Did you know there is a difference between a sensitive skin type and a sensitized skin condition? Sensitive skin type is usually found in persons diagnosed with rosacea, eczema/dermatitis, asthma and/or seasonal allergies. However, if you have not been diagnosed with any of those diseases but experience sensitive skin symptoms like; tightness, stinging, burning, dry patches and/or redness, your skin barrier has probably been compromised. Thankfully barrier repair can be on the horizon with a proper product detox and an intentional hydration-based routine.

What is your skin barrier?

The skin barrier is a protective layer that helps retain water and nutrients and keep pathogens and harmful stressors such as bacteria and viruses out! When your barrier is weakened the skin is more susceptible to more irritation and inflammation.

How does one identify if they have sensitized skin?

Observe your homecare routine – your regular skincare routine starts to irritate your skin, your skin feels tight after cleansing and introducing new products to your routine burns/stings.

Observe your skin appearance – skin presents consistent redness, inflammation, dryness, patches, stinging or hot to touch.

Observe your timeline – is the irritation immediately during or after product use, do you notice more redness/irritation around stressful life events or menstrual cycles?

How does one develop sensitized skin?

Improper product usage – this can include using the wrong products for your skin type, using AHA/BHA actives without following up with SPF protection, or even using expired products.

Over exfoliation – using AHA/BHA’s daily, using a physical exfoliant with too much pressure, or leaving on an exfoliant for more than the recommended usage time.

Receiving too many treatments too quickly – scheduling chemical peels, microdermabrasion, dermaplaning and/or laser treatments with less than two weeks in between each service.

External factors – overexposure to pollution, sun, or environmental factors.

How does one treat sensitized skin?

Product detox – drop any complicated routine and double down on the basics; cleansing, hydration and protection. Hold off on any active ingredients and/or professional treatments for at least 4-6 weeks as your skin needs time to heal.

Moisturizing is vital – your skin barrier is synonymous with a moisture barrier. Maintaining moisture is imperative for healing. Look for products with ingredients like ceramides, probiotics, squalane, etc.

Book a facial with a professional – working with a professional to properly access the status of your skin and slowly integrate new products is essential to avoid sensitized skin conditions in the future.

Goldfaden MD products that can be used to soothe/treat sensitized skin:

Mist RX – Daily Nutrient Facial Mist uses ultra-fine mist to saturate the skin with Stem Cells, Aloe, and Kale water, to not only restore the skin’s pH but providing hydration

Radiance Repair – Daily Renewal Serum is rich in Vitamin E, Sunflower Seed Oil, and Omega-3 Fatty Acid to boost the skin’s natural barrier repair.

Vital Boost – Even Skintone Daily Moisturizer is packed with Sodium Hyaluronate, Squalane and Jojoba Seed Oil to rejuvenate and nourish the skin.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shelaine Springer is a Licensed Esthetician based in Los Angeles, CA. She prides herself on providing corrective facials for those dealing with hyperpigmentation, acne, and other skin conditions. She thoroughly enjoys performing services and using products that are accessible and affordable, to help bridge the financial gap for such an elective amenity as facials. Shelaine works hard to provide adequate education and empowerment through her facials, hopefully, while building confidence, self-esteem, and a gateway for unapologetic self-care. Shelaine has coined herself the “extraction whisperer” as that is her favorite part of each service, and you are able to view a few of her results-driven before and after photos on her Instagram account @sknessntls.

Want to lead a healthier lifestyle, get radiant skin, *and* do both in an eco-conscious manner? If so, pivoting to use clean, green, and/or natural skincare products is likely on your to-do list—or maybe you’ve already made the switch.

With that said, there are a few things Dr. Gary Goldfaden, aka Dr. G, wants you to know. Keep reading to discover the insights he has to share on the topic, informed by 50-plus years of experience as a renowned dermatologist—as well as a leader in naturally derived, clinically backed skincare products with his namesake line.

What’s the difference between clean, green, and natural skincare?

“All of these terms tend to be used interchangeably within the beauty industry, which is confusing and at times misleading for some consumers,” Dr. G begins. Moreover, this confusion proliferates because there’s no federally regulated oversight on using such terms. In other words, there are no mandates or official boards making sure that brands’ claims are true to how they’re marketed, or meet certain standards to be able to use these terms for their products.

At any rate, Dr. G shares what these terms mean to him as a dermatologist and the founder of Goldfaden MD:

  • Green: an eco-friendly brand in packing, sourcing, and brand messaging
  • Natural: a brand that uses some/mostly natural ingredients and is free of certain ingredients
  • Clean: similar to a natural brand, but more likely to avoid formulating with certain “dirty” ingredients (such as PEGS, artificial ingredients, petrochemicals, mineral oil, etc.)

Again, since these terms are often swapped out one for the other, it’s up to you as a consumer to take a closer look at the brand’s DNA, ingredient lists, and the like to determine if the product is suitable for your own wellness goals and lifestyle concerns.

