Cut Out the Clutter for Better Skin Health

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Cut Out the Clutter for Better Skin Health

Everyday in my clinic I see adverse reactions to skincare products.  It’s an epidemic.

As a Dermatologist for over 20 years, I probably see more of these cases than the average skin specialist because of my focus on topical allergies.

A few years ago, I started to get really frustrated. Frustrated for the patients and frustrated for myself.

My biggest source of frustration stemmed from the sheer number of beauty products on the market and the lack of regulation around them.

Then I decided that rather than growing increasingly peeved by the problem, I would promote a solution — starting with my own practice.

My answer: a product elimination diet.

I first developed this concept years ago as a bridge strategy for patients awaiting an allergy patch test, but it can be applied more broadly to anyone complaining of red, itchy, burning or flaky skin as well as patient with uncontrolled eczema or rosacea. It’s also a great strategy for people exploring a more “naked” skincare approach for themselves and/or their children.

So, how does it work?

Step One: Discontinue use of all hair, face, hand and body care products, including laundry detergent.

Why? Because skincare products intended for one part of the body often go everywhere. Eg. Shampoo applied to your hair washes down your face and lathers your entire body.

Step Two: Select products based on my Low Allergen and Irritant List.

Why? This list is comprised of carefully curated products that I trust and deem low allergen and low irritant. Because buzzwords like “hypoallergenic” and “sensitive skin” aren’t regulated, it is difficult for the average consumer to discern what is good and bad for their skin. This list eliminates the guesswork.

Step Three: Patients typically see results within a few weeks, at which point they can reintroduce products from their old regime at a rate of one per week.

Why? Reintroducing products on at a time will help identify what, if any, of the patient’s products are causing a reaction. Rashes don’t always show up immediately so it’s best to leave a week in-between products to be sure.

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1 Comment

  1. Susan McLeod says:

    I’m a very happy person since I stopped blinding buying any old brand of moisturizers, thanks to you. No skin reactions. Wonderful.
    Please note I am a patient of Dr. Skotnicki’s.