Treatments for Problem Skin Buying Guide
Not everyone has naturally flawless skin. The good news is that there is a huge market out there filled with plenty of treatments for just about any skin problem. Most moderate to severe skin problems require the assistance of a dermatologist, so realize that you may not be able to fully fix your skin with over the counter medication.
See our guide on Acne Treatments.
See our guide on Anti-Ageing Skin Care.
See our guide on After Sun Care.
For those with super sensitive skin, there is no one perfect answer when it comes to skin care. A product that makes one person with sensitive skin break out might make another person with sensitive skin have flawless, rash-free skin. There are, however, certain tricks to finding a product that won't make you break out.
- Always do a spot test. Use a product on a very small part of your skin that is covered during the day. Use it at least twice, then wait 24 hours after the last application. No rash? No break outs? Then you are in the clear! Use the product as one would normally, but discontinue if you notice any signs of a rash or irritation.
- You may have to use products less often than directed. Though that cleanser you like may say to use it twice a day, it may be too harsh to use in the morning and at night for your skin. It's best to use products that exfoliate or deeply cleanse no more than once a day to avoid excessive irritation.
- Avoid fragrances and colouring.
- Look for products that are all-natural ,organic , or specifically formulated for sensitive skin .
If you suffer from extremely dry skin, you'll need some heavy duty moisturisers and super gentle cleansers. Avoid products with alcohol, as they can lead to further drying of your skin. Make sure you use a gentle cleanser and don't cleanse more than once a day. Moisturize as much as needed. Look for oils and butters that will provide optimum relief from dry, itchy skin.
If you suffer from oily skin, you'll need a deep cleanser and some shine control products. Avoid oils and butters. Look for water-based or alcohol-based products. Use a cleanser at least twice a day.
First things first: don't expect your scars to magically vanish from over the counter products. It's just not likely. These products are aimed at slowly improving the scarred skin to reduce the appearance of scars.
What to Look For
- Collagen: Helps fill and close the wound.
- Onion Extract: Acts as an anti-inflammatory and inhibits the over-production of collagen in a scar. Requires consistent use over several months for any significant changes.
- Silicone: Will lighten and flatten scars.
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids: Used to exfoliate dead skin cells, these natural fruit acids can improve the appearance of acne scars and reduce redness, as well as wrinkles and signs of ageing. Not for those with sensitive skin, as it often causes irritation.
The main symptoms are itchy, red, dry skin brought on by inflammation. Though commonly found in children, adults can also suffer from eczema. For those that suffer from mild eczema the key to skin relief is gentle cleansing and heavy moisturizing (up to four times a day).
- Organic cleansers without harsh chemicals, such as sodium laureth sulfate.
- Moisturizing body washes are best.
- If you experience excessive flaking or peeling you may want to look into a mild organic scrub or one that's geared towards sensitive skin. Use with caution though as scrubbing a flare can cause it to get worse. Only use it on areas without active flare ups for best results.
- Moisturizers containing petrolatum, mineral oil, silicone, glycerin, panthenol, hyaluronic acid, propylene glycol, butylene glycol, stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, tocopheryl acetate, and prolipids.
- To avoid irritation, opt for moisturizers that appear more greasy.
- If you want to provide more protection for your skin look for an emollient with ceramide. It will help repair surface damage on the skin.
- To help relieve severe itchiness you may need a topical corticosteroid (topical steroids). Hydrocortisone is easy to get, but anything more powerful will require a prescription.
- Fragrances or scented cleansers.
- Bath oils that are hard to absorb into the skin.
- Bar soaps that can overdry and leave a film on the skin.
Haven't heard of rosacea? It's actually extremely common but little-known. Check out the symptoms here. If you have rosacea, it is best to visit a dermatologist. Severe and moderate rosacea will not be improved much from over the counter medications, and these products may even do more damage to those with severe rosacea.
Mild rosacea may be improved with these products which are specially formulated to not irritate your skin while treating rosacea.