Suddenly Sensitive Skin

I mentioned in my previous blog post The Skirt Girl’s Super Lotion  that I’d had some skin problems. So, I’m going to tell you a little bit about that and things that I’ve tried that worked for me and a couple of fails. This is not to say that the products that I’ve tried would work or not work for you, or break your skin out or not. Everyone’s skin is different. It is expensive to buy and try new products, especially when they don’t work or break your skin out and then you have to just toss the full bottle. My goal is to steer you in the right direction by giving you honest experiences and maybe save you a little time and money…and a hive or two.

So here is some background information to let you know where I was coming from. I had never had sensitive skin. In my youth, I’d had very oily skin and had average teenage skin with an occasional breakout. As an adult, I really didn’t start to use any moisturizer on my face until my 20’s and then it was just very mild basic original Oil of Olay. As my 40’s approached I began to be more careful about sunscreen and moisturizing. I’d used a few different products but I found that Neutrogena products usually worked well for me. About 5 years ago, I was going through a particularly stressful time. My father had been diagnosed with cancer and I suppose I internalized my worry because I broke out in hives. It was early May and the weather was warm. I was miserable. Luckily the hives were under the skin and not too red and ugly. You could feel them if you touched my skin but you had to look hard to see them, unless I was scratching them. And they itched! OH, HOW THEY ITCHED!! I’d never had anything like it. I’d never been allergic to anything so this was quite a shock to me. I went to the dermatologist and he was not much help. He gave me some medicine that didn’t help at all and told me that they would probably have to run their course. And they did. For weeks. All summer. I was miserable. Since that was my first experience with sensitive skin I had to rethink everything. I started using bathsoap for sensitive skin. Nothing except my Super Lotion to moisturize. Eventually, the hives left. And by the way, my dad had surgery and chemo and he has been cancer free ever since.

This year I have been on a quest for anti aging creams. I started out last year using Cindy Crawford’s line Meaningful Beauty. I found that it was expensive. They forced you to sign up for auto-ship and to buy 3 products at a time. I hated that part. I liked the day cream ok. I loved the facial cleanser, though.

Meaningful Beauty Cindy Crawford Skin Softening Cleanser

Meaningful Beauty Cindy Crawford Skin Softening Cleanser

 

What I loved about this cleanser was that I could put a little in the palm of my hand at the sink, without being in the shower or splashing any water on, swirl it around on my face and wipe it off with a damp washcloth. My skin would feel clean and ready to moisturize. I used Meaningful Beauty cleanser, daily moisturizer and their  premier anti aging serum that is supposed to make you look exactly like Cindy. I didn’t really like it but, as I said, they pretty much force you to order three products. I tried several of the other products and I decided that I really did want to look like Cindy, so I should probably go with the serum.  Other than liking the cleanser, the products did not bowl me over.  I noticed no difference in my skin.  I still do not look like Cindy Crawford.  I cancelled the subscription and began my search again.

Let’s discuss skin cleansers first…I went back to Neutrogena. I tried Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating cleanser.

Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser

Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser

It has a bit of a fine grit to it for exfoliation.  The scent is like…a plastic smell.  I did not enjoy it.

Next I tried Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser

Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser

It is a very creamy texture and it reminded me a lot of Noxzema but not as cooling and not as gentle.  It was a bit harsher than what I was looking for and I needed something with some moisturizer to it.  And quite honestly, I missed being able to slop some cleanser on dry skin and wipe it off without a lot of fuss.

I decided to branch out to a brand that I had not tried.  Aveeno.  So I bought the Aveeno Positively Radiant Brightening Cleanser.

Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Radiant Brightening Cleanser

Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Radiant Brightening Cleanser

I liked the Aveeno pretty well.  It seemed rather harsh but I used it all summer long and my skin did have a little better texture.

I was also searching for a good multipurpose moisturizer.  I had always used eye creams but I’d read where several experts had said that if you have a really good cream with good ingredients there is no need for a separate eye cream.  So I started the search, with ROC Retinol Correxion MAX Wrinkle Resurfacing System.

