Help Me Choose:
Help Me Choose Natural Products For Sensitive Skin
What is it?
Many people tell us they have sensitive skin. The question is...sensitive to what? Sensitive skin is a lay term rather than a medical diagnosis.
Some people truly have thin or a fine-textured sensitive skin. Since it reacts quickly to both heat and cold, sensitive skin sunburns and windburns easily. It is often dry, delicate and prone to allergic reactions.
Other people have skin that is simply sensitive to its environment. Seasonal temperature and humidity changes, very hot water, detergent soaps, synthetic fragrances and colors, preservatives, alcohol (used on the skin), and other artificial additives cause irritation or inflammation, which leads to red, blotchy, and itchy skin.
For a more extensive list of soaps for sensitive skin, please read Help Me Choose Soap.
Dry, Itchy, Tight, Flaking or Peeling Skin
This is usually due to dryness, common causes of dry-skin itch are cold, dry weather, wind, harsh skin care products and washing with very hot water
This can take the form of a red rash, red bumps, blushing and flushing
Stinging & Burning
Especially when using detergent based soaps or gels, products with alcohol or artificial fragrance, and strong acne or anti-aging products.
Helping with Sensitive Skin
Use Simple Natural Soap & Skin Care
Simple, natural soap is best. We suggest that people with sensitive skin begin with soaps that contain no essential oils. Soaps like the Goat Milk Oatmeal, Carrot & Honey, Milk & Honey Baby Soap, Chamomile Calendula Soap. Some people have also found the Sea Buckthorn and Neem and Tea Tree soaps to be very helpful.
Simple, wholesome skin care is best. Choose skin and hair care products carefully. Read labels and choose products that have simple, natural ingredients. The fewer ingredients in a skincare product, the better it is for sensitive skin.
Some with sensitive skin do better with unscented soaps. For a more extensive list of soaps for sensitive skin and soaps with "no added scent," please see our Help Me Choose Soap page.
If you are not sure how a product will react with your skin, do a patch test before applying.
Sensitive skin is even more prone to problems from environmental elements like pollution, dry air and wind.
Sensitive skin is also often dry. Moisturizing helps protect skin from water loss and maintains a healthy barrier from environmental factors.
It is important to choose moisturizing products with simple, natural ingredients that will hydrate and soothe skin.
Gentle natural creams and body and face oils are calming and kind to sensitive skin.
Always apply creams to warm and damp skin. Creams are better able to lock in moisture when the pores are open after a warm wash. After you finish, gently pat your skin dry.
All skin needs exfoliation, but sensitive skin types can be damaged by ingredients in many scrubs.
Avoid scrubs with harsh acids, salt, or large particle ingredients, especially for facial skin. Small granule facial sugar scrubs are often best for sensitive skin.
Choosing a simple natural exfoliator like Adzuki Micrograin Scrub will gently exfoliate without irritating sensitive skin.
For more information read our blog, "The Nitty Gritty of Exfoliation"
Old fashioned ointments or salves are great for spot treatment of sensitive skin areas.
Natural salves are used to soothe, protect or promote healing of the skin. The concentrated organic formulation of nourishing oils and the healing power of herbs acts as a barrier on the skin’s surface.
Organic herbal salves are a convenient way to bring the healing and soothing properties of herbs deep into the tissues.
For a comparison of all of our salves please read "Help Me Choose Salves."
Soaking in a warm bath can help soothe sensitive skin. Here are some tips:
- Add oatmeal, natural bath oil, or a natural bath salt to a warm bath water. Try our Simply Salt Bath Salts
- Organic herbal bath teas are a soothing addition to a warm bath and can also be used as an "herbal washcloth." Our Soothe My Skin Bath Tea is a gentle blend of skin soothing and softening botanicals, oats and Himalayan Pink Sea salt.
- Gently pat skin dry after a bath or shower. Vigorous rubbing can irritate sensitive skin.
