How Do You Take Care of Sensitive Skin?
The American Academy of Dermatology says that sensitive skin affects millions of people, causing uncomfortable and embarrassing issues.
A 2011 study found that out of 994 subjects questioned, nearly 45 percent declared having sensitive or very sensitive skin. Troublesome symptoms included dryness, combination skin, dermatological disorders, and higher skin reactivity to cosmetics and environmental factors.
Caring for red, sensitive skin can be frustrating. It’s fragile and reactive, and seems to react to most everything we put on it.
What Is Sensitive Skin?
Dermatologist Leslie Baumann, M.D., and director of the University of Miami’s Cosmetic Medicine & Research Institute, states there are four types of sensitive skin:
- Burning and stinging
- Contact dermatitis (allergies and irritants, also including eczema)
That means if you suffer from any of these conditions on a regular basis, you can qualify yourself and having sensitive skin. Though each of these creates different symptoms, they all have one thing in common—inflammation
How Redness Plagues Our Skin
Sometimes we may experience temporary redness caused by too much sun or a bit of flushing in an embarrassing moment. Those who see redness more often, however, may be suffering from rosacea, a common skin disease that affects Americans, as well as Asian skin.
Symptoms may include:
- General redness
- Visible blood vessels
- Episodes of flushing and redness on the face and neck
- Skin thickening
Here are the top ten skin care tips to protect your sensitive skin:
- Look for products that are fragrance-free. Fragrant products contain additional chemicals added for fragrance can cause irritation. Find products with as few ingredients as possible.
- Help retain your skin’s natural moisture. Moisturize before you leave the house and before you climb into bed. This is especially important in winter months. Moisturize post-shower, as well. Damp skin retains moisture much better than dry skin.
- Choose skin care products with non-abrasive, soothing ingredients formulated for sensitive skin. The Environ’s SKIN ESSENTIA Range is one of the best in the market. It allows your skin to be beautifully radiant and healthy looking by using the right levels of natural vitamin A. This entire series contains a combination of vitamin A, C and E, powerful antioxidants and other essential ingredients to assist in revealing the skin’s natural beauty.
- Avoid unnecessary exfoliation. You can have too much of a good thing! Exfoliate only a few times per week to prevent skin irritability. Resist the urge to scrub as that only serves to aggravate the skin.
Before you go outside, slap on that sunscreen! Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, you can use a moisturizer already containing sunscreen like the Environ SUN CARE Range.
- You’ve probably gotten in the habit of reading food labels. Get in the habit of reading skin product labels, too! Read the labels and sidestep products that contain ingredients that may trigger sensitive skin.
- Be mindful of your cosmetic choices. Choose powder over liquid foundation as it’s less likely to irritate the skin. Be wary of waterproof cosmetics. They often require special cleansers to remove them and additional scrubbing that your sensitive skin does not need. Earth tone colors usually have fewer additives. Pay attention to the age of your make-up. Older products can become contaminated or spoil.
Wash your brushes and sponges! Just as you wouldn’t wear the same clothes weeks on end without washing, your sponges and brushes deserve the same consideration. Soak them in warm water and mild detergent. Air dry.
- Wash as soon as possible after perspiring. Sweating clogs pores and can irritate already sensitive skin. When possible, use your fingertips as they are less abrasive than wash cloths and sponges. Moisturize immediately.
- Dr. Kucy Pon, dermatologist at Meridia Medical (Toronto), recommends the use of humidifiers to keep your skin moisturized. Dry skin often leads to irritated skin. To that end, also avoid very hot showers as hot water tends to strip the skin of its natural moisture.
Developing a sensitive skin care regimen now can help you avoid more serious issues later. Aside from these recommendations, take a look at your lifestyle.
The importance of hydration, a healthy diet, sleep and staying away from noxious chemicals (cigarette smoke and pollution for example) cannot be overstated.