Modern lifestyle and genes all contribute to having an extremely dry sensitive skin. Coincidentally the increase in skin reactions in the last thirty years coincides with the increase in environmental pollution, showing a link between skin and environmental pollution.

By avoiding irritant cosmetic ingredients and nourishing the skin with naturally mild botanicals you can help your skin at the same as the environment.

What to avoid on extremely dry sensitive skin

  • Silicones and petrolatums: even if they do not trigger a visible skin reaction, they interfere with the natural skin metabolism and regeneration by creating an invisible plastic film on the skin. Some common ones are: petrolatum, mineral oil, dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane.
  • Harsh detergents: detergents or surfactants tend to strip off the natural skin barrier making the skin dryer and more sensitive and reactive. Some common harsh detergents are: sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), ammonium lauryl sulphate (ALS)
  • Hydrogenated ingredients: they are likely to contain traces of Nickel, a common trigger for contact dermatitis
  • Formaldehyde releasing preservatives: very good at killing bugs, but with the downside of releasing carcinogenic formaldehyde. The ones to watch are: sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, DMDM hydantoin, diazodilynyl urea,  imidazolidinyl urea
  • Stress: it increases cortisol production reducing the blood flow to the skin and damaging skin collagen. Keep it at bay by dedicating regular time to relax and to have fun. Exercise is also great to help destress the skin along with the all body.

What to use on extremely dry sensitive skin

  • Face oils: they help making the skin stronger by nourishing with precious lipids. Oils especially good for these are the ones high in omega 3s, such as flaxseed oil (linum usitatissimum).
  • Mild detergents with acid pH: you can clean your skin without disruption using the same pH as the skin gently. A couple of examples of mild detergents are: polyglucosides (coco-glucoside, decyl-glucoside) and isethionates
  • Dermatologically tested beauty products:  these products are less likely to cause a skin reaction as they have been tested on humans by dermatologists in controlled conditions. Trying products that have undergone a patch test will save you a lot of time and hassle.
  • Hydrating and protecting betaine (not to be confused with cocoamidopropyl betaine). This multifunctional sugar beet derivative is already present in your skin natural moisturising factor: it moisturises the skin deeply and protects it from chemical irritation. Our facial cleanser and skin tonic contain this wonderful ingredient.
Dr. Barbara Olioso

Dr. Barbara Olioso

I am Dr Barbara Olioso, and I am the founder of Forest Secrets Skincare. I am a professional chemist and I have worked only with natural and organic cosmetics since 1999.