brandless skincare packaging. you might want to avoid some products with sensitive skin

5 Ingredients to Avoid for Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin can cover a wide range of conditions, such as eczema and rosacea. However, sensitive skin types can also react to common ingredients. Finding the right skincare products can be challenging, but knowing what to avoid can make skin sensitivity easier to manage. Here are some ingredients you will want to
avoid for sensitive skin.

Towel Massage

Do you have sensitive skin? At Soteri Skin, we have a full line of products specially designed for those with sensitive skin. 

How to Tell If You Have Sensitive Skin 

There are many telltale signs that you may have sensitive skin

  • Prone to bumps and rashes
  • Acne breakouts due to clogged pores
  • Dry, itchy skin.

As a result, your skin could feel itchy all the time, and skin is more sensitive to UV rays. All those beauty products will burn or sting your skin. Even essential oil can inflame sensitive skin.

Related: 5 Tips for Managing Itchy, Flaky Skin from a Dermatologist 

Now that you know the signs of sensitive skin, here are common ingredients to avoid. 


Many skin care products add fragrance to mask the scents of less-pleasant-smelling ingredients. Fragrances are known to flare up sensitive skin. Unfortunately, while the FDA does require ingredients to be listed on the packaging, but they can go by the generic name of "fragrance" and have a combination of both chemical and natural ingredients. If the product has a heavy scent, there is a good chance it could contain harsh chemicals. 

For those with sensitive skin, always look for products without fragrance. It’s important to know the difference between fragrance-free and unscented. Fragrance-free means that no additional scents were added, while unscented means that additional scents were added to mask the original smell. 

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Many companies have stopped using sodium lauryl sulfates in their products. However, many skin cleansers and sunscreens still contain these items. Sodium lauryl sulfate can trigger irritation in sensitive skin, resulting in clogged pores and acne. Your skin works to keep damage from getting past the top layer of skin, but sodium lauryl sulfates can get through that top layer and turn into waste matter, which leads to irritation for those with sensitive skin. 

Related: The Basics: Skin 101 

Essential Oils 

Many people think that essential oils are healthy for the body and skin. However, these ingredients can be irritating to sensitive skin. For example, bergamot is an essential oil that can induce a photo-allergic reaction on the skin. Lavender, citrus, and mint essential oils are also known to cause adverse reactions and irritation on the skin.  Tree tea is safe when it is diluted, but it can also lead to irritation and dryness. Some people with sensitive skin might have redness and rashes after applying these products.


lavender oil can irritate sensitive skin

Harsh Exfoliants 

In many cases, the products used in the exfoliation process can inflame the skin. However, you don't want to stop exfoliating completely - it is a great way to remove dead skin cells for that healthy glow. Instead, opt for gentler products to avoid aggravating skin and prevent any unwanted side effects. Both scrubs and chemical exfoliants are harsh on skin. Lactic acid is an excellent choice for sensitive skin types, as it doesn't penetrate as deeply as those other acids. 


Many people with sensitive skin will have problems with dryness. If you have dry skin, the last thing you want to do is apply products with alcohol, which you can identify from reading the ingredients list. Additionally, astringents often contain alcohol, leaving sensitive skin extremely dry and affecting how the skin rejuvenates at the end of the day, leaving you dry and peeling, not healthy and glowing. For a healthy glow, make sure to grab products that do not contain any denatured alcohol or other alcohol by-products. 

Related: The right pH level is everything

Best Ingredients for Sensitive Skin 

Trying to choose the right products for your daily skincare routine with sensitive skin can feel intimidating. However, it is completely possible, even for those with sensitive skin, to achieve a smooth, radiant complexion. You just need to select products that are both gentle and effective. In this article, we highlighted the ingredients to avoid, but also want to share some ingredients to seek out that sensitive skin can typically benefit from. These include:

Amino acids: the natural building blocks of your body's molecules

Vitamin C: helps prevent oxidation damage and brightens your complexion

Jojoba esters: is a similar oil to the one that the skin naturally secretes

Polyphenols: offer photoprotection due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties 

Retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids: are two excellent ingredients that can restore the skin's texture and smoothness


choose products that can soothe your skin

Treat Your Skin Well

Having sensitive skin can be difficult for many people. If you are not careful, common skincare products can cause unwanted itchiness, redness and dryness because certain ingredients can irritate skin. If you are diligent in choosing products that don't have these ingredients, you can enjoy less irritation with healthier and glowing skin. 

Soteri Skin offers products that can balance your pH levels, and they don't have any of these irritating ingredients. With a boost from the pH/LOCK™ technology which supports long-term skin resiliency, you can have healthy skin all day. 

Do you want to find products that will not irritate your sensitive skin? At Soteri Skin, our products do not contain those harsh ingredients, leaving you with smooth and glowing skin!