SEPTEMBER 2000 MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
Sensitive skin products are a large and a fast growing segment of the skin care market. Characterized by symptoms such as stinging, burning, itching, and tightness, sensitive
skin is a problem for people of all races and ages.
As discussed in an article in the June 2000 issue of Postgraduate Medicine (107:7; 70-77), there
are several diseases that may make a person more likely to have sensitive skin. These are
allergic contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, comedogenic acne, eczematous dermatitis, papular
or pustular acne, dermatitis around the mouth area, and rosacea. Treating the previously
mentioned disorders is the first step to managing sensitive skin. According to the author of the
article, you and your docto rmay choose the following 2-week plan to treat the condition:
- Discontinue use of all topical cosmetics, over the-counter treatment products, skin care items, cleansers, and toiletries.
- Use only synthetic detergent soap, such as Oil of Olay.
- Use a bland moisturizer, such as Cetaphil Cream.
- Stop using all topical prescription medications or skin products that contain benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin, glycolic acid, alcohols, and other drying or irritating ingredients.
- Eliminate sources of skin friction by wearing loose, soft clothing.
- Discontinue sports or activities that cause repetitive skin rubbing, such as wearing a backpack.
If the problem has improved, you may be able to use one cosmetic each week in the following
order: lipstick, face powder, and powder blush. Test other products by applying one each night,
for at least 5 nights, to a small section of skin and checking for reactions.
Use the following guidelines to choose safe cosmetics:
- When possible, use powder cosmetics instead of cream or lotions.
- Use only cosmetics that are easily removed with water; do not use waterproof formulations.
- Discard old cosmetics and purchase fresh products every 3 months.
- Use only black eyeliner and mascara, and pencil forms of eyeliner and eyebrow products.
- Use eyeshadow colors that are earth tones (tan,cream, white).
- Select cosmetics that do not contain chemical sunscreen agents, for example, para-
benzoic acid esters and/or methoxycinnamates.
- Choose cosmetic products with no more than 10 ingredients, if possible.
- Choose cream or powder facial foundations. If you use a liquid foundation, make sure it has
silicone oil base, for example, cyclomethicone or dimeethicone.
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