Hypoallergenic Skin Care
Over 30 years of dermatology practice has made it very clear to me that most everyone should chose hypoallergenic skin care products! An allergic skin reaction to an ingredient will create a lifelong allergy. Most modern skin care is NOT hypoallergenic. Fragrance and preservatives in skin care products are the most common allergens. Even some of the yummy botanical ingredients in natural skin care are potent allergens too.
The term 'hypoallergenic' is not legally defined. Truly hypoallergic products should be:
- fragrance-free (or made with low-allergen fragrances),
- contain preservatives with low allergen potential.
How to tell an allergic skin reaction from a skin irritation reaction from a product.
Both lead to an itchy and red eczematous dermatitis but:
- A skin allergic rash (allergic dermatitis) results from your skin's immune system finding something 'foreign' that it feels it needs to mount an allergic reaction against. Inflammation results. Blisters and scale-crust can form, and skin turns red and itches. Once allergic, you will typically be allergic for your lifetime.
- Irritation (called irritant dermatitis), however, is caused by exposure to a product or ingredient that is too harsh for your skin; contact damages the outer skin barrier resulting in redness, scale-crust and even blisters. The rash usually stings, but it may also itch. Using lower concentration or less frequent exposure to the ingredient may solve the problem.
Poison oak and ivy are classic allergic reactions, dishpan hands is a classic irritation reaction.
If you have sensitive skin, both allergens and irritants will pass through you skin barrier more easily than someone who has normal skin and I recommend that you use hypoallergenic products for most of your skin care! - Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey
Sensitive skin occurs with conditions such as rosacea, eczema and other rashes. Exfoliated skin is sensitive and so is the skin of children.
Dermatologist's advice for picking skin care products for sensitive skin made easy!
On my products you will notice blue, green and orange bands on each of my product labels.
A BLUE BAND means that even people with the most sensitive skin are usually able to tolerate these products.
AN ORANGE BAND means that the ingredients may be irritating (like glycolic acid, salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide) and you need to think about how your skin might tolerate these ingredients. The products are technically hypoallergenic by dermatologic criteria, but they can be irritating. Some of the ingredients (such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide) might even be allergens for people with very sensitive skin.
A GREEN BAND means the formulation is natural and often made with organic ingredients. I have formulated these products using ingredients that have low potential for allergy and irritation.
What type of products do I as a dermatologist recommend for sensitive skin?
Because the term ‘hypoallergenic’ is not strictly defined or regulated it can be confusing. For this reason, I list products here that are truly hypoallergenic by a dermatologist's criteria. Some, however, may irritate sensitive skin.
Some of the most effective skin care ingredients to fight acne and skin aging, such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, retinol, vitamin C and benzoyl peroxide, are inherently irritating. - Dr. Bailey
When I include these, I try to give you enough information to decide if your skin may tolerate these ingredients in a product. Understand that there is never a guarantee, however, and each sensitive skin complexion is unique.
Almost all of my skin care products here at Dr. Bailey Skin Care are hypoallergenic by dermatologists’ criteria. I believe that we don’t need the allergens in our skin care to enjoy a product or get results! It's what I've recommended to my patients for over 35 years and I recommend it to you and your family.