Skin care

The Delicate Skin Care Hustle

As a long-term patient with sensitive and allergic skin, I know how difficult it can be to live with it.

I also know how frustrating it is to invest your hopes and hard earned money in a product that is marketed for "sensitive skin" just to get a bad response.

In my life before Pai, I wasted hundreds of pounds of product by product that was supposed to be gentle on the skin but actually devastated mine.

These products were too promised and delivered too little, leaving me disillusioned and a little cheated.

Sensitive skin is a complex condition and far too many manufacturers overlook it. You may be in a hurry to wave the sensitive skin banner as a marketing tool without considering the suitability of the ingredients in your products. Always read the ingredient list!

There are a variety of fantastic herbal ingredients for sensitive skin that have strong anti-inflammatory and healing properties. My special favorites are the three Cs – calendula (from the humble marigold), comfrey and chamomile.

But there are many, many more, and at Pai we often pursue a multi-stage formulation approach – using a combination of ingredients with complementary but different healing effects.

For example, sensitive skin usually means thinner skin – so it is important to also use skin-strengthening ingredients such as rose hips, which help to make the skin more resistant to environmental triggers and subsequent attacks.

In sensitive skin care products, the omitted ingredients are just as important as those in. The three most common skin sensitizers are detergents, fragrances and preservatives.

Always pay attention to the following on ingredient lists and avoid them. Please note that this is not a complete list. I have only highlighted the worst offenders:

Detergent:
sodium lauryl sulfate
sodium laureth sulfate
cocamidopropylbetaine

Fragrance *:
Perfume (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 also be irritating and must be carefully selected and used in the correct dilution. Basil, cinnamon, citronella, lemongrass and peppermint are some examples of irritating essential oils.

Preservative:
Alcohol
Benzoic acid
Benzyl alcohol
Phenoxyethanol
Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate (not just a sip, but also a formaldehyde precursor!)

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

We want our customers 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 does not work with any of our full size products, you can return them for a full refund. We will even refund your return postage.

If you are unsure which product is best for your unique skin type, give us a call or send us an email. We are here to help!

[ UPDATE JUNE 2019: We formulated our sun protection product with benzyl alcohol as a co-preservative. The ingredient is used in the lowest possible dosage and the product has been tested on volunteers with sensitive skin on patches to ensure that it does not irritate. We felt we should leave this post up here because it reflected our thinking in 2011.]

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