I have sensitive skin – how can I get the most out of my antiaging products?

Hi Dr I, I have been experiencing sensitive skin for the past year but still want to keep my antiaging skin at its best. Would you recommend retinol or vitamin C. I know it is very difficult with vitamin C because it oxidizes fast after opening..Do you have any recommendation regimene for my senstive skin to keep it at its best? With thanks, Thelma!

Good question because sometimes your sensitivity to a product will be to the active ingredient (like the retinol) and sometimes it will be to something in the base of the product like one or more of the preservatives, lanolin (wool wax alcohol), fragrance or propylene glycol, for example.  Unless you’ve been "patch tested" to these various allergens, it’s hard to know which it is.  And even then, there are some allergies to skin care chemicals that don’t show up on the tests.

So generally, if you are having reactions to a lot of different products, you’ve probably become allergic to ingredients in the base of the creams or lotion and I highly recommend seeing your dermatologist for patch testing (no needles).   This is different testing than most of the allergists do.

If you just have a rare reaction to specific products known to be irritating like the retinoids or glycolics, then the option of going with just more gentle products is always there. Organic products may be helpful but some contain nut oils and plant extracts which are irritating to some.

So for example, in your situation, you might want to try a good antioxidant that’s known to be more gentle for most people like the Replenix Green Tea (90% polyphenols) or Replenix Power of Three (polyphenols, reservatrol, caffeine) or the vitamin C creams containing tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate which is a gentler but still effective option (we will have one of these in the SkinTour Products soon).  The enclosed pumps are nice – don’t we all hate those glass bottles?

 Also, try moisturizing first waiting 5-10 minutes and then applying the product, if needed.  Remember, we are all individuals so if you get irritated or red, stop the product!

Hope this helps,  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin, and I believe that consumers need and deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

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