Sensitive Skin or Chemical Reaction? How to Know the Difference

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Sensitive Skin or Chemical Reaction? How to Know the Difference

So you have sensitive skin. Or do you? Some people are born with easily upset skin while others may simply be reacting to chemicals in cosmetics.

Your whole life you’ve thought you had sensitive skin. You purchase products made for sensitive skin, and sometimes even those cause irritation. What’s the deal?

Truly sensitive skin is usually, but not always, thin and fair. Think Julianne Moore. It is naturally prone to irritation and tends toward dryness, although it can be normal or even oily. Reactions on this skin type commonly show up as general irritation or redness, and are a frequent issue.

On the other hand, bouts of irritation, rashes, hives, or burned looking patches on the skin (often difficult to pin down to one product or ingredient) are more likely a chemical reaction. Chemical sensitivity can occur in any skin type and is a reaction to chemical ingredients used in beauty and personal care products.

We know that using nontoxic beauty products is better for our skin and health, but it can also help with chemical sensitivity. It is not uncommon for someone who has labeled their skin as sensitive to have no sensitivity issues after switching to synthetic-free cosmetics.

This doesn’t mean skin can’t react to natural ingredients. Essential oils are a trigger for many. These oils are highly concentrated and potent, and are best handled by professionals. If you are using essential oils on your own, be sure to add to a carrier oil before applying to skin.

If you are still dealing with sensitivity issues after switching to nontoxic skincare, it is helpful to try and pinpoint the ingredient(s) that are causing the upset. Try keeping a log of the items you use and checking ingredient listings for similarities. Remember, the first ingredients on a listing make up the majority of the product and are a good place to look first.

Swapping out skincare and makeup for healthier products should improve your skin issues. If you truly have sensitive skin, here are some safe, all natural options to try:

Sensitive Skin Pai Camellia  & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser

Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser

Sensitive Skin Suti Rose Water Facial Toner

Suti Rose Water Facial Toner

Sensitive Skin Kypris Beauty Elixir III - Prismatic Array

Kypris Beauty Elixir III - Prismatic Array

Sensitive Skin Osmia Organics Purely Simple Face Cream

Osmia Organics Purely Simple Face Cream

Sensitive Skin Tammy Fender Spontaneous Recovery Crème

Tammy Fender Spontaneous Recovery Crème

Sensitive Skin Ilia Beauty Sheer Vivid Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20

Ilia Beauty Sheer Vivid Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20

*Disclaimer: Help support Organic Authority! Our site is dedicated to helping people live a conscious lifestyle. We’ve provided some affiliate links above in case you wish to purchase any of these products.

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Image of woman looking at skin in mirror via Shutterstock

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