Waxing can wreak havoc on skin that tends to inflame easily, explains cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Laura Skellchock, "the mechanical action of pulling out hairs, in addition to ingredients in the wax, are both potential irritants." Women with sensitive skin may experience redness, bumps, bruising, burning and even ingrown hairs post-treatment — definitely not a good look.
"Facials can be problematic due to the introduction of products that aren't typically used by the individual," says Dr. Skellchock. Pores don't open and close and the steam that's used during treatment to help open pores can be particularly damaging to sensitive skin. Facials with extractions also aren't highly recommended and must be done very gently, if at all. Extractions can cause scarring, broken blood vessels and overall weakening of the skin (especially if done incorrectly).
Microdermabrasion is a form of mechanical exfoliation that physically removes the uppermost layers of the epidermis, which facilitates skin repair and new cellular generation. "While it is not the exfoliation itself that causes irritation," says Dr. David Bank, President of the New York State Society for Dermatology and Dermatologic?Surgery, "chemicals in the product may trigger a reaction or the newly revealed skin layer may be too sensitive and thin to be fully exposed to environmental factors." For those with sensitive skin, microdermabrasion can result in irritation, redness, rashes and in extreme cases, even bleeding.
Chemical peels use an alpha hydroxy acid such as glycolic acid to exfoliate dead skin cells. "These preparations are available in various concentrations, but preparations greater than about 10 or 15 percent should only be administered by a professional," explains licensed esthetician Laura Myers. The protective layer of outermost skin is removed during a chemical peel, which can irritate and dry sensitive skin.
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