Living with sensitivities

Living with sensitivities doesn’t have to be stressful if you know how to control it. The following tips may be useful.

Tips for those with detergent/cleaning sensitivities

Woman and child hanging washing outside
  1. If you or one of your family exhibits sensitivity to detergent products, try a double rinse wash routine. Rinsing clothes well is important for everyone, but especially for people with sensitive skin. When your washing machine has completed its cycle, re-set it to the deep rinse setting, and let it repeat the cycle from this point on. This will give clothes an extra thorough rinse. If you follow this procedure it could be all you have to do to alleviate the symptoms. However, if you double rinse and still experience skin irritation, try some of the following tips as well:
  2. Use detergent designed for you: Choose a dermatologically tested, good quality detergent to ensure that it cleans effectively and rinses away easily. Choose products without added perfumes and dyes.
  3. Fabric softeners: Fabric softeners can make clothes feel softer and less scratchy on sensitive skin. However they do leave a residue on the fabric and could potentially aggravate sensitive skin. Some sensitive skin may react to fabric softeners. If this is your experience, you may need to avoid using fabric softeners.
  4. Avoid breathing fumes when cleaning: Ensure rooms are well ventilated when using general household cleaners. We suggest using products which can be poured onto a cloth rather than sprayed on, for example JIF Cream.
  5. Regular laundering: Dust mites and allergens thrive in warm, damp conditioners and can be found in clothing, mattresses, bedclothes, pillows and carpets. Regular laundering is a very effective method of removing these allergens. For effective allergen removal use warm water (at least 25 0C). To kill dust mites use hot water. (more than 550C)
  6. Use gloves while cleaning: It is recommended that people with sensitive skin use gloves while cleaning to prevent contact with cleaning products and dirt.

Tips for those with skin sensitivities

Sensitive Skin
  1. Use Hypo-allergenic skincare products: When choosing skincare products it is often impractical to test a product before purchase. We recommend that you select products from reputable manufacturers who have tested their products and stand by their product claims. Use pH neutral products on your skin. Products like DOVE Beauty Bar Unscented for Sensitive Skin have a neutral pH, is gentle on the skin and has no added fragrance.
  2. Don’t scrub your skin: Try not to over stimulate the skin with excessive massage, rubbing or exfoliation. Use a mild, soap-free cleanser.
  3. Dry your skin by patting it with a soft towel.
  4. Use hypo-allergenic deodorants: Unilever Australasia offers a range of anti-perspirant deodorants catering to individual needs.
  5. Know your skin: Individuals can have different reactions to ingredients. Some people are sensitive to perfumes and fragrance-free products may be suitable for them. It is worth noting the difference between fragrance-free and unscented products. Unscented products are not free of fragrance. They may contain perfume ingredients that mask or neutralise the base odour of the product. In sensitive skin products, the ingredients selected are ones that are less likely to irritate the skin.
  6. Remember: Follow the directions on the pack and stop using any product if a rash or irritation occurs. When trying a skincare product test a small amount on an inconspicuous area of skin to ensure it is suitable for you.

Further reading

For information on sensitivities consult your healthcare specialist. If you require additional information on Unilever Australasia products, you can ring our free call Info-Line for Australian consumers on 1800 227 200 and New Zealand consumers on 0800 108 806. You could also consider contacting associations such as the Asthma Foundations In Australia 1800 645 130 or In New Zealand, Wellington, 499 4594. Other useful websites include: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and the Soap and Detergent Association in the USA.

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