Are you the sensitive type? You’re not alone. Dermatologists have been reporting higher numbers of people with sensitive skin than ever before. Maybe you are in this category? If so, sensitive skin can make skin care and your beauty regimen much more challenging.
Fortunately, there are a wider variety of skin care options, cosmetics and treatments available than ever before. There are numerous possible reasons behind developing sensitive skin, including:
- Sun exposure
- Use of chemically based skin products
- Environmental conditions
That said, not all cases of sensitive skin are alike. The symptoms of sensitive skin can vary quite a bit, as well as the ideal steps to take to relieve and care for it. The following are six of the most common sensitive skin types along with tips and advice about how to solve each skincare dilemma:
1. Taut, Irritated Skin
Dry skin that is easily irritated is likely due to a reaction to the soap or cleanser you are using. Avoid products with chemicals like ammonium laurel sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate. These are detergents that help break down natural lipids in skin. However, some people with sensitive skin find them too harsh. Avoid these products and don’t over-scrub your skin when washing. Try washing your face just once per day (at night) until your dry skin problem resolves. If you find once per day works for you, you might try making it part of your routine.
2. Flushed, Red Skin
A persistent redness to the skin can indicate rosacea. This condition is characterized by swelling of the blood vessels, which leads to heightened redness with even minor agitation. Exposure to heat, cold, wind, stress, or even hot or spicy foods can trigger an outbreak.
Precise causes of rosacea are unknown, but they are often hereditary. Again, certain conditions will tend to trigger it, and over time, you’ll get to know what these triggers are. Meanwhile, wear sunscreen outdoors and favor natural, anti-inflammatory skin products with no irritating chemicals.
3. Puffiness, Redness and Wrinkles Around the Eyes
This condition can occur with a thinning of the skin around the eyes as we age. The skin then becomes far more delicate, sensitive and prone to these issues. The most irritating factor to this area of the eye is fragrance in lotions and cosmetics. Going fragrance-free as much as possible can be extremely helpful to this condition. Natural, organic, preservative-free products generally are best for sensitive skin conditions of this nature.
4. Scaly Skin
Extremely dry skin that becomes scaly could indicate eczema. This condition is characterized by skin that loses moisture too quickly, and it often begins to develop at a very young age. Skin then becomes prone to flaking and drying. Fragrances, chemicals and smoke can all exacerbate this condition. Not surprisingly, moisturizing the skin is extremely important in combating the issue of scaly skin. Use high quality blends that are specially formulated for extremely dry skin.
5. Burning, Stinging Skin
Do you use anti-aging products on your skin? Overdoing it can lead to burning and stinging sensations. Mixing different types of anti-aging products that have different active ingredients can also irritate the skin – for example, alpha hydroxy acids and retinoids. Using both within a short period of time can strip the skin of crucial oils and nutrients, leading to a persistent burning sensation.
To offset this, use a quality anti-aging moisturizer that includes niacin or peptides to boost collagen. Nutrient-rich moisturizers also plump fine lines and soothe and brighten the skin.
6. Red Bumps and Itchiness
When you get pronounced bumps on your skin that itch, this can be a sign that you are allergic to one or more of your beauty care products. During an allergic reaction, the immune system is triggered to believe the body is facing a threat. This can lead to irritation and an outbreak of red, irritated bumps. If it progresses, it can lead to dryness, flakiness, sores and even a leathery feel to the skin.
The most common irritants and allergens include fragrance, alcohol, dyes, preservatives and other chemicals. The best solution is to determine which product or ingredients are the culprit(s) and avoid using them. Using fragrance-free, natural products as much as possible will also help with avoiding allergy outbreaks.
Sensitive skin comes in many different varieties, and there is an ideal way to approach and relieve each type. Knowing your skin type, your symptoms and your triggers can allow you to make good skincare decisions now and down the road.