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Give Origin to Your Client’s Sensitive Skin

By: Kris Campbell
Posted: December 4, 2013, from the December 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Several Fitzpatrick skin types are naturally more sensitive to sunlight and prone to sunburn. Particular medications also make the skin more sensitive to light, including certain acne medications, antihistamines, antipsychotics, antidepressants, antibiotics and cardiovascular medications.

In cold-weather locations where skin tends to become red, irritated, dry and cracked, it is best to use richer moisturizers that seal in the hydration. Hot climates require hydration as well, but in the form of lighter lotions and serums. Peels and microdermabrasion treatments should be avoided throughout seasons that clients experience weather-related skin sensitivities.

The most common occupational environmental skin disease is contact dermatitis, which causes skin inflammation and rashes that can occur when certain substances touch the skin. The reaction usually goes away once the irritating substance is removed. Industries that tend to foster skin diseases that can cause sensitivities include manufacturing, food preparation, automotive, forestry and even the skin care industry. It is important that skin care professionals wear gloves so irritation is not caused by the continuous application of various products and ingredients.


In the past, fragrance and spas often went hand-in-hand, but that’s beginning to change—fragrance allergies are on the rise. Contact allergy to fragrances is common, affecting 1–3% of the general population according to the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety’s “Opinion on Fragrance Allergens in Cosmetic Products,” adopted at its meeting on June 26–27, 2012.1

Offices and hospitals are starting to limit or ban the use of fragrance because of the sensitivities that people are developing. Coughing; wheezing; itchy, watery eyes; and headaches can occur when agitation or an allergic reaction to a fragrance occurs. A suitable fragrance-free product should always be available for clients with fragrance issues. Pregnant women, as well as clients undergoing cancer treatments, are also generally quite sensitive to fragrance. Skin care professionals should also consider toning down their personal use of fragrance, such as perfumes and lotions, since they work in such close proximity with clients.

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