ROC Retinol Correxion MAX Wrinkle Resurfacing System

ROC Retinol Correxion MAX Wrinkle Resurfacing System

This is a nighttime system.  I found that it works really well.  I may eventually go back to these.

Mid summer I decided to try a high end MLM skin product.  Nerium.

Nerium AD Age Defying Treatmetn

Nerium AD Age Defying Treatment

I used this for about 2 months or so.  Quite honestly, I did see a difference in my skin.  They like for you to take before pictures and within a couple of weeks take a second picture to compare.  I did that. I really did see fine lines soften. It’s a very different system and feels different. The scent is not pleasant and another friend that used it said it smelled like she was putting toxic plastic on her skin. I didn’t feel that strongly about it and I did see results. However, my skin did feel dry and I had to find a moisturizer to use on my skin for the daytime, as this is a nighttime use product. So for day, I started to use Aveeno Positively Ageless Youth Perfecting Moisturizer.

Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Ageless Youth Perfecting Moisturizer

Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Ageless Youth Perfecting Moisturizer

This is the point in the story where things change again. Drastically. After about 2 months or so of using the Nerium, my face broke out into hives. Especially the sensitive skin around my eyes. It wasn’t the same kind of hives as the reaction a few years ago that I had on my whole body. This was welts. They were itchy and burned. When I first woke up my eyes looked swollen. I was using Neutrogena cleanser, the Aveeno Postively ageless during the day and the Nerium at night. I stopped all of that. I only used my super lotion to help heal the welts and moisturize. I needed a soothing cleanser. I did a little research online and decided I would try CeraVe.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

So I’m pretty happy with my current regimen. I use the Olay morning and night. I used it around my eyes so no eye cream is needed.  I do add a little Vitamin E oil around my eyes, lashes and lips right before bed.  And I use the CeraVe cleanser, morning and night. Of course, I’m sure at some point I will want to venture out again to see what is out there.    But when my skin becomes suddenly sensitive.  Simple and back to the basics is the best.   Lesson learned.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy Favorite Products or perhaps  The Skirt Girl’s Green Smoothie

 

Please subscribe!

21 comments

  • Kristi Smith

    My husband shared your blog with me due to my unber- sensitive skin. I found Dove is terrible for me, and my daughter, as is almost everything else except Oil of Olay bar soap in the shower, baby wash on my face and Curel lotion as a moisturizer. Sometimes I’ll use Neutrogena sesame oil on my face just to mix it up as it also had anti-aging, anti-inflammatory properties. It’s used widely in India and I gotta say I’ve never seen a person from India with bad skin. I get hives frequently as well, due to thyroid issues, and have dealt with them for months at a time. Nothing worked as well as Calomine lotion (the pink stuff that Grandma used) and sesame oil. I’m in my 40’s and my skin gets more sensitive every year but this is what is working now. I’m going to try your Super lotion recipe though. In the winter we all get excema and can keep it at bay with Curel but nothing will make it go away other than sunshine, although chlorine in the pool seems to clear it for a few days.

    • dana

      Kristi, Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog…and thanks to your husband for sending you my way! I can’t use the Dove regular, the scent is too strong. It has to be Dove Sensitive Skin. I have used the Olay bar and when I can’t get the Dove Sensitive skin that is exactly what I reach for. I never thought of using the baby wash. I have some that I bought by mistake, when I was buying baby lotion for my Super Lotion. I might have to give it a try if I’m ever out of the CeraVae, when I’m in a pinch! I’m so sorry that you have to deal with hives at all! It was the most miserable thing ever! I am so afraid of getting them again! I hope that you do try the super lotion. It certainly didn’t get rid of the hives but it does wonders for dry skin. Please let me know if you like it or even if it doesn’t work for you. I’d like to hear. Thanks for commenting and sharing your story with me!

