Click on a room to check for hazards to sensitive skin!
- New clothes contain chemicals such as formaldehyde that can irritate the skin. Wash new clothes before you wear them, using a detergent that's free of dyes and perfumes, specially designed for sensitive skin, and dermatologist tested.
- Wool clothing and some types of synthetic fabrics can irritate sensitive skin. Stick with cotton or cotton-blend clothes.
- Sometimes sensitive skin is related to allergies. If you have allergies to dust mites or pet dander, keep pets out of your bedroom, consider using hypoallergenic pillows and bedding, wash bedding at least once a week in hot water using a dye-free and perfume-free detergent, remove carpets and upholstered furniture, and have someone vacuum once a week (or wear a mask if you do it yourself).
- Mothballs can cause skin irritation. Look into other ways to protect your clothes, such as cedar balls for your closet.
- Dishwashing detergents can leave your hands red and raw. Choose a mild detergent and wear plastic or vinyl gloves while washing the dishes. Afterwards, rinse your hands well and apply a moisturizing lotion.
- Oven cleaners often contain lye, which can damage the skin and eyes. Choose products without lye, and wear gloves and eye protection when using oven cleaners.
- Switch from antibacterial hand soap to regular non-antibacterial hand soap. Regular hand soap is less irritating to the skin, and works just as well as anti-bacterial soap as long as you wash your hands thoroughly by making sure the soap covers between your fingers and under your nails. A good rule of thumb is to take 15 seconds to wash your hands each time.
There are many outdoor products that contain chemicals that can irritate the skin, including:
- pool care products, including chlorine tablets and algicides
- bug repellents
- weed killers
- pest control baits and traps
If you have sensitive skin, have another adult in your family handle these products. If you must use them, wear plastic or vinyl gloves when handling these products, rinse your skin well after being exposed to the products, and apply a moisturizing lotion after rinsing.
Bathroom cleaning products often contain harsh chemicals that can irritate your skin. Here's how to cope:
- When working with cleaning products, wear plastic or vinyl gloves (avoid latex because some people are allergic) and make sure the room is well ventilated. Wash your hands thoroughly after using the products and then apply a moisturizing lotion.
- Check labels and avoid cleaning products that you have reacted to in the past.
- Choose eco-friendly products (these may be easier on the skin) and products that don't contain dyes or perfumes. Old-fashioned cleaning products such as vinegar and baking soda are another option.
Antibacterial hand soap contains pesticides that can irritate your skin. Use regular non-antibacterial hand soaps instead - they work just as well as long as you wash your hands thoroughly by making sure the soap covers between your fingers and under your nails. A good rule of thumb is to take 15 seconds to wash your hands each time.
Toilet paper and personal care products with perfumes and dyes may also cause skin irritation. Choose dye-free and perfume-free versions.
- Wool and synthetic fabrics found in upholstery and throws or blankets can cause skin irritation. Stick with natural fabrics.
- Air fresheners release chemicals that can irritate the skin. Instead of using air fresheners, keep your house clean and well ventilated, and use baking soda to absorb unwanted odors.
- Allergies can sometimes make sensitive skin worse. If you have allergies to dust mites or pet dander, remove carpets from your living and dining rooms, have someone vacuum once a week (or wear a mask if you do it yourself), avoid curtains and upholstered furniture, and wash slipcovers in a dye-free, perfume-free laundry detergent that is dermatologist tested and specially designed for sensitive skin.