If you have a decent skincare regimen, chances are you pay pretty close attention to the cleansers, toners, and moisturizers you apply to your face. You know which ingredients are good for you and which you like to stay away from. Well, this same philosophy should apply to the skin ALL over your body, not just your face! The skin covering all your other areas is just as important and should be cared for as such.
Someone with sensitive skin had most likely dealt with breakouts on their chest, back, butt, even their legs, and shoulders. And although several factors can cause breakouts, the best place to start is with your body wash.
Body Wash Touting Keywords
You’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for the following important qualities that make a body wash the perfect thing for sensitive skin; as a matter of fact - it’s more so what the body wash doesn’t contain, rather than what it does. These buzzwords shouldn’t be hard to find because when a brand takes the time to put in the effort to make sure their product is safe for people, they like to broadcast it pretty clearly.
Here are what you should look for if you have sensitive skin and need a new body wash:
When you see “fragrance” on a bottle of body wash, you can just consider it to be “hidden chemicals.” In order for a product to be available for consumers to purchase, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires all the product ingredients to be listed on the product; this is called the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. Ok, yes, we know this. Although, part of this Act declares that companies should not be required to reveal “trade secrets.” An example of a trade secret would be the unique chemical composition and mixture that creates that product’s specific scent. To replace these secretive ingredients, companies can simply label them “fragrance” or “parfum.”
These secret ingredients contain chemicals that are directly linked to negative health effects:
Phthalates are used to make fragrances last longer. However, if a body washes with phthalates on damaged skin or broken skin, it can cause irritation and toxicity right to your bloodstream. Damaged skin can be as simple as dry, cracked skin causing tiny abrasions on the skin surface. So steer clear of this stuff and watch out for labels that include “phthalate,” “DEP,” “DBP,” “DEHP,” and “fragrance.”
A lot of the chemicals used to create fragrances contain allergens many people can react to. If you see skin irritation, it is likely your skin’s reaction to the chemicals, referred to by dermatologists as “contact dermatitis.” It is quite common for these synthetic, unnamed ingredients to cause irritation, allergies, reactions, and asthma.
Beware of products that claim “unscented” because that doesn’t necessarily mean they are fragrance-free; in fact, it may only mean that the manufacturer has added another chemical to mask the product’s original odor.
People have used oats for their sensitive skin for centuries. From dry, itchy skin to more serious conditions like rashes, psoriasis, and eczema, oats soothe it all.
Oats contain starches and beta-glucan, which attracts water to the skin and forms a protective barrier to help retain moisture. In addition, it has soothing benefits that calm itching due to irritation or dry skin, diminishes redness due to dryness or breakouts, and even supports exfoliation. It is basically the holy grail of all-natural body wash ingredients.
#3 Sulfate Free
A sulfate is a foaming agent that lathers, encourages a deep clean, and emulsifies. Those with sensitive skin should stay away from sulfates because that squeaky clean feeling you get after sudsing up is just your body wash stripping the oils from your skin. If you experience eczema or excessively dry skin, steer away from products with this ingredient or only use them a couple of times a week as opposed to every day.
If you can’t turn down an excellent sudsy lather, make up for it by oiling up afterward to lock in your skin’s moisture post-shower with some hydrating body oil. Some of the key, clean ingredients are CBD, marula oil, and patchouli oil helping to amplify and moisturize your skin post-shower.
Ceramides are known as “skin-identical” ingredients because they naturally occur in your skin already. They are lipids, essentially fat molecules that help the skin retain moisture and function properly.
A body wash containing ceramides is great for people with sensitive or dry skin because it is specifically formulated to help restore the skin’s natural moisture barrier. In addition to rebuilding the skin’s barrier, Ceramides work to protect the skin against environmental aggressors and pollution. So they pretty much help your skin to stop being so darn sensitive. From hand soap to body spray to sunscreen, our skin goes through a whirlwind of outside chemicals daily, and these ceramides give them a little help in dealing with all of it.
#5 Shea Butter
Non-comedogenic, no chemical irritants, and no medical literature documenting any allergy in the history of science where topical shea butter in itself caused an allergic reaction, shea butter is the GOAT for sketchy skin tends to be a little irritable. However, it is also an emollient, which helps trap moisture in the skin, helping build that protective barrier.
More tricks for sensitive Skin
Along with taking care to be vigilant when it comes to the ingredients in your body wash, you can also do a few other things to care for that sensitive skin.
Yes, lip balm is great...but what about lip balm for your nips? It essentially does the same thing, moisturizing and protecting. If you work out or are an avid runner with sensitive skin, changes are good. You’ve experienced nipple chafing. Nipples have super delicate tissue and can become dry or chapped, especially during exercise when they are constantly rubbing against your clothing.
With moisturizing, clean ingredients like manola oil and nourishing honey, a nipple balm may do just the trick. You can throw this in your morning or nighttime ritual to help nourish your nipples pre and post-workout, relieve soreness from breastfeeding, or use some foreplay before the real fun begins.
If you’ve ever experienced bumpy skin, or as some freaks like to call it, “chicken skin,” but technically referred to as Keratosis Pilaris, you may have noticed red or brown, depending on your skin tone, bumps on the back of your arms...thighs, legs, butt, or face.
It is caused by a buildup of extra keratin in your hair follicles, and no one knows why exactly it happens. Some think it is a problem with the hair follicle or hormones, but nonetheless, there are some ways to help it. Two words: hydration and exfoliation. Using both a chemical exfoliant and a slightly abrasive exfoliant to help reveal that new layer of skin and moisturizing and nourishing the skin may be your ticket to leveling out those pesky bumps.
Butt acne, also known as “folliculitis,” is when the hair follicles get a little bit pissed off at the constant rubbing in your tight leggings or the type of harsh cleansers you’re using. To combat this, be sure to exfoliate and sleep naked! If you have to wear clothes all day for, like...work...then give that bum a break and let it breathe awhile.
Also, give it some extra love and affection. The Clay Butt Mask and CBD Butt Balm duo are your hardworking besties to help give those sensitive, touchy buns some more lovin’ and caressing. Both products are unique to themselves, containing clean ingredients. The butt mask contains Kaolin + montmorillonite, willow bark, and sodium hyaluronate, while the butt balm contains CBD, Mediterranean brown algae, and hyaluronic acid.
If your skin is a little more temperamental than you’d like it to be -- kindly forgive it and keep it pushing. It’s there to protect you, and if it’s rejecting a body wash or skincare product you’re using and lashing out at you, that’s just its way of protecting you. So don’t fret; just give it what it wants.