Wisely choosing sensitive skin products is typically a matter of reading labels, familiarizing yourself with ingredients that trigger sensitivities, and sampling products before you buy and use them. The difficulty with selecting sensitive skin products is that different people have different sensitivities. What may trigger a breakout for you may not have the same effect on someone else who also has sensitive skin. To make things more confusing, cosmetic labeling laws in some jurisdictions are not particularly helpful in identifying which products are best suited for sensitive skin. As a result, you need to take responsibility for selecting suitable products yourself.
When selecting sensitive skin products, read the ingredients label. If you already know that you are sensitive to certain ingredients, reading the label can keep you from wasting your money on a product you won't be able to use. For many people with skin sensitivities, products that contain fragrances and dyes can trigger a reaction. Look for products that are unscented and to which no dyes have been added. Even if a product claims it is effective at treating sensitive skin, check out its ingredient label, because the product's claims of being sensitive-skin friendly may simply be marketing copy.
In addition to dyes and scents, many people with sensitive skin have reactions to abrasive skin-care products as well as those that contain so-called natural ingredients such as essential oils. Be wary of products that tout themselves as natural, as these products may contain multiple skin irritants. Some people are also allergic to the ingredients in some sunscreens. As many people with sensitive skin are also fair skinned, it is important that you find a sunscreen that contains a relatively non-irritating sunblock like titanium dioxide.
Try to get a sample of any sensitive skin products that you are interested in using. Test the product on a small patch of skin before investing in a full-sized product. If the product does trigger a reaction, you may want to keep a copy of its ingredient list so that you can avoid products with a similar formulation the future. You can typically find samples of skin-care products in beauty magazines and at department-,store cosmetic counters. Some drugstores may also offer product samples. If you cannot procure a sample size, ask a retailer about its refund policy as some shops may refund your money if you have a bad reaction to a product.