Sensitive Skin Overview

Sensitive Skin Irritants

Red, blotchy skin isn't the norm when cleansing your face, but if your cleanser or moisturizer irritates your skin, you may be having an allergic reaction to an ingredient. If you suspect a certain ingredient is causing the reaction, avoid products that contain it [source: WebMD].

Fragrances and preservatives are the most common culprits when it comes to sensitivity or allergies to skin care products. Try products labeled "fragrance-free" or "without perfume" -- even products labeled "unscented" could contain fragrances that mask chemical scents. Preservatives are more difficult to avoid -- any skin care product that contains water must contain some preservatives. Parabens are the most commonly used preservatives, and they include Quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, phenoxyethanol, methylchloroisothiazolinone and formaldehyde -- all have been linked to skin allergies [source: WebMD].

Some other ingredients in over-the-counter skin care products can also irritate sensitive skin and should be avoided -- these include alcohol, beta hydroxyl acids and retinoids. Also, steer clear of antibacterial or deodorant soaps -- use mild soaps or soap-free cleansers instead [source: Zamosky].

Keep reading to learn more about caring for sensitive skin.