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Acne Care for Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, you’ll have to fight acne with trial and error — not with benzoyl peroxide.

Acne sufferers with sensitive skin often find themselves in a bit of a predicament. Popular and powerful acne-fighting ingredients, like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, often trigger a rash-like irritation in skin. Consequently, fighting acne can feel like a losing battle.

While everyone’s sensitivities are different, it’s estimated that nearly half of the population has exhibited characteristics of sensitive skin. So trust us: you’re not alone in your struggle. If your skin is susceptible to redness, burning, or rashes, there are still many solutions available to keep your sensitive skin blemish-free.

Sensitive Skin, Cleared Up

Sensitive skin isn’t a precise medical condition, and the way it manifests varies from person to person. Generally, people with sensitive skin are susceptible to extreme weather conditions, or have a lower tolerance for run-of-the-mill skincare products. Upon the application of scented products or harsh acne treatments, sensitive skin will become red, itchy, and oily.

Start paying attention to your skin’s behaviors. If you experience several of these symptoms, you may have sensitive skin:

  • Do you get bright red pimples?
  • Does skincare often burn your skin?
  • Is your skin frequently flaky or itchy?
  • Do you flush easily?
  • Is your cheap jewelry giving you rashes?
  • Does scented bath soap or detergent make you itchy?

If you identified with these statements, then it’s time to start buying products specifically geared towards people with sensitive skin.

Sensitive Skin & Acne: How to Manage

Unfortunately, benzoyl peroxide isn’t an option for those with sensitive skin. Your skin will react poorly, create more oil, and then — you guessed it — generate more acne.

When browsing the drugstore aisles, remember that the fewer ingredients a product has, the better. Keep your eyes peeled for products especially designed for those with sensitive skin, along with those designated as “hypoallergenic” and cosmetics labeled “noncomedogenic.” On the flip side, avoid products that contain menthol, alcohol, and exfoliating agents. Acne-fighting spot treatments should be fine, but avoid face washes that contain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, which is often too harsh for sensitive skin.

When you introduce a new product to your skincare regimen, monitor your skin’s reaction closely. If it makes your skin itch, tingle, or burn, take note of its active ingredients — and stop using products that contain them. Finally, be sure to keep up with your moisturizing regimen, as many acne treatments tend to dry out the skin.

If you have sensitive skin or related skin conditions such as rosacea or eczema, contact a dermatologist to find a skincare plan that works for you.

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