- To get the most from a moisturizer, use it immediately after a bath or shower.
Things to Avoid
Synthetic fragrance is a leading cause of contact dermatitis and can even lead cause an increase in skin sensitivity, especially for folks with sensitive reactive skin.
Those with sensitive skin often find significant relief just by switching to fragrance-free products. Look for products that are labeled "fragrance-free," and not just "unscented." Unscented products may still contain synthetic fragrances added to neutralize natural scents created by other ingredients. When checking ingredients avoid products that contain "fragrances" or "parfums."
According to the Mayo Clinic, next to fragrances, preservatives found in cosmetic and skin care products are the most common allergens and irritants for people with sensitive skin. Any product that contains water must also contain some type of preservative to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Since most commercial skin care products contain water, it can be difficult to find products that are preservative-free.
Harsh Chemicals & Synthetic Ingredients
Avoid using skin care and cosmetic products that have alcohol, harsh exfoliants, harsh detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate, petrochemicals, and artificial colors or synthetic fragrances all of which can irritate sensitive skin. Research ingredients carefully. For example, two common ingredients found in many anti-aging products, retinol and glycolic acid, can be very irritating to sensitive skin.
Your skin needs to breathe, so avoid foundation if possible. Foundation, especially when applied as a thick film, can interfere with the ability of the skin's natural cell turnover process, the ability to shed old skin cells and to renew cells.
Aren't all handmade natural soaps the same? . . .
The answer is NO!
Saying a soap is "handmade" says nothing about quality of the ingredients or the knowledge and skill of the soapmaker!
Chagrin Valley is not just another soap and skincare company. We are committed to healthy skin, healthy people and a healthy planet.
We are a USDA Certified Organic Company specializing in luxurious, organic, handmade natural soaps and shampoo bars rich in natural glycerin for healthier skin and hair.
It's all about the ingredients! Inspired by our love of nature, we use organic herbs, seeds, flowers, vegetables, fragrant spices, fruits, pure essential oils and purifying clays for their exceptional skincare benefits and to provide natural color, aromatherapy, texture, or gentle exfoliation. Nothing artificial, nothing synthetic, no GMO’s, just natural wholesome ingredients.
Chagrin Valley's Natural Soap & Shampoo Bars Are...
- all natural
- made with USDA Certified Organic ingredients
- handcrafted in small batches using the old-fashioned Cold Process Method
- made with sustainable and fair trade ingredients
- certified cruelty-free
- free of detergents
- free of synthetic fragrances
- free of synthetic colors
- free of artificial preservatives
- free of artificial foam boosters
- free of alcohol and petroleum products
- free of synthetic additives
- free of GMOs
- mild and nourishing
- rich in natural glycerin
- magnificent long-lasting lather
- cured for 8 to 10 weeks
Our soap making process uses only natural and organic ingredients. Why add artificial ingredients to a handmade product?
Did you ever notice that so many people are ticklish under their arm? Your underarms are one of the most sensitive parts of your body.
Why Are Underarms More Sensitive?
- Underarm skin is a bit thinner than the skin on other parts of your body
- Underarm skin is not exposed to outside elements which can make skin tougher
- Underarms usually get very little sunlight
- The warm, moist environment is a breeding ground for bacteria
- The friction that occurs when underarms rub against skin or clothing can cause skin irritation
- Underarms are home to lots of nerves and lymph nodes
You may notice that you can feel a simple touch more than you can on other areas of the body. When you add up all of these factors you can see why underarm skin is not only more sensitive, but also more prone to irritation.
- Keep your underarms clean
- Shaving can really irritate sensitive skin
- Be sure to moisturize after shaving
- Shave at night before bedtime to allow the skin to heal a bit overnight
- Underarm pores can get clogged, so it is a good idea to gently exfoliate the area periodically
- Since this area is so sensitive, use the gentler products made to exfoliate your face rather than your body
- Do not use scratchy accessories, like loofahs, when washing which may irritate sensitive skin
- Use a natural, moisturizing deodorant
Trying to choose the right natural soaps or skincare products can be a bit overwhelming especially when you have allergies and/or skin sensitivities.
