How to Care for Sensitive Skin

The Skin, our largest organ, acts as a protective barrier against the external environment. But for many, this essential organ may be irritated and prone to flare-ups, making the skincare journey seem like an uphill task.

Woman dealing with rosacea skin condition on face
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While there is no way to completely change the skin’s sensitivity, this article covers well-crafted tips that can help you achieve healthy, glowing skin that feels as good as it looks.

Know Your Triggers

Skin sensitivity may be due to a selection of things, including underlying skin conditions such as eczema, overly dry or injured skin, exposure to harsh weather, and genetic factors. The skin's natural barrier is weakened or broken down by these factors, causing irritation.

Triggers may vary depending on the underlying cause. The most common triggers include environmental factors like heat and cold, internal factors like stress, and harsh chemical compounds found in skin care products.

It is advisable to work with a dermatologist to identify the underlying cause and monitor patterns. Once you have identified the triggers, make adjustments in your lifestyle and skincare routine.

Select Gentle Skincare Products And Limit Their Number

Use products specifically designed for sensitive skin. Read through the product's label carefully and opt for those that have hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic formulations.

Avoid products with added fragrances and preservatives and opt for those with a few all-natural ingredients like aloe vera, oatmeal, chamomile, and green tea, which are known for their calming properties.

Limit the products you use as the fewer the added chemicals, the lesser the probability of your skin reacting. You only need a cleanser, a moisturizer, and sunscreen at most.

Perform a Patch Test

Test products before incorporating them into your skincare routine. To do so, apply a small amount of the product on a discrete area of your skin, like on the internal wrist. Wait for at least a day and watch for any reaction. If your skin is extra sensitive, apply the product to another area, like on your jawline.

This process must be repeated until you're comfortable using the product on your face. A patch test helps to identify which product is triggering a reaction and reduces the chance of flare-ups.

Be Kind With Cleansing

Choose mild, fragrance-free cleansers that do not irritate the skin or strip its natural oils. Gel or cream-based ones are a great option. Apply gently in round motions with your fingertips, rinse off with warm water, and pat dry with a soft towel.

Do not rub or use pressure, as your skin barrier is vulnerable, rubbing it will only make it worse and could lead to infection. Hot water should also be avoided as it may strip your skin of moisture, leading to dryness and sensitivity.

Avoid Harsh Exfoliation

Exfoliation helps eliminate dead skin cells and supports skin renewal. However, if not done properly, it could result in more harm than good.

If you choose to exfoliate, use just a washcloth and a mild chemical exfoliator like gluconolactone, lactobionic acid, and galactose which have larger molecular sizes, so they don't penetrate or irritate your skin. Avoid harsh physical exfoliates like scrubs as they can cause micro-tears on your already vulnerable skin.

Moisturize Regularly

Moisturizing helps the skin retain moisture, preventing dryness and abrasion. Moisturize your skin with products prescribed through your dermatologist. This can consist of moisturizers infused with hydrating elements like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, coconut oil, and shear butter. Use moisturizers after cleansing and follow it up with serum or oil to offer supplementary hydration and nourishment to your skin.

Protect Your Skin From the Sun

The sun's ultraviolet rays can burn and reduce the elasticity of the skin, leading to skin cancer, premature aging, and sunburn. Sensitive skin is more susceptible to harm because it has a weaker barrier. To shield it, wear sunscreen all year round.

For best results invest in one that has broad-spectrum with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Apply it generously on all uncovered areas of the skin, like the face, neck, and ears. Mineral-based sunscreens, with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, yield better outcomes as they may be much less likely to irritate than chemical-primarily based ones.

Also, you can protect yourself by covering vulnerable areas, limiting the amount of time you spend in the sun, and avoiding the sun between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm.

Manage Stress

Stress impacts your mental well-being as well as your skin. It causes a chemical response that triggers sensitivity and aggravates skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. It is, therefore, important to manage stress by engaging in fun activities that give you joy and relaxation, prioritizing self-care, or even seeing a therapist.

Hydrate And Eat Well

Work your way from inside through hydrating and taking a nutrient-rich diet. Water helps to flush out toxins, prevent acne and pimples by unclogging pores, and balances PH. Take approximately 7 to 8 glasses of water in step within a day or even more if your body demands so. Incorporate a balanced diet rich in antioxidant foods, like spinach, oranges, and fish as research suggests it can help keep skin healthy.

By adhering to these crucial skincare recommendations and adopting a mild, nurturing approach, you can effectively care for your sensitive. Remember, patience and consistency are key in skin care, so be persistent with your routine to give your skin the care it deserves. With the right skincare regimen and lifestyle adjustments, you can revel in the joy of getting healthy, glowing skin that feels and appears incredible each day.