About RTÉ Television
The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Skin So Sensitive!

Tuesday, 28 March 2006


Does your make up irritate your skin? Today Kate Conkey will be showing us some surprising ingredients in cosmetics that might be causing the irritation, and where you can get make up that is specifically designed to be kind to our skin.

First , we must remember that anyone can have a reaction to anything.  Moreover, it might be a combination of ingredients that cause a reaction.  There are numerous factors which play a part in skin irritation. The two biggest problems are fragrance and alcohol.

Things That Are Most Likely To Irritate Skin.
. Abrasive scrubs
. Toners with irritating ingredients
. Scrub mitts
. Extreme hot or cold water
. Facial masks with irritating ingredients
. Loofahs
. Bar Soaps and bar cleansers

Irritating Ingredients (are of greater concern if they appear at the beginning of an ingredient list because ingredients lists work so that the first ingredient listed is the most prominent ingredient)Some of these ingredients in bold are surprising, they are usually marketed as good for you, for example
. Acetone
. Alcohol or SD alcohol (exceptions like cetyl alcohol or stearyl alcohol are benign, wax-like thickening agents and are completely safe to use)
. Ammonia
. Arnica
. Balsam, ( added to tissues supposed to sooth sore noses)
. Bentonite
. Benzalkonium chloride
. Bergamot
. Camphor
. Cinnamon
. Citrus juice and oil
. Clove
. Clover Blossom
. Cornstarch
. Eucalyptus ( come from leaves of the plant and is added to lots of moisturisers, deodorants and washing powders)
. Fennel
. Fennel oil
. Fir
. Geranium ( used in aromatherapy oils)
. Lavender ( used in face creams, hand creams, body creams but most common in aromatherapy and can be used as antiseptic)
. Lemongrass
. Linalool
. Marjoram
. Menthol
. Mint
. Papaya
. Pepper
. Phenol
. Sandalwood
. Sodium c14 - 16 olefin sulphate
. Sodium lauryl sulphate
. TEA-lauryl sulphate
. Thyme
. Wintergreen
. Witch Hazel ( used in a range of spot fighting formulas and in toners)
. Ylang-Ylang (used in perfumes) (Ylang-ylang is the flower of the cananga tree)

Beauty Myth
Skin does not have to tingle or be stimulated, even a little, to be clean.

Fragrance - synthetic or natural, are responsible for many skin flare ups.  'Fragrance allergy is the most common cause of contact allergy.  Hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested, sensitive skin, or dermatologist recommended are nothing more than meaningless marketing slogans' (Journal of American Dermatology December 1999)

A Few Common Anti-Irritants & Anti-Inflammatories
. Anti-oxidants
. Willowherb
. Rosemary
. Willow bark
. Camomile
. Allantoin
. Oat Extracts
. Bisabolol
. Green and Black Tea
. CoQ10
. Grape Seed

Natural Moisturizing Factors mimic the lipid content of the skin.  All are helpful for the skin, but a single ingredient will not be the supreme answer to skin problems either.
. Corn oil
. Olive oil
. Jojoba oil
. Coconut oil
. Apricot oil
. Squalane
. Sweet almond oil
. Shea butter
. Lanolin

Recommended Products
Main problems scratch skins surface and cause more irritation and can even clog pores up.

1. Shiseido Foam Cleanser - €42. By adding baking soda to this cleanser you make is a nice safe scrub for your skin.
Available in BTs, Arnotts & Selected Pharmacies Nationwide.

2. Dr. Haushka Cleansing Cream - €15.25 gentle almond particles, which do not scratch the skin.
Available in all good health food stores

Kate uses this, fragrance free, anti-irritant. The biggest problem is that most moisturisers are fragranced or don't have soothing ingredients.

1. Paula Choice Skin Balancing Moisture Gel ( for normal to oily skin) €14.20

Acne Treatment
No alcohol in it, which is normally in acne treatments. It destroys bacteris with out drying skin

1. Jan Marini 5% Benzoyl Peroxide - €35.00

Eye Makeup Remover
Eyes are obviously one of the most sensitive parts of the face, you should always be careful what you put near your eyes, but it is hard to get a good make-up remover that really does get the make-up off.

1.  Olive Oil - great to remove heavy makeup (good homemade product).  

2. Chanel,  Bi Phase Eye Makeup Remover - €20
Has cilicone in it gentle and calming flower extracts, mineral oil it is myth that it is bad for your skin, never been proven. A bestseller. This is an alternative to the olive oil, because even though it is in people's cupboards, women still want a product they can buy.
Available in Department Stores Nationwide

No alcohol and no fragrance, important for wipes because many of them are extremely fragranced and have alcohol in them.
1. Boots Skin Kindly Cleansing Wipes €4.08
From Boots Pharmacies Nationwide

100% pure minerals make-up, so pure that the makers claim you could sleep in it and it wouldn't matter. They are free of preservative, oil, talc and perfume,

1. ID bareMinerals Foundation - € 42
Available from Anu Therapie in Drogheda
Contact 041 980 3666 or