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Common skin irritants: How to protect your skin now

Common skin irritants: How to protect your skin now

Day in and day out we are constantly bombarded with common skin irritants that can lead to skin irritation, itching, breakouts, rough texture, sensitive skin and more. There are several easy steps you can take to protect your skin from invisible daily assault. Keep reading to see the most common skin irritants and ways to keep your complexion glowing.



Between car exhaust, ozone, industrial smoke, and more, pollution is one of the most common skin irritants we face day to day. Skin that is exposed to daily toxic pollution becomes prematurely aged, weakened, dull, dehydrated and sensitized.

In fact, studies show that pollution can also accelerate the visible signs of aging, especially for those who live in more polluted areas, like big cities (1). Even if you don't live in a major city, 92% of the world's population is breathing in polluted air and live in places where outdoor air quality fails to meet the guidelines for safety (2).

Pollution saps your skin of much needed minerals and moisture, leaving you vulnerable to wrinkles, dullness, dehydration and irritation. This means you must defend yourself with anti-pollution skin care, like Remineralist Daily Moisture. Try this pollution-neutralizing, lightweight hydrating lotion to protect and modern aging skin. Oily or combination skin types can wear it alone as a lightweight layer; Dry skin types can apply it over a serum for extra hydration.



Sorry ladies- makeup is another common skin irritant. The most frequent irritation that occurs with makeup is breakouts. Many different products clog pores and include harsh ingredients that can irritate and inflame the skin on a microscopic level.

To avoid triggering a breakout or irritation, always look for non-comedogenic makeup, which is specifically formulated to not cause blocked pores. Also be sure to always remove your makeup at night. If you don't, you leave your skin vulnerable to irritation, rashes, excess oil, blackheads, whiteheads and more.


Pro tip: "Don't use a makeup wipe!"


Makeup wipes don't remove 100% of the makeup, dirt, and oil that's accumulated throughout the day. That alone can clog your pores. Not to mention all the rubbing and tugging you have to do in order to remove your makeup with a wipe will lead to fine lines and wrinkles.

Opt for a makeup remover that thoroughly, but gently removes every last trace of makeup, like Makeup Dissolver Perfected. This eye makeup remover uses a calming blend of marigold and eyebright extracts to gently remove all eye makeup – from stubborn mascara to clingy concealer.

Always cleanse your skin after using a makeup remover as well. Sensitive Skin Cleansing Oil is a gentle oil cleanser that melts away makeup, pollutants and more without any irritating side effects.The olive oil in the formula gently lifts away impurities while it soothes skin and protects it from moisture loss and visible irritation.


Dirty makeup brushes

Not only do certain makeup products leave your skin vulnerable, but the tools you use to apply your makeup can irritate and even seriously damage your skin. Daily use of dirty makeup brushes can cause acne, skin irritation, rashes, bacterial or fungal skin infections, and eye infections.  The buildup of residue on a brush can also create a rough texture, which can microscopically cut, scrape, and damage your skin.

Brushes that seem clean to the naked eye can actually contain dirt, debris, bacteria, oils, and dead skin cells. The longer you go without cleaning your brushes, beauty blenders and other tools, the more unwanted debris accumulates.


Pro Tip: "Clean your brushes at least once a month."


Use this easy trick to keep your brushes clean.


Free Radicals

Do you know what free radicals are? They're one of the top causes of skin aging, yet many people have never heard of them. Free radicals are highly unstable and reactive molecules that damage living cells. These can come from everyday pollution and other common stressors.

As free radical damage occurs, skin cells and tissues are damaged. The body tries to compensate for this by activating inflammatory pathways. However, inflammation is not restricted to only the damaged areas and it often spills over into surrounding healthy tissue. Inflammation degrades collagen and elastin, which leads to premature sagging and line formation.

Antioxidants are the skin's superhero against free radicals, so protect yourself from free radical damage and irritation with an antioxidant concentrate, like Plump Start. This intensive plumping concentrate surges moisture deep into the surface layers of the skin to soak it with vitamin C charged antioxidants that scavenge skin aging free radicals. Not only that, but it provides your skin with an intelligent veil of hydration that plumps the skin for youthful fullness.


Harsh chemicals

It's no surprise that harsh chemicals irritate your skin, but it can be difficult to know which chemicals to watch out for. The two most commonly used ingredients that you should avoid in your skin care, makeup or any beauty products that come in contact with your skin are artificial fragrances and dyes. Both these ingredients wreak havoc on your skin, most commonly resulting in breakouts and even rashes.

Always check your labels closely for the word "fragrance" or "parfum" and any artificial dyes. While the label "fragrance" and "parfum" looks like one ingredient on the label, it's more likely a blend of hundreds of different chemicals (3).


Allergies + environmental irritants

Most of the population experiences sensitized skin at some point. Sensitized skin can be triggered by environmental factors like seasonal changes, seasonal allergies, and other environmental irritants.

Gentle skin toners, like Soothing Reset Mist, are a great way to reduce redness, irritation, and to safeguard skin against moisture loss. When you skip toner, your skin actually becomes more vulnerable to the elements and more resistant to the next product you apply.

For extra protection, Stress Solution is a skin-smoothing serum that boosts skin's resistance to environmental irritants. It also protects against visible irritation from over-exfoliation, aggressive topical products, and other sensitivities.

Many common skin irritants can irritate the delicate skin near your eyes, especially seasonal allergies. Use gentle products specifically designed for your eye area, like Sensitive Eye Smoother.


If you have any questions about common skin irritants, sign up for our email newsletter or comment below!


  1. Source: Skin Inc.
  2. The World Health Organization
  3. AAD


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