What are the benefits of using clean and/or natural skincare products?

If your beauty products live up to their labels, Dr. G shares that there are many benefits you can anticipate by cleaning up your makeup bag and arsenal of skincare products.

For starters, “Many people are allergic or reactive to chemicals commonly found in conventionally produced products,” Dr. G begins. Conversely, “Natural makeup, skincare products, and body products work with your skin instead of against it.”

He then calls out a few of the (countless) benefits of clean, naturally derived product formulations and how you can witness them for yourself in your complexion. “The integrity and purity in plant and botanically derived ingredients—namely the high level of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, antioxidants, enzymes, natural sugars, and more—provide a vital spectrum of benefits for the skin without being compromised by fillers and inactive ingredients,” he continues. “This allows for the treatment actives to provide the most abundant benefits within topical formulas.”

When these actives work their plant-powered magic, Dr. G says this enables:

  • better product penetration
  • the skin to be less reactive and irritated
  • a clearer complexion
  • a reduction of redness, rashes, and milia

What makes Goldfaden MD products clean, green, *and* natural?

Whether you’re a devoted customer of Goldfaden MD’s or are still in the initial stages of finding the best and safest skincare products for your needs, Dr. G wants everyone to understand what makes his namesake brand live up to each of the clean/green/natural terms.

“To begin, we do not formulate with silicones, mineral oils, parabens, petrochemicals, PEGS, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, or alcohol,” he explains. And these are only a short selection of the no-gos when it comes to the full Goldfaden MD line.

Each and every product is formulated to align with Credo’s Clean Standards, which are the most rigorous in the American beauty industry. On top of that, Goldfaden MD abides by the EU’s standards of product safety, so you can rest assured that over 1,300+ confirmed and potentially toxic ingredients have no place in our products. Lastly, in addition to being naturally derived and plant-powered, a commitment to sustainability is integral to the brand’s DNA, which lasts all the way from product development to delivery. This includes but isn’t limited to:

  • Repurposing post-consumer waste for packaging
  • Using only materials and packaging that are recyclable
  • Our partnership with One Tree Planted to promote a greener earth

In sum, what makes Goldfaden MD natural, clean, green (and everything in between!) is the fact that we prioritize a 360-degree approach to safety for your skin, body, and the planet—both in our formulations and beyond.

When it comes to leading a clean lifestyle (which includes naturally derived skincare products from Goldfaden MD, of course!) Dr. Goldfaden truly practices what he preaches—and has been doing just that for decades.

In this Q&A, you’ll get to know just how much Dr. Goldfaden prioritizes living healthily and holistically. This proactive way of living has enabled him to be a leading dermatologist for over five decades—not to mention a wonderful role model for his children, grandchildren, and the thousands of people who have sought his expertise at his practice and via Goldfaden MD.

Why do you prioritize naturally sourced foods?

As a family, we grew up eating organic food, lots of raw vegetables, and high-quality animal proteins and fats. My wife and I also took care to instill the value of a clean diet (and other clean/healthy living considerations, including but not limited to physical fitness) in our children.

Naturally sourced, whole foods (meaning they aren’t processed and are free from pesticides and hormones) have the ability to offer a higher percentage of nutrients, vitamins, and key antioxidants. That’s because there are no unnecessary preservatives, hormones, or antibiotics that can prevent the beneficial ingredients from leaving that specific product. An additional benefit is that they also allow for peak freshness of foods.

Moreover, eating a diet of fresh, naturally grown/raised whole foods is scientifically linked to decreasing the risk of disease and increasing life span.

What are the primary ingredients people should avoid in food?

High fructose corn syrup, gluten, and artificial colors are often the worst offenders.

The worst offenders I want to flag include:

  • Processed foods
  • Sugar and high fructose corn syrup
  • Gluten
  • Artificial colors

In some cases, dairy (which, among other red flags, often includes countless hormones you don’t want in your body) is another trigger that can negatively impact your health as well as your skin.

How does a clean diet also equate to healthier skin?

What we put into our bodies is just as important as what we are putting on our skin. Being aware of what you put in and on your body is crucial, as the skin showcases the nutrients from both an internal and external standpoint.

What clean beauty retailers and brands do you recommend?

Credo Beauty and goop are both respected leaders in the clean beauty space. In particular, Credo is a wonderful resource for education on what clean beauty is (and isn’t). Moreover, I admire the work they do on building, promoting, and upholding the Credo Clean Standard for all brands they carry—with Goldfaden MD among them.

As far as clean beauty/makeup brands go, I’d like to call out Ilia, Alima Pure, PYT, and RMS.

Dietary and skin considerations aside, what are other simple ways to lead a cleaner lifestyle?

To avoid unnecessary and undesired exposure to chemicals that can be toxic or harmful—or at the very least can elicit some kind of reactivity—it is also worth switching to clean products to use around the home. I particularly recommend household cleaning supplies from Mrs. Meyers and Branch Basics.