  • Denise

    I also have sensitive skin, and I have found that the Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleanser works really well. It’s a little pricier than drugstore brands, but you only need a little bit so it lasts forever. I bought the smaller size, and it’s been about 9 months so far. Their moisturizers are great as well.

  • Rina Hinderstein Reynolds

    I have struggled my entire life with sensitive skin and especially my face and scalp. My facial regimen is Mary Kay Botanicals. There are three formulas. I have slightly oily skin and live where it is brutally cold in the winter. I use the #2 formula in Winter because I need some moisture, but switch to #3 in summer for oil control. I also swear by their eye makeup remover because I use waterproof mascara daily (allergies cause watery eyes) and it takes it off easily. I also use their skin brush at night with the cleanser and my skin is super soft. Most of my breakouts are related to haircare products for my curly hair. As long as I avoid products with fragrances, sulfates and silicon I am much better!

    • dana

      Thanks for your comment, Rina. Going through this little skin issue has made me feel such empathy for people who have suffered with it for years. I’m glad you know what to avoid and you have a system in place that works for you. When you find something that works for you, go with it! Don’t upset the delicate balance of things! 🙂 I hope the winter is kind to you and your skin. Thanks so much for reading my blog. Come back! 🙂

  • Tanya

    I’ve had a lot of similar experiences to yours. I became suddenly sensitive in college after a product I had been using for a long time changed its formula. Now I have to be careful with makeup, cleansers, and moisturizers. I’ve always been averse to spending crazy amounts of money on beauty products, but I got a Fresh gift set from Sephora last year that turned out to be a keeper.
    The token item was the lip gloss, but after absent-mindedly using their sample of Soy Cleanser for a few days, there was a noticeable difference in my skin. It has a light cucumber scent that I love, and my face is squeaky clean after using it. My favorite thing about it though is that it works as eye makeup remover with little effort and absolutely no burning, even if I get it in my eyes. It’s pricier than drugstore cleansers, but it lasts forever. The smaller $15 bottle will easily get you through 1 or 2 months.

    I’m a huge fan. I even tried switching to another higher end brand that was a little less expensive, but I couldn’t wait for it to run out so I could go back to the Fresh brand.

    • dana

      Tanya, Thank you for sharing your story. Sephora is like the motherland for me! lol…love that place! I have found several things that I like by them giving me a freebie. Soy Cleanser….I’m going to file this away for future reference. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Please comment again! Happy New Year!

      • Tanya

        FYI…update – I got an email this week that Sephora has free samples of Fresh Soy Cleanser in the store right now. Sounds like a great excuse to go!

  • Peggy

    I have tried several of these products. Some worked for me and some didn’t. However, I can tell you that both my daughter (29) and I (50’s) tried the Nerium night cream. After about 3 months of use, we both also had a horrible adverse reaction. Swollen, puffy eyes with dark circles….painful blisters..dry cracking skin. My daughter’s reaction was much worse than mine and she ended up going to the doctor for treatment and it took almost two months for complete healing.
    Back to the basics now. Use Dove bar soap for sensitive skin and slather on coconut oil everywhere except my face.

    • dana

      Peggy, that sounds almost exactly like the reaction I had. Although, mine was not as severe as your daughter’s reaction, either. I really wasn’t 100% sure that it was the Nerium, but now that you describe your experience I really think it was. I have not had any further reactions since I went back to a very basic routine. I am totally with you on the Dove bar soap for sensitive skin. I’ve used it for a few years. It’s not fancy but I love it. I have heard good things regarding the coconut oil and I may add that to the routine. Thanks for sharing your story about Nerium. It helped me! Please, subscribe and comment again!

