports of eczema and hives due to this preservative
2-PE and reported reactive issues with some of the other ingredients. This in
our minds, negates the reason for taking out the other potential irritants in
such aqueous creams.
Our philosophy with sensitive skins is to keep the regime simple, go slowly
and test drive. Calendula, our first suggestion can be a miracle for many but
very occasionally an slight irritant for others such as those with strong reactive
issues with pollen.