Why does my moisturiser sting?

May 15, 2019

Why does my off the shelf moisturiser sting?

When a moisturiser stings your skin there’s possibly a number of things at play, but generally it’s caused by one ingredient that’s common to all moisturisers: water. It is true that alcohols, fragrances and other ingredients can irritate your skin, but generally they are in a very low concentration and shouldn’t cause any stinging.

Most people will have experienced the slight burning when pool water or tap water gets up their nose. This is caused by a difference in salt concentrations between the pool or tap water and the water or fluid that exists in the cells of the nose. The cells of the nose rapidly swell causing the nerves to send signals to the brain that something is not right! 

A cream contains about 80% or more of water. A similar thing happens with dry skin, where the cells rapidly take up the water and swell causing the nerves in the skin to tell the brain that something is not right!

Ointments and oils alone do not hydrate the skin and only offer a barrier type effect. How then, can you get this essential moisture into extremely dry skin without it stinging?

The best way to do it is gradually! At Border Compounding Pharmacy our pharmacists will be able to customise the water content of your creams to match your skin type. We can start as low as 1% water and gradually work our way up until the skin is hydrated and repaired.

For those with extremely dry eczema, we have formulated a version of our Pink Magic cream that contains less than 10% water. We call it our vitamin B12 Butter, but its probably best not spread on toast….

If you would like a customised and effective approach to managing your dry skin and eczema, come in and talk to our pharmacists today.

 

Ben Eshelby

Pharmacist and Cosmetic Scientist




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