Skin Too Sensitive for Sensitive Skincare

The Story: Told by J.P.

The issue started in hand lotions. "My skin became irritated when using them. I switched to natural products but found that my hands continued to become irritated after using the lotions. 

I discovered that my skin is sensitive to phenoxyethanol, which seemed to be in many hand lotions. Phenoxyethanol appears to more prevalent in the natural products than in the chemical-laden products.

My face also became irritated by moisturizers and  facial cleansers. I found that these also contained phenoxyethanol. I switched to a cleansing gel made specifically to relieve red, irritated skin. The gel is soap and fragrance free (and free of phenoxyethanol), but it was drying my skin and making it red. I haven’t isolated the ingredient in redness relief products that irritates my skin and makes it redder.

Currently, I'm using aloe vera gel as a facial moisturizer and it doesn't moisturize as well as I'd like.  I am unable to find products that will cleanse and moisturize without making my skin red, dry and irritated."


J.P. needs facial skincare products, including a good moisturizer, that will clean and moisturize without making her skin look and feel irritated.


  • Products must not contain phenoxyethanol.
  • Products should be fragrance free.
  • Products should be as chemical free as possible.
  • Products should not cause her skin to dry out.
  • Products should not irritate her skin.
  • Products should not cause her skin to redden.


We wanted to find out why phenoxyethanol is used. What exactly does it do? Why is it in so many products?
Phenoxyethanol is primarily used as a preservative. Unlike parabens, or formaldehyde, which are traditionally used as a stand-in for a preservative, Phenoxyethanol is a less harsh alternative. It has grown in popularity as an ingredient in cosmetics due to being bio-degradable, and water soluble.

You can check PubChem for the molecular makeup of phenoxyethanol.  Purcacy provides a good explanation of what phenoxyethanol is and why they use it in their products.

Product Trial:

When we had the conversation with J.P., we realized that we had a skin care collection (Veráge™ Skin Care Collection) on hand that we were going to try out to see if we would recommend the products to our clients.

The collection consisted of a cleanser, moisturizer, toner and a hydrating serum. None of the products contained phenoxyethanol or parabens. J.P. was willing to use the collection to see if it would work for her.

The product trial began on May 1, 2019 and J.P. provided feedback on July 20, 2019. We feel the timeframe was long enough to give the products a fair test. J.P.'s feedback is below:


Extremely Sensitive skin

"Update on Verage:

​​​​​The cleanser still works really well and I ordered another for continued use. I’ve used it every day since you gave it to me except maybe twice when I used something I had in the shower.

The moisturizer is good for me most of the time except once the weather turns hot then it’s too much moisture and I am better using straight aloe vera gel then (now).

The serum I can still only use occasionally or for spot treatment otherwise my skin gets irritated.

The toner I don’t use regularly yet because it feels very dry for being a liquid. Still trying to figure out how many sprays to use or even if it’s better to spray directly on face and wipe away with cotton as needed rather than spraying on the cotton and wiping on face.

Overall i like the products. My skin isn’t being dried out after cleansing anymore."

We are happy that the collection worked well for J.P. She has been searching for a solution for quite awhile. We are also pleased to have someone with extremely sensitive skin put the  Veráge™ Skin Care Collection to the test.

We feel very confident in recommending this collection to our clients.

This challenge was a success!


Certified Aromatherapist Founder - SHS Adult survivor of childhood learning disabilities (I'm still trying to get rid of those). Dyslexic, eccentric, idiosyncratic & always ready to fight for a good cause. Cancer survivor. Currently battling with AS.

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