Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sensitive (S) skin type - allergic type

The final type of sensitive skin types is the allergic type skin. This skin type exhibits redness, swelling, itching, and skin flaking when exposed to something to which the skin is allergic. Approximately 23% of women and 13.8% of men in Great Britain exhibit this skin type, and most of the reactions in personal care products come from fragrance oils or preservatives. Those with dry skin are most likely to have impaired skin barrier function, and they are more likely to exhibit this skin type, although oily skinned people can have a reaction as well.

A true allergic reaction can take up to few days to show itself in the form of dry, itchy, inflamed skin, as opposed to the stinging sensation which is immediate.

If you are exhibiting allergic reactions to fragrance oils, stop using them or try different ones. You could be reacting to a number of different components in the oils, and it's hard to tell which ones cause the reaction. The main culprits in fragance oil allergies are cinnamic alcohols and aldehydes, citronellol, geranol, and linalool, most of which are generated from essential oils (which means switching to an essential oil won't help...). Where do we find these culprits? In cinnamon, aniseed, star anise, nutmeg, clove, vanilla, bay leaf, parsley, ginger, paprika, pepper, cumin, and coriander, to name a few. If you can handle essential oils but not fragrance oils, then it is very likely that fragrance is not the culprit. (Remember, I'm not a doctor and these are not diagnoses, just thoughts...)

If you are exhibiting allergic reactions to preservatives, the main culprit is likely to be one of these five things - Diazolidinyl Urea (liquid Germall Plus and Germaben II), Imidazolidinyl urea (DMDM hydantoin), Bronopol (not sure which one contains this, but it's nothing on my preservative page), or quaternium-15 (again, I haven't used one of these). You'll to have find another preservative that works for you - interestingly enough, allergic reactions to parabens are quite rare, so those are a good option.

There are other things to which you can be allergic - anything with proteins, aloe vera, butters, and so on - but that is far beyond the purview of this post. So I'm not going to suggest any possible ingredients for people with an allergic skin type because you're better off visiting a doctor or dermatologist for patch or skin types. If you do have this skin type, figuring out exactly what is bothering you won't be easy and formulating might be a little difficult, but it's worth it because you shouldn't be in agony!

1 comment:

Sierra Snow Soaps said...

I have been reading this series with great interest. AND loving it. You do such a detailed study. I have been learning a lot about stuff I thought I already knew. Dd has to go to the derm. to see about some moles, she has a bit of teenage acne that I would love to try some of your suggestions on. She is not so keen on using my stuff after a little greasy hair conditioner problem, oh well. :)
Michelle in NV