If you are one of those individuals who are unfortunate enough to have been blessed with sensitive skin, then you would agree with me when I say ‘Caring for sensitive skin is like throwing your voice against the wind!’. Both would not yield fruitful results unless you take extra measures or come up with something extraordinary to make your efforts work.
What Do We Know about Sensitive Skin?
So what exactly is sensitive skin? And how do you know whether you have sensitive skin or not? Simple. Read through the following lines and place tick marks near all those points that you feel you connect with on a regular basis. You’ll know the result by the time you get to the last point.
Characteristics of Sensitive Skin
Individuals with sensitive skin tend to develop rashes, redness and other kinds of skin allergies when they use certain products (including clothes). Sensitive skin is prone to allergies and is highly reactive to even certain environmental conditions.
Sensitive skin is usually thin and very fragile. It is easily sunburned and develops dry, flaky patches frequently. Sensitive skin is mostly translucent in nature and would usually feel taut after washing. Sensitive skin is more prone to conditions like redness, dry patches, blotchy areas, itchiness, broken veins, rashes, small bumps, premature wrinkles and other similar conditions even with a slight provocation. For instance, a change in skin care product or a slight scratch can easily cause an adverse skin reaction.
Effective Skin Care Tips for Sensitive Skin
Sensitive Skin can be very hard to take care of. However, with a little extra care and effort, you can make sure that you keep it safe and healthy. And here are some tips that can help you out to a great extent.
Keep a Check on Products, Foods, Clothes etc.
Some products would tend to cause allergic reactions when they come in contact with sensitive skin. The same goes for certain foods and clothes etc. that can also aggravate existing skin conditions. Always make sure you stay away from products that can harm your skin. Patch test a new product on a miniscule portion of your skin check if you develop any issues like irritation, rashes or redness etc. If you do, then refrain from using the product.
Avoid products that contain ingredients like alcohol, preservatives, fragrances, and chemicals. These substances can potentially harm sensitive skin in the form of severe skin reactions and allergies. Opt for products that do not contain these irritants. Accordingly, hypoallergenic products are specially formulated for individuals with sensitive skin and so would be the best (and safest) option for the same.
Stay away from toners, soaps and face washes which could wash away the moisture and essential oils from the skin, making it drier in the process. Mild cleansers would work best in these conditions. If you are sensitive to varying degrees of preservatives or chemicals, you can try out different concentrations of the product before selecting the one that does not cause any side effects.
If you have highly sensitive skin, the best option would be to choose natural ingredients that would have a soothing effect on the skin. These would include oats, aloe vera, chamomile, rose extract, grape seeds, and green tea etc.
Keep Skin Hydrated and Moist
Dry skin is more prone to irritation and other similar skin reactions. Dry skin can also become increasingly sensitive. The best way to avoid this would be to keep the skin moisturized and hydrated at all times. Unscented, water based moisturizers are the best options for individuals with sensitive skin. Natural moisturizers like olive oil, coconut oil or sesame oil etc. can be the best options for extremely sensitive skin.
Never forget your sunscreen, even if you are indoors. Sensitive skin is more vulnerable to the sun’s rays. So apply a good quality sunscreen on your skin at regular intervals to avoid sun burns. You can also opt for layering moisturizing creams/lotions that help to both moisturize the skin keep the moisture locked in for longer periods, thus creating an effective shield from possible irritants. It also pays to apply moisturizer on damp skin as this would reduce dryness and sensitivity.
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If you have sensitive skin, opt for minimal, oil free makeup to prevent allergic reactions. Never apply makeup, creams, lotions or any other synthetic cosmetics on rashes, burns, bumps or broken skin as these could aggravate the condition.
Showering and Cleansing
Some individuals with sensitive skin tend to perspire more than others. And unknown to them, their skin would be reactive to their own perspiration. The best way to stay safe in this case would be to shower immediately after perspiring. Always make it a point to pat your skin dry and not rub it harshly. Doing so could cause redness or irritation. Use a soft towel that does not scratch or stretch your skin.
If you have sensitive skin, then cleansing and exfoliating are two routines that need to be added to your ‘must do’ list. Use mild cleansers to wash away dirt and grime from your face. Exfoliate your skin with a soothing scrub to remove dead skin cells that could cause irritation or dryness. Follow these sessions with a moisturizing routine for best benefits.
While you need to cleanse your skin every day, you can exfoliate it once every week or so to avoid stripping your skin of its natural protective barrier. Hydrating face masks work best on sensitive skin and you can opt for a hydrating face mask or facial once a week to keep your skin moist and hydrated, thereby reducing dryness and sensitivity.
Keep a Check on What You Eat & Drink
And finally, the step that would make sure your sensitive skin remains hydrated, beautiful and safe from harsh external elements; your diet! Keep a note on the foods that you eat on a regular basis and omit those foods that seem to cause allergic reactions in your skin. In certain cases, spicy foods can cause allergic reactions to sensitive skin and need to be avoided at all costs.
Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet to supply the necessary immunity your skin needs to fight off allergens and other factors that can cause skin reactions. Foods with high water content can also help keep your skin hydrated and healthy. Make it a point to drink at least 8 cups of water every day to keep your skin hydrated. Stay away from alcoholic drinks and caffeinated beverages that can aggravate dryness and skin sensitivity.