Suffering from sensitive skin can make it hard to find products that tackle your skin concerns without leaving your skin red, itchy or inflamed. Whether you have a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis or you’re just sensitive to harsh products, not knowing what is causing the reaction can make looking after your skin a chore. Well we’ve done the job for you! Here’s some ingredients to steer clear of next time you’re raiding the shelves for a new moisturiser, and some general tips to keep sensitive skin smooth and silky.
1. Artificial Fragrance.
Put down those strawberry scented body butters and pick up a gently scented or fragrance free, moisturiser. Whether it’s skincare, makeup or body products, anything packed with strong, artificial fragrance is a red-flag for sensitive skin. Fragrant products are often full of harsh chemicals likely to irritate the skin, cause redness or further aggravate skin conditions. It’s important to look out for ‘fragrance-free’ labels rather than ‘unscented’; often the scent of a product is just masked by another ingredient which might be equally as irritating for your skin.
Look instead for essential oils or fragrance-free products.
2. Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS).
SLS is a chemical often found in soaps, shampoos, and cleansers that provides the foamy consistency. Not only does SLS use palm oil in its production, a notoriously nasty ingredient for our environment, but it is known to cause skin irritation. Using SLS on sensitive skin, or any skin for that matter, has been shown to cause redness, dryness, and tightness. The effects are long-term as well; evidence has shown that when SLS is used in a skincare routine, the skins absorption of other harsh, irritating chemicals is increased.
If you think SLS may be causing you irritation, try Kokoa’s African Black Soap. Kind to sensitive skin, packed with vitamins and minerals and 100% natural, our Black Soap has incredible healing properties for eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
Parabens are chemicals used in beauty and skincare to preserve and prolong the shelf-life of a product. Although not all skin is irritated by them, it’s worth switching up your routine if you are experiencing sensitivity, to determine if parabens are the trigger.
4. Be gentle!
Harsh scrubbing at your face with physical exfoliants or muslin cloths will further aggravate sensitive skin types. Whilst exfoliating the skin is helpful at removing dirt and dead skin cells it’s important, particularly for those with sensitive skin, to only exfoliate once or twice a week using gentle circular hand motions. The same goes for your body- be gentle! It may be difficult, but try to resist itching dry areas or eczema, especially with your finger nails (you wouldn’t believe amount the bacteria that’s hiding behind your fresh set of gels).
The key to avoiding flare ups with sensitive skin is to do your research. What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it! Double check what harsh chemicals might be hiding in your products, the list on the back of the bottle can sometimes be as long as your arm. Gentle, fragrance-free products with natural ingredients are your best bet to keep sensitive skin at bay. Try Kokoa’s own products for 100% natural, vegan, high quality skincare ideal for eczema, psoriasis, acne, and sensitive-prone skin.