Since we proudly list every ingredient in all of our products, reading the ingredient list will help to eliminate ingredients that may cause you problems.
We always recommend doing a patch test before using any new products especially if you have sensitive skin or allergies.
We receive so many emails asking for help with allergies, we created categories in our “Help Me Choose” section to provide information for those with allergies or sensitivities to nuts, coconut, shea butter and gluten.
We often receive emails and phone calls from customers with chronic irritated or inflamed skin problems.
We have learned that for some people simply switching to a natural product may help.
We believe that natural ingredients are milder, healthier and gentler on the skin. I often say that it’s what's NOT in our products, that is often the most helpful.
While we cannot promise that our products will help heal your inflamed or irritated skin conditions, we have received a lot of feedback from customers telling us that our products have helped soothe irritated skin problems.
We have used this feedback to create "Help Me Choose" pages for a variety of skin issues.
Pure essential oils, herbs, and other natural ingredients have been used for centuries. Their folklore and uses have been passed down through generations.
Please note that our products are NOT drugs or medicines meant to treat or cure illness, which would require FDA testing and approval. Our products are intended to help soothe irritated skin.
If you have sensitive skin issues, always try an allergy patch test before using a new product.
Remember, the skin is the body's largest organ
and it needs to breathe as part of its
important role in maintaining overall health!
Well, first of all, it's an all-natural product. Commercial lotions are NOT. Our Whipped Shea Butters only contain the ingredients that they need. Creams and lotions created in a lab often clog pores, aggravate acne, trigger allergic reactions, and make skin feels heavy and greasy.
The organic oils and butters we use do NOT contain petroleum based chemicals (Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Paraffin), chemical emulsifiers (DEA, MEA, TEA), chemical preservatives (Parabens, Urea), Propylene Glycol, artificial colors, or synthetic fragrances.
Lotions have a very high water content. Once water is added to make a lotion, it is almost impossible to create an all natural product and still keep the bacteria and mold out.
No Alcohol or Petroleum Ingredients
Have you ever noticed that when you use your body lotion your skin never stays moist and you find yourself going back to the lotion bottle over and over?
Look at the ingredients. Often times water is the main ingredient. Commercial lotions often contain isopropyl alcohol and/or mineral oil. Both of these actually are very drying to your skin. The alcohol gives a temporary sense of coolness due to evaporation.
Mineral oil is found in lotions, soaps, baby oil, cosmetics, and motor oil. Mineral oil is a clear, liquid oil with no scent and will not spoil. It is very inexpensive because it is produced as a byproduct of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil. It is great for oiling your wooden cutting boards--but not your skin. Mineral oil does not penetrate to soften. It is difficult to absorb, coats your skin and clogs the pores. If you would like to have healthy skin, stay away from mineral oils, animal fat, petroleum, and synthetic oil based skincare.
No Propylene Glycol
Commercial creams and lotion often contain propylene glycol, which acts as a “humectant, preservative or stabilizer. Commercial skin-care products are stored and shipped and must have a very long shelf-life. Propylene glycol helps the fragrance, consistency and product appearance to remain attractive throughout its long life.
While the FDA has categorized propylene glycol as "Generally Recognized as Safe," and some say that
Your Natural Cream Has So Many Uses
We know that natural body butters make great moisturizing body creams. But here are some other ways we have used these balms and butters:
- Get rid of those cracked heels
- Gently massage into very dry areas on your face
- Soothe and smooth skin after shaving
- Add a dollop to your hot bath water instead of using synthetic bath oils
- Massage some into your cuticles to soften them
- Massage into your lips for a great all natural lip balm
We often receive questions as to whether our soaps, shampoos, and other items are safe to use on young children.
