Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sensitive Skin Care - Paula Begoun

Oh Paula, I heart you.  Paula Begoun, author of  'Don't go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me', is one of my favorite beauty experts.  I have her book 'The Original Beauty Bible' and it's taught me a lot about skin care and ingredients.  I've started to become much more aware of ingredients that were irritating my skin & so far, my skin is thanking me for it.  

What irritates some people's skin, won't irritate others.  But what she does give you is an idea as to what to look for in your products if you do have a skin reaction.  

Have a look at her suggestions for the care of sensitive skin:

Be Gentle!
For the overall health of your skin, anything you can do to treat it gently is a very good thing. Treating skin gently encourages normal collagen production, maintains a smooth and radiant surface, helps skin protect itself from environmental damage, reduces oil production, and makes pores smaller.

Avoid The Following...

  • Overly abrasive scrubs (such as those that contain aluminum oxide crystals, walnut shells, or pumice)
  • Astringents containing irritating ingredients (alcohol and menthol being the prime offenders)
  • Toners containing irritating ingredients (alcohol and menthol being the prime offenders)
  • Scrub mitts (think Buf-Puf)
  • Cold or hot water
  • Steaming or icing the skin
  • Facial masks containing irritating ingredients (watch out for fragrant essential oils and polyvinyl alcohol)
  • Loofahs
  • Bar soaps and bar cleansers
Common Irritating Ingredients to Avoid
(These are of greatest concern when they appear in the beginning of an ingredient list.) 

  • SD Alcohol (also known as denatured alcohol)
  • Ammonia
  • Arnica
  • Balm mint
  • Balsam
  • Benzalkonium chloride
  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Bergamot
  • Camphor
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus juices and oils
  • Clove
  • Clover blossom
  • Coriander
  • Essential oils
  • Ethanol
  • Eucalyptus
  • Eugenol
  • Fennel
  • Fennel oil
  • Fir needle
  • Fragrance
  • Geranium
  • Grapefruit
  • Horsetail
  • Isoeugenol
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass
  • Lime
  • Linalool
  • Marjoram
  • Melissa (lemon balm)
  • Menthol
  • Menthoxypropanediol
  • Menthyl Acetate
  • Mint
  • Oak bark
  • Orange
  • Papaya
  • Peppermint
  • Phenol
  • Sandalwood oil
  • Sodium C14-16 olefin sulfate
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • TEA-lauryl sulfate
  • Thyme
  • Wintergreen
  • Witch hazel
  • Ylang-ylang


  1. That's a long list of products to avoid, I had no idea there were so many irritants and I had no idea that peppermint could be an irritant. Great info!

  2. I think a lot of these are only an issue when they are at the beginning of the ingredient list. Truly if I were to eliminate any product that contained these, I'd have nothing left! Lavender too..who knew.


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