  • Jen

    I found it interesting to read your post (and previous post on super lotion), as I have had sensitive skin with various issues (surface and nodular acne, super freaky allergic reactions to insects, dryness) and always have found that the regular ol’ products in the drug store leave me feeling like something is missing or irritate my skin more, and high end lines from department stores don’t make much of a difference. My skin was really discouraging, even under dermatological care. Now I am using Arbonne for my face, and using products with fewer synthetic ingredients seems to help A LOT. More than I expected. Still, I can’t afford everything (even as a consultant, as I am just a dabbler in that), so I still use Dove body wash in the shower most of the time. It seems to keep my skin more moist than other body washes and soaps, doesn’t have much smell because I get the plain one, and I feel clean without feeling stripped of natural oils. But I have tried EVERYTHING too!

    • dana

      Jen, as far as soaps go ….I’m with you on the Dove. I use the bar soap for sensitive skin. It’s not fancy. It has no scent. It’s totally boring. I’ve used it for years and now when I have to use anything else, my skin feels like it has a coating of something on it, for lack of a better term, and it doesn’t dry. You should make a batch of the Super Lotion and give it a try. Even if you only use it on your hands. Read some of the comments on that blog, if you haven’t already. There are some real success stories of people who have been using it for years. People swear by it. Thanks for stopping by my blog and for commenting. Let me know if you find something that works for you! I’m always on the lookout! 🙂

  • Robin

    I never had a skin problem until my early 40s. I always used a basic Oli of Olay cleanser and moisturizer. Suddenly, my normal regimen started burning my skin, sometimes even leaving blisters. The dermatologist treated me for rosacea with both a prescription by mouth and cream. When that didn’t work, he treated me for eczema. Finally, he recommended Cetaphil cleanser and moisturizing lotion. I use the lotion all over including my face. I have been using this for several years now with no problem. I can use a store brand with no ill effects. I tried a version with sunscreen and it blistered my face. I can only use Neutrogena baby sunscreen. Also, I get unexplained hives every few years and the only relief I can get is from a shot of Cortisone and a round of oral steroids!

    • dana

      Thanks for your comment, Robin. It is very strange how EVERYTHING changes in our 40’s! I have heard that Cetaphil is very good and gentle but I’ve never tried it. A friend of mine has sensitive skin and has used it for years. Neutrogena products usually work very well for my skin too. I have to really be careful with scents. I have migraines and anything too heavily scented is a trigger. And I find that most Neutrogena product scents are minimal. Thanks for taking time to read my blog. Please subscribe and comment again!

  • Brenda Hudson

    I am 56 years old and have always had oily skin until a few years ago. Through lots of trial and error, and money, I have found that what works for me is to cleanse with baking soda in the morning. It is a great polishing scrub and I have no allergic reaction to it. I moisturizer with Clinique serum and really like the look and texture of my face and neck. I use virgin coconut oil from Walmart on my body and as a makeup remover and facial moisturizer at night. I also use the coconut oil on my hair at night before bed. Just the leftovers on my hands is enough to condition it. I wash it in the shower the next morning. I have tried many products over the years. This routine works very well for me now and has really helped to keep my aging skin in the best shape possible. Every so often I think I need to try something new, but end up coming back to this. It’s cheap and better yet, it works for me.

    • dana

      I believe if you find something that works for you, stick with it until you find something better. More expensive is definitely not necessarily better. I’m going to give coconut oil a try. I’ve heard such great things about it on here. I use it for cooking all the time, but have not tried it on my skin. Thanks Brenda, for commenting and sharing your routine. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. If you haven’t already subscribed, please do. I look forward to more comments from you.

      • sammie

        I swear by coconut oil. I have SUCH sensitive skin. I Breakout so easily especially when it comes to moisturizers… I just use coconut oil. Plus it has antibacterial, antiinflamitory, antimicrobial. Etc….I love it! And I use it for a makeup remover safe to use around the eyes and the only thing that hasn’t made my eyes burn!

        • dana

          Sammie, thanks for your comment. I am definitely going to try coconut oil. I’m a little late to that party. I use it to cook with and love it, but it just hasn’t made it to my skin yet. Thanks for stopping by TheSkirtGirl.com. Come again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *