The Sensitive Skin Care Hustle

As a long-term sufferer of sensitive and allergic skin I know how hard it can be to live with.

I also know how frustrating it is to invest your hopes and hard earned cash in a product marketed for ‘sensitive skin’ only to get a bad reaction to it.

In my life before Pai, I wasted hundreds of pounds on product after product that purported to be gentle on the skin but, in reality, ravaged mine.

These products over-promised and under-delivered and left me feeling disillusioned and a little cheated.

Sensitive skin is a complex condition to manage and far too many manufacturers overlook this. They can be hasty to wave the sensitive skin banner as a marketing tool without any consideration of the suitability of the ingredients in their products. Always read the ingredient list!

There are a host of fantastic botanical ingredients for sensitive skin which have powerful anti-inflammatory and healing properties. My particular favourites are the three Cs – Calendula (from the humble marigold), Comfrey and Chamomile.

But there are many, many more and at Pai we often take a multi-pronged formulation approach – using a combination of ingredients with complementary but differing remedial properties.

For instance, sensitive skin usually means thinner skin – so it’s important to also use skin strengthening ingredients like Rosehip, which help to make the skin more resistant to environmental triggers and subsequent flare-ups.

With sensitive skincare products, the ingredients left out are equally important as those left in. The three most common skin sensitisers are Detergents, Fragrance and Preservatives.

Always look out for the following on ingredient lists and give them a wide berth. Please note – this is by no means an exhaustive list, I’ve merely highlighted the worst offenders:

Detergents:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Cocamidopropyl Betaine

Fragrance*:
Parfum (this term can be used to hide over 200 different chemical ingredients, many of which have nothing to do with aroma).

*Remember – natural Essential Oils can irritate too and they need to be carefully chosen and used in the correct dilution. Basil, Cinnamon, Citronella, Lemongrass and Peppermint are some examples of irritating essential oils.

Preservatives:
Alcohol
Benzoic Acid
Benzyl Alcohol
Phenoxyethanol
Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate (not just a mouthful but a formaldehyde pre-cursor too!)

At Pai we believe we have developed a range of great products for sensitive skin sufferers. However, we recognize everyone’s skin is different and what works for one person may not always work for another.

We want our customers to be able to shop with skin confidence so we put our money where our mouth is and offer a full 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee.

If your skin doesn’t get on with any of our full size products you are free to return them for a full refund. We will even reimburse your return postage.

If you’re confused about which is the best product for your unique skin type, then give us a call or drop us an email. We’re here to help!

[UPDATE JUNE 2019: We have formulated our Sunscreen product with Benzyl Alcohol as a co-preservative.  The ingredient is used at the lowest possible dosage and the product was patch tested on volunteers with sensitive skin to ensure it didn’t irritate.  We felt we should leave this post up here as it reflected our thinking in 2011.]