Moisturizer and Sensitive Skin Barrier

Written by on February 27, 2008 with 2 Comments

From:  “Linda Sy MD”
Date:  Sun May 2, 1999  3:06 am
[rosacea] Moisturizer and sensitive skin barrier

Matija & Alex D.,

Two possible reasons why you feel a moisturizer build-up:

  1. Excessive sebum production and
  2. Inadequate cleansing.

The combination causes accumulated sebum, clogging of pores and inflammatory response (seborrheic dermatitis).  The SD causes skin to become red, flaky (seemingly very dry) and easily irritated (burns & stings). Notice that the above affects the T-zone (nose especially) where oil glands are plentiful. (Ironically, many who cannot tolerate any harsh products, can use such on their noses because benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or alcohol based products dissolve excess sebum which ultimately helps SD).

Rosaceans perceive this condition of their skin as dry and sensitive, so they shy away from soaps and proper cleansing until the inflammation builds & gets so severe (like abraded skin) that indeed anything and everything causes irritation. This is at the point where nothing seems to help and one is in despair & most uncomfortable (fearful of using anything), thus perpetuating the vicious cycle.

When the skin reaches this state, a soothing oil or zinc oxide ointment helps as a protective barrier while allowing time and nature to heal the skin.

The problem with zinc oxide is its thickness/stickiness/white opacity which make it hard to remove without rubbing skin that is thin and ruddy. The trick is to develop a zinc oxide preparation that is not thick and user-friendly. Obviously, once the skin heals (inflammation gone), it is a good idea to find a good cleansing and moisturizing program and stick to it.

Linda Sy M.D.
Linda Sy Skin Care

—–Original Message—–

Date: Tuesday, April 27, 1999 1:03 PM
Subject: [rosacea] Re: Moisturizer buildup?-Dr Sy?


I get this too. That’s why I don’t use moisturizers. I’ve noticed that Noritate causes this build-up for me, too. When I use Metrogel or Jojoba oil it doesn’t happen. Do you think this might be a mild form of seb derm? (If it were the oil would cause the seb derm too, which it doesn’t) Or do non-oil moisturizers stick to the skin like crazy? I don’t know. Maybe Dr. Sy could help?


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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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2 Reader Comments

  1. pauline says:

    I bought the Made from Earth Rosehip & Hibiscus face serum at my local Whole Foods supermarket and was skeptical about it becaue it didnt seem so expensive at $20 for a face cream. I read the back of the bottle and it claimed to smooth skin and clear without drying. I was looking for a “glowing, balanced complexion” and it was exactly what I got! I’ve been using it for two weeks and here’s what I think so far:
    Pros – Leaves skin feeling really clean and smooth, has a great pump dispenser. A little bit of the serum definitelt goes a long way. There is a great light scent, which I think comes from the hibiscus. It also helped a cystic pimple heal and it is actually fading dark spots and giving me an even compexion (In just two weeks!)
    Cons – Since the serum is so powerful, you dont really need to use it everyday. A moisturizer should be used daily. The serum can be used every other day. . .
    I have since decided to purchase on the website, because in the Whole Foods they are way more expensive…i think of the madefromearth website its only $14….well worth it…

  2. Hazell says:

    I have sebboreic dermatitis and roscea for 10 month now, at present on metrogel 3 weeks also antibiotics. I am still getting spots on face, neck, also a few on my shoulders.
    I have had patch test for allergys, I am allergic to Lanolin Alchohol, fragrances/parfumes also not to purchase anything that says hyperallorgenic as it could be dangerous to my skin the other was Nickel which was a mild reaction the rest were strong.
    Now trying to find moisturiers and tinted sunblock and tinted makeup for when I have the occasional day when my skin seems ok to wear something to cover up the redness and spots.

    I have been trying cetraphil gentle wash and moisture cream and putting it over the metrogel which peels when dries I havnt noticed any change yet.

    Would be glad of anybody who knows of anything which would be safe for me to try.

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