Now, what I didn't know was that most people who think they have sensitive skin actually don't. Hmm. So, if you have sensitive skin, or think you might, let's discuss.
Are You Unnecessarily Avoiding Products?
Many people who think they have sensitive skin are actually avoiding many skincare products that could be useful because they are worried that those products might cause adverse reactions - like an irritation or a rash. We've all had a bad reaction to a product, just like we've all had a bad reaction to a meal. The product in question in my case is sunless tanner. After many attempts, I have finally accepted the fact that I'm allergic to the ingredient dihydroxyacetone. The glow simply isn't worth the rash and while it's a bit of a bummer, the fact that I am allergic to sunless tanner doesn't mean that my skin is sensitive.
What Is Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin is defined (by Dr. Schultz) as skin that is frequently irritated by a variety of common skincare products. By frequently, he means multiple times a year (or several times a month) and by a variety of skincare products, he means 15 or 50 different products, most of which can be found at your local drugstore. If you have 1 to 2 rashes from products over a 5 to 10 year period, that's normal. So, if this sounds like your skin, you are probably not a member of the sensitive team. But don't worry, you have plenty of company - and plenty of skincare options - on the normal team. Good news, right?
Of course, anytime you begin using a new skincare product, you should test it out first. Apply a little bit of the product to a small area in front of your ear for a few days before you fully commit. For those of us who might have been shy with a few products, especially exfoliants or others with acidic active ingredients, this is a great way to get your feet wet.