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Know your skin sensitivity

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How sensitive is your skin

There are many different skin types out there - from dry to oily to a combination of both, no to mention the most common skin type – sensitive skin.

Today, we are going to focus on sensitive skin and give you a few helpful tips.

What is sensitive skin?

According to webmed.com “While there is no dermatological definition for sensitive skin, the term is used to describe the skin condition of people who easily break out in rashes and get blotchy, itchy or stinging skin in response to products or the weather.”

Say goodbye to dry, itchy, irritated skin

1. Drink plenty of water. Water will hydrate your skin from the inside out and is essentials in keeping sensitive skin calm and nourished.

2. Pass on hot showers. Hot water can leave your skin super dry.

3. Protect your skin with sunscreen. Sunscreen is important for every skin type, however sensitive your skin may be it is especially delicate when it comes to heat and sun. Apply sunscreen on a daily basis.

4. Use a homemade masks to sooth your skin: once a week, prepare and use a natural yogurt mask.

Ingredients: 1-cup natural, creamy, thick and cold yogurt (just out of the fridge) mix with ½ cup (any type of basic oatmeal works here). Apply to the skin for 10-15 minutes. Wash off mask with a washcloth steamed in the microwave.

5. Make time to find new beauty products. Investing in a new natural skincare or makeup product can bring quickly result.

Know your Chemical Irritants

To avoid many of the common chemical irritants found in ordinary skin care products, below find a list of ingredients that are recognized as common irritants. Read the product label if you need, or want, to avoid them.

Chemical Irritants


Dyes are used to tint skin products to disguise the undesirable color of an ingredient, they are added to more closely match skin colors, or to tint the product for consumer appeal. Examples of possible irritating dyes are:

  • D&C Yellow #11
  • FD&C Blue #1
  • FD&C Yellow #5 (also known as tartrazine)


Fragrance adds to consumer appeal and may be used to cover up undesirable odors for some ingredients. Examples of fragrances are:

  • Benzaldehyde
  • Cologne
  • Herbal Extracts
  • Masking Fragrance
  • Perfume
  • Plant, flower, fruit, nut oils


Formaldehyde releasers preserve a product against bacterial, mold and fungus contamination. Unfortunately, formaldehyde also causes irritation and allergic problems for some people. Examples of formaldehyde releasers:

  • Bronopol
  • Diazolidinyl Urea
  • DMDM Hydantoin
  • Imidazolidinyl Urea
  • MDM Hydantoin
  • Quaternium 15


Surfactants serve several functions but are best known for their cleaning or detergent use; in addition they are used for improved foaming action in many personal care products. Unfortunately, some surfactants are known skin sensitizers and or skin irritants.

Examples of these surfactants include:

  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine


Parabens are preservatives that guard against mold, fungus, or bacteria growth. Examples of parabens are:

  • Benzylparaben
  • Butylparaben
  • Ethylparaben
  • Methylparaben
  • Propylparaben


Lanolin and derivatives contribute properties to skin products that help moisturize. Lanolin is not a pure product but a complex combination of many substances, which are difficult to separate and may carry over to derivatives. Examples of lanolin’s are:

  • Lanolin (hydrous and anhydrous)
  • Hydrogenated Lanolin
  • Lanolin Alcohol
  • Wool Fat
  • Wool Wax
  • Alcohols (Wool Alcohol)


Irritating preservatives are also used to prevent microbial growth, unfortunately by their own nature, for many people, they also tend to cause irritation to the skin. Examples of irritating preservatives are:

  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone
  • Methylisothiazolinone


Know your skin sensitivity

Only you know what types of products irritate your skin and scalp. Think about the types of products you typically use and try substituting these products for cosmetics made without chemical irritants. A few examples below:

Scalp irritation

Free & Clear™ Shampoo is non-medicated, mild and gentle, and leaves hair clean and manageable. It is also free of cocamidopropyl betaine and sulfates. Free & Clear™ Conditioner helps prevent tangles and hair damage, rinses easily without build-up leaving hair feeling clean and healthy.  Additional hair products include two hair sprays and a hair gel, all formulated specifically for sensitive skin.

Skin irritation

Vanicream™ Skin Cream, Vanicream™ Lite Lotion and Vaniply™ Ointment soothe and moisturize dry, chapped skin and are non-greasy, easy to spread and non-comedogenic. Each has been awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance. Vanicream™ Sunscreen SPF 30 and SPF 50+ are broad spectrum, water resistant (80 minutes) and non-comedogenic. They are formulated with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Vanicream™ Skin Cream and Vanicream™ Sunscreen SPF 50+ have been awarded the Skin Trust Society’s Dermatologist Approved Seal.  Vanicream™ Suncreens are also listed on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) list of best sunscreens.

The PSI skin cleansers are soap-free, and non-comedogenic. Gentle sensitive skin formulas for everyday use include Free & Clear™ Liquid Cleanser, Vanicream™ Facial Cleanser, and Vanicream™ Cleansing Bar.

About company

Pharmaceutical Specialties, Inc. (PSI) has been serving dermatology for over 40 years providing skin care products for people with sensitive skin and/or those who want to avoid common chemical irritants. Initially, (PSI) founders, both pharmacists, worked closely with dermatologists in a local hospital.  There were few products commercially available that did not contain chemicals. It was suggested by several dermatologists that the two of them start a company to make products they could recommend to their patients. While the two pharmacists continued to work full time at the local hospital, PSI was established in a small rented building with a small part time staff. In the late 1990’s, both retired from the hospital to expand PSI and the product lines, moving several times to larger facilities. PSI now thrives in a large, modern facility employing 80 people.

Keeping with the original concept of producing products for those with sensitive skin, they use the highest quality ingredients and select ingredients that are safe and effective for our consumers. They continuously test and monitor them for quality. Even though most of their products are considered cosmetics by the FDA, they manufacture to drug quality standards and meet and exceed the FDA’s current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations. (PSI) is regularly inspected by the FDA and licensed by the Minnesota State Board of Pharmacy as a pharmaceutical manufacturer. (PSI)  employees are an important part of company success and they are proud to have been recognized as a ‘Top Work Place’ in Minnesota five years in a row.

Pharmaceutical Specialties, Inc. entire line of skin and hair care products has been specially formulated for people who need, or want, to avoid common chemical irritants found in ordinary products. They are all free of dyes, fragrance, masking fragrance, lanolin, parabens and formaldehyde. All of Pharmaceutical Specialties, Inc. products have been tested to be gluten-free. (PSI) is true to their labeling. They do not use misleading words or claims such as ‘hypoallergenic’ on (PSI) label and then use a known allergen in their formula. When Pharmaceutical Specialties, Inc.  says ‘fragrance-free, they mean free of fragrance’.

Photo: Courtesy of PSI ; Dusky & stockimages  at freedigitalphotos.net  Source: www.psico.com  

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