Sensitive skin can cause you a lot of discomforts. Aside from the redness and irritation that go with it, this skin type also limits the number of products you can safely apply. This, however, doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do to soothe or even alleviate your skin’s problems.
To give you an idea, here are 5 of the most important things you can do for your sensitive skin.
1. Pick The Right Products
With so many products being advertised today, it can be quite tempting to join the bandwagon and try out the latest craze. This, unfortunately, can cause mayhem to your skin.
Sensitive skin, such as rosacea, can break out in rashes and get extremely itchy once exposed to harsh chemicals and irritating ingredients. In some cases, the allergic reaction can be so serious that immediate medical attention may be warranted.
For your skin type, the right products are those that are free from fragrances, preservatives and artificial ingredients. Pick ones that are natural or organic as they contain less chemicals.
However, you shouldn’t buy just about any product that’s marketed as natural or even hypoallergenic. A lot of manufacturers aren’t really true to what they claim on their product labels so make sure you to take the time to actually read their ingredients.
As a guide, you should skip products that contain alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, and parabens. Talc and milca, which are usually found in makeup products, are highly irritating, too. If you are into cosmetics, pick products that have mineral formulations.
2. Treat Dry and Cracked Skin
Some of the most common signs that you have sensitive skin are dryness, flaking and itching. These things mean damaged Stratum Corneum or the outermost layer of your skin that is supposed to act as a protective barrier.
When you have an ineffective barrier, water leaks out faster from your skin and, as a result, you get more dryness. Dryness makes your skin even more vulnerable to injury. Apart from that, harmful microorganisms and irritants can easily get inside your skin, too.
To repair the damage and get healthy skin again, you need to treat your skin with ingredients that can restore the barrier. This includes using products that contain coconut, jojoba and almond oil since they have lipids that are somewhat similar to what can naturally be found on the skin.
3. Establish A Skin Care Routine
When you are dealing with an acne prone sensitive skin and you want to completely get rid of your pimples, establishing a good skin care routine is extremely necessary. The process may take a while, especially if you are still looking out for products that will work best for your skin type.
Since your skin tends to break out easily, you have to make sure that your pores don’t get clogged and your skin’s oil production remains in control. Cleanse your face twice a day and use a toner to regulate oil and decrease the size of your pores.
You should also exfoliate once or twice a week to ensure that your dead skin cells won’t accumulate and block your pores. You should, however, stay away from chemical peels and extractions in spas as they can be quite aggressive for your sensitive skin. Abrasive scrubs should be avoided as well since they can create minute tears and injuries in your skin which can get infected later on.
Applying moisturizer is a must, even if you have acne prone skin. By keeping your skin moisturized, you’ll be able to prevent your skin from producing more oil than necessary. It can also restore your skin’s lost moisture after showering and being exposed to extreme cold temperature.
4. Wear Your Sunscreen
Apart from putting you at risk of certain skin diseases, too much sun exposure can also trigger negative reactions on your skin. This makes sunscreen a must-have item if you have the sensitive type.
Unfortunately, not all sunscreens are good for hyper reactive skin. A lot of them can cause irritation, clog your pores and initiate inflammatory reactions. If you are going to invest in one, make sure that it doesn’t have chemical filters. These ingredients, like Avobenzone, PABA and aminobenzoic acids, can easily penetrate your skin and cause chemical reactions which can make it even more vulnerable.
For sun protection, your best bet are sunscreens that have titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These ingredients don’t get absorbed as chemical filters do. Instead, they sit on top of your skin and reflect rays even before they cause damage.
Keep in mind that you need to reapply your sunscreen to make sure your skin stays protected throughout the day. Sweating and swimming can wear off the product in an instant.
It can also help if you can wear protective clothing before heading out, like long sleeves, long pants and hats. Skip tight fitting clothes and choose loose ones instead since they are more protective.
5. Watch Your Diet
If you have sensitive skin, you shouldn’t only be concerned about what you apply on your skin. What you eat and drink can also have an impact on the way your skin behaves. By taking out irritating foods, you can also prevent your skin from having reactions.
The molecules of sugar, for example, can adhere to the proteins of collagen and elastin to break them down. This results in inflammation. Coffee, chocolates and spicy foods, on the other hand, are known triggers of rosacea.
For people with eczema, dairy products, soy and wheat can initiate reactions. Food additives, like monosodium glutamate and food colorings, can cause lesions, hives and other signs of allergy.
In cases of psoriasis, adding fish oil to the diet can reduce inflammation and other symptoms because of the omega 3 fatty acids it contains. Eating foods that are rich in antioxidants are beneficial to sensitive skin as well since they aid in repair and prevent free radical damage. Green leafy vegetables and fruits are great examples, especially those that contain carotenoids and vitamin C.
About the author: Hannah Do is the founder of Thank Your Skin, a beauty blog dedicated to provide honest skin care advice and information. She aspires to help her readers achieve their most beautiful skin by sharing personal tips learned through both years of experience and thorough research. Check out her latest article. You can find her on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.