4 ways to get sensitive skin under control
Ouch! It’s hard to keep calm and carry on when your skin is irritated, burning and blotchy red. But sensitive skin doesn’t have to be something you’re stuck with. You just need to avoid what triggers it—and learn to treat it right.
Whether you have intermittent flare-ups or deal with daily discomfort, and whether your skin is sensitive or sensitized, here’s what you need to know (and what you should avoid) to give your skin a break.
When skin is sensitive, its protective outer layer lets irritants, microbes and allergens pass through, causing flushing and irritation. To avoid making matters worse, avoid the following:
Avoid using products with lanolin, SD alcohol, mineral oil or artificial fragrances or colors. Also be mindful of scented, colored and fragranced laundry detergents and softeners; they can aggravate your skin, too!
No matter how cold it gets, don’t take super-hot showers or baths, wash your face with hot water or turn the heater up too high. This further strips skin’s barrier, opening the door for even more sensitivity! Instead, use tepid water. Staying out in cold, windy weather can aggravate sensitive skin too, so use products that protect and soothe before heading outside in winter.
We’d tell you to look on the bright side, but sun exposure can also irritate skin – so use SPF protection daily. Physical sunscreens with Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide among their active ingredients are usually less irritating than their chemical-based counterparts.
Ready to take control over your sensitive skin? Start playing detective and pay attention to possible skin reactions to your diet and stress. Excessive intake of alcoholic beverages, caffeine and certain medications can trigger dry, sensitive skin. For some people, even dairy products are a trigger! Also – don’t smoke. Smoking drains your skin of vitamins A and C and constricts blood vessels. It’s like suffocating your skin from the inside. Smoking also dehydrates skin around the lip area, causing wrinkles.
Pollution contributes to your skin’s sensitivity as well— so avoiding polluted areas or getting an air purifier is a great way to help sensitive skin.
You may want to scrub off those dry, dead skin cells to reveal glowing skin – but be gentle. Medical resurfacing procedures and over-exfoliation should be avoided or reduced if you have sensitive skin. They are leading culprits of inflammation and red, irritated skin.
Also, use gentle, upward strokes when applying product. Never use rough, quick movements. It can make your skin “angry.”
You may not be able to avoid sensitive skin completely, but you can certainly take steps to avoid making it worse. With these tips (and the right protective products) you’re on your way to achieving strong, healthy skin!