A baby’s skin, so thin and delicate, is no place for harmful synthetic chemicals. Sadly, even some of the most trusted baby brands add nasty chemicals to their products.
Read the label on a bar of commercial baby soap or shampoo. Read the label on a bottle of commercial baby oil. Now read the ingredients in Chagrin Valley products.
We recommend starting with our Milk & Honey Baby Soap. We also recommend our three Castile soaps and Carrot & Honey Soap. They are unscented and, as with all of our products, contain no artificial ingredients!
My grandkids use our Milk & Honey bar as a baby shampoo--just keep the soap away from their eyes.
When you think your child is ready, try some new soaps.
As with all new products, it is best to do a skin patch test prior to full usage to test for any skin allergies or sensitivities. If you have any questions or concerns always check with your doctor or health care professional.
It is best to add only one new soap or product at a time and use it for a while before switching to a new soap.
Essential Oils & Children: We do not provide information on the safety of essential oils for use in Children because the available information is very ambiguous and often contradictory. If you are interested in using essential oils with young children please consult your health care professional before use.
Please do not ask us to diagnose your child's skin problems, we are not health care professionals. Our recommendations are based on what our customers have shared.
Whether you call them "face oils" or "facial serums," nourishing, unrefined organic oils can moisturize, soothe and help restore natural balance to facial skin.
While many people, especially those with oily or acne-prone skin tend to shy away from oil-based moisturizing, it can be a very important step in daily skin care. An organic facial oil helps to increase the moisture content in the skin and prevent further moisture loss.
If you have oily skin, nourishing organic oils can help mimic the natural skin sebum which in turn sends signals to oil-producing cells that say, "Hey my skin is moisturized so stop producing oil."
Using products created to "dry out" oily skin will actually trigger the oil glands to increase oil production, which only exacerbates the oily skin problem. A wholesome moisturizer helps balance skin oil production.
If you have dry skin an organic facial oil made from unrefined botanical oils creates a protective but breathable barrier that slows moisture evaporation and thus helps lock in moisture.
If you have irritated skin a facial oil can help calm inflammation and soothe red irritated skin.
It is especially important for those (like me!) with maturing skin to keep your face adequately moisturized to help with fine lines and wrinkles.
The main thing is to make sure that you are using the right kind of moisturizer.
The most nourishing face oils are those made with unrefined, certified organic plant-based oils.
Unrefined oils are either cold-pressed or expeller-pressed.
They are minimally processed without chemicals under temperature-controlled conditions.
Minimal processing ensures a nutrient-rich, high-quality natural oil.
USDA Certified Organic means the botanical oils are free of synthetic additives, pesticides, and preservatives.
Stay away from petroleum-based products that contain mineral oils that clog your pores and cause breakouts.
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The content and information on this website, provided by The Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company, is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended and should not be construed as medical advice to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information regarding folklore or health-related benefits of certain ingredients is for educational purposes only. The information provided is not intended to prescribe or be taken as medical advice.
The information provided is not meant to substitute the advice provided by your personal physician or other medical professionals. Do not use the information found on this website to self-diagnose any medical conditions or treat any health problems or diseases. If you have medical concerns regarding yourself or your family you should seek the advice of qualified, licensed health professionals. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Read our Full Medical Disclaimer.
People with severe allergies--please note: If you have severe anaphylactic-type reactions to ANY of the ingredients in ANY of our products, please do not buy our products. We have dedicated soap rooms and product rooms that are kept meticulously clean, but we cannot guarantee against possible cross-contamination of individual ingredients.
Chagrin Valley Soap & Craft is not responsible for any individual reaction to any particular ingredient. Each product description on our website includes a complete list of ingredients. People with sensitivities to any listed ingredient should not use the product. In case you are in doubt always try an allergy patch test and if at any time irritation occurs, discontinue use of the product.