If your skin does all or any of these in reaction to conventional skin products, then you may have sensitive skin – which in its own right is a skin type.
Sensitive skin has an increase in thinness and the blood vessels and nerve endings are much closer to the skin’s surface. It is usually described as very thin, fragile-looking, pink or flushed-coloured skin, but there is a great increase of women with oily, thicker skin who are reporting sensitivites. This may be due to an increase in environmental factors (i.e. pollution and harsh, synthetic skin care) and a poorer diet. There also may be other factors involved such as skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema and rosacea.
- When purchasing skin care products, many companies offer lotions, moisturizers, sun block and other skin care products that are specifically catered to sensitive skin. These will be more effective for your skin than the average product.
- While it can be refreshing, and seem like the right thing to do, try to avoid washing your face too often, as it can strip your skin of its natural oils and nutrients that are healthy for your skin. Also, be sure to wash your face with lukewarm water – not too hot nor too cold.
- Be careful of using exfoliants such as chemical peels, facial scrubs, etc., as they can lead to irritation on sensitive skin.
- Watch your diet. It goes without saying. “You are what you eat.” If you want your skin to be its healthiest, you should steer clear of junk food, caffeine and alcohol.
- When the seasons change, especially as it becomes winter, be sure to spend more time than normal on your skin, as the change in the temperature can disrupt the skin, dehydrating your skin and causing itchiness. Use moisturizer during these harsher times.
- Don’t forget about the rest of your body – not just your face. Sensitive skin is not only specific to your face and neck, but can be a problem all over. Be educated before purchasing soaps, bath oils, shampoos and conditioners, etc., and your skin will thank you for it.
- Stay away from products that contain scents and fragrances. The extra chemicals that produce this aroma, while nice-smelling, can really aggravate your sensitive skin.
- When choosing a facial cleanser, look for one that is soap-free, as soap tends to deplete the skin of its natural oils. When using these products, be sure to rinse your face afterwards to remove any leftover residue.
- If you are having breakouts on your face, select cleansers and moisturizers that have salicylic acid, which has proven to be beneficial in exfoliation of the pores and clears out harmful toxins and waste from your skin cells.
- Exercise can have many benefits to the skin. For one, it causes you to sweat, which naturally clears out the pores of your skin and also enriches it with nutrients. Second, exercise is a good way to relieve stress, and stress has been shown to lead to skin breakouts, as it tears down your skin’s natural antioxidants that help fight wrinkles and other marks of aging.