Sensitive skin is a challenge that many of us deal with on the daily and let's face it, it's no fun.
Causes of sensitive skin vary for everyone; maybe it's a skin condition, environmental factors, skincare products or diet. Because of this, there's no one surefire solution to treat skin sensitivity but there are a few steps we can take that help us minimize irritation and flare ups.
When it comes to cleansing sensitive skin, don't over do it. No need to cleanse more than twice a day. Even the water you use impacts the state of you skin (for instance hard water contains more minerals that are drying). If skincare products commonly cause your skin to become red or sting, make sure you patch test new formulas and wait 24 hours to see if your skin reacts. Don't use a plethora of products on sensitive skin. Sometimes less is more, no need to overload.
Skin Soothing Ingredients
Look for products with skin soothing agents that help diminish signs of irritation on the surface of the skin. These products generally help reduce redness and calm inflammation. A soothing mask is a great way to provide your skin with some TLC. Some soothing ingredients to keep your eyes open for
- colloidal oats
- bisabolol (from chamomile)
- blue tansy
- aloe vera
- sea buckthorn oil
Bye-Bye Harsh Exfoliants
No abrasive scrubs or facial brushes, they often exacerbate the issue and are too harsh for skin that is sensitive. Rather than a physical (mechanical) exfoliant you might consider trying a chemical exfoliant. A product with fruit enzymes or gluconic acid to help with cell turnover and rid your skin of dead cells. Although results might not be immediate, with continued use you may find that flaking and dryness disappear.
Did you know that the FDA doesn’t require companies to list the ingredients used to make up fragrances? Fragrance can be a number one source of irritation for those with sensitive skin, and the main concern here is that we have no idea what is going into it. Phthalates is the big one to look out for (when possible), and if you decide you just don’t want to deal with fragrance at all, know that you can’t trust the labels that state they are “unscented”. Take a look at the ingredient list to ensure you can safely cross “fragrance” off the list. Even some natural scents that have a soothing reputation in aromatherapy (think lavender) can cause sensitive skin to dry up or react.
What products do you find effective for your sensitive skin?