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My Annoying Skin Sensitivities

*Yawn* Not the most exciting topic, is it?

But I've was kind of caught off guard lately when I stopped to consider all the things I have had to change over the years because of my skin's sensitivities to:

  • dish detergent
  • deodorant
  • cosmetics
  • shampoo
  • liquid body wash
  • toothpaste

There is a common ingredient in most of the above items that I'd name a key culprit - sodium lauryl sulfate and/or sodium laureth sulfate. It's a detergent that makes bubbles and foam. It's in many products, including shampoos, soaps and toothpaste.

Some consider it a poison. Well, I dunno if I'd go that far, but I have learned I can't handle it.

What's frustrating is discovering all this the hard way. First, the symptoms. Then the slow process of identifying what caused the symptoms. Then the slow and expensive process of trying to find an effective replacement. Then doing it all again when the next symptom appears.

Thank goodness for the web. While researching my last set of symptoms (a persistent mouth rash called Perioral Dermatitis, I discovered the sodium lauryl sulfate issue. That's when I started putting things together.

I haven't identified the ingredients in regular deodorants and cosmetics that give my skin grief. Perhaps a little more online research will reveal useful information.

I bet it wouldn't surprise you, I also have eczema and allergies. Somehow, I'm sure they're all connected at some level.

I hope this information may help you if you're suffering from any of the symptoms listed below.

Products that help my skin stay calmer:

Biotene toothpaste

Jason body wash

Crystal Stick deodorant

Bare Minerals

household rubber gloves
Symptoms Original Product Replacement Product
facial rash, especially around the mouth, skin sloughs off inside the mouth any toothpaste with sodium laureth sulfate Biotene toothpaste
ocassional mild stinging on skin any liquid body wash with sodium laureth sulfate J/A/S/O/N body wash
itchy scalp; extremely brittle, breakable hair any standard shampoo with sodium laureth sulfate hair conditioner! there are actually enough cleaning agents in standard conditioners for my very dry scalp
burning sensation on underarm pits deodorant Crystal body deodorant; it's important to frequently sterilize the crystal stick with alcohol
itchy facial skin, peeling lips cosmetics For a long time, I just stopped wearing it. Now I plan to try Bare Minerals.
peeling skin on hands any dish detergent household rubber gloves

Last update to this page: 30 Jul 08. Send comments, questions or suggestions to Desiree McCrorey.