Tips For Minimizing Sensitive Skin
Being sensitive and having sensitive skin is not the same thing! You can be a sensitive soul and have skin like a rhinoceros or be hard as nails emotionally and a delicate flower which it comes to your complexion flaring up! Nor is sensitive skin really something that your Doctor can diagnose you with either. Generally, it’s an underlying physical manifestation of another condition going on which might be something as simple as an allergy. If you do suffer from sensitive skin though you will know it can be a royal pain and cause real discomfort and irritation, so any tips to minimize the effects and symptoms of sensitive skin will no doubt be greatly appreciated. It can be triggered by all kinds of things from a reaction to something you have eaten to intolerance to an ingredient in the grooming or skincare product you are using. The conditions causing sensitive skin rarely denote anything serious going on and in most cases can be easily kept under control with just a few lifestyle changes or adapting your daily grooming routine. Before we go on to reveal how you can minimize sensitive skin with these 10 super tips, we thought it might be useful to look at what the various causes and forms of sensitive skin are and how you can help treat and protect yourself if you are suffering. This section is packed with useful tips for you too.
Dry skin is perhaps the most common manifestation and occurs when skin loses too much water and essential oils. This will, in turn, lead to itchiness and flaking skin that is rough to the touch and may even crack and bleed. It can appear anywhere on the body, but it is most common on hands and feet as opposed to your face. The best way you can treat dry skin is to of course make sure that the area is fully hydrated by replenishing lost moisture to the affected area. A moisturizer or ointment applied a couple of times a day should do the trick. Try swapping for a soap-free cleanser for your body and make sure that you use a daily hydrating lotion to protect your skin. Try something that is all natural like a shea butter rather than formulas that contain too many harsh active ingredients or chemicals.
Eczema is another common manifestation of skin sensitivity and can easily be brought on by a reaction to the chemicals in your laundry detergent, so it’s a good idea to swap to a natural washing liquid or powder if eczema trouble you. What happens is that your skin loses its ability to protect itself from germs in the air and chemicals and the symptoms can vary widely from person to person from just a bit of dryness and itching to having a small fluid-filled bumps on the surface of the skin which can crust over and look unsightly. A tip if you do have eczema is to choose specially formulated sensitive skin products that will minimize any adverse reaction or potential flare-ups. If you are really suffering, especially with itchy skin, you might need to grab yourself an anti-itch cream or lotion to give yourself some temporary relief.
Contact Dermatitis is also very common but only comes about if your directly touch something that is an irritant. It will result in a nasty red rash, swelling as well as potentially painful bumps and blisters. Usually it should just clear up of its own accord in a few weeks; however, it is important to try and get to the root cause to avoid contamination again in the future. This might be a bit of a process of elimination, as with weaning yourself of certain food types, before you are able to really put your finger on the trigger of what is creating the adverse reaction. Do your best not to scratch as that will only make the inflammation worse and besides a hydrocortisone cream or even a camphor based numbing cream, a nice soothing bath can also help especially if you add oatmeal.
Similar to Contact Dermatitis, you might also find you are susceptible to Allergic Contact Dermatitis where you have a very acute and immediate allergic reaction to a specific substance. You will probably have an instant burning sensation, swelling and skin tenderness. Common allergens are all around us and can be found in all the grooming products you use. Just because today you are tolerant to a formulation doesn’t always mean that you will be in the future as you can develop reactions if you are on certain medications or have hormonal imbalances for example. The most common allergens, unfortunately, include all the things that you will be using on a daily basis. Soap, skin care lotions, fragrances but the great news is that you should know straight away what the culprit is. The best solution, if you do have an allergic reaction, is to grab yourself an antihistamine. Honestly, those little pills are the best and will quickly get to work to ease the itching and to help reduce any inflammation.
Rosacea is a widespread form of skin sensitivity that mostly affects the face so it can be more embarrassing as it’s less easy to disguise. In some people, it might be nothing more troublesome than flushed or highly colored cheeks but for others, the symptoms can be more severe and uncomfortable, and you might look like you have a nasty case of the sunburn. To control rosacea longterm usually does involve a trip to the Doctor to get a script but there are plenty of products out that the can help ease the condition and when it comes to a facial moisturizer, you need to avoid anything that contains fragrances and stick to as natural and organic a formulation as is possible.
One of the worse forms of sensitivity is something more commonly known as hives which can be seriously bothersome. The symptoms can include nasty welts and a severe burning and tingling sensation. Hives can be brought on my fragrances as well as a reaction to an ingredient in your skincare and cosmetics products, but they can also be triggered by something that you have eaten or a plant perhaps that you may have touched. They usually just sort themselves out within 24 hours but if not you might need to resort to an antihistamine or a steroid cream until you have got them under control.
General tips for if you do suffer from sensitive skin and have ever had any of the above conditions
We can appreciate that if you do suffer from sensitive skin it really can be a burden and flare-ups can happen to anyone at any stage of their life. It’s entirely possible that a product that you’ve been using for months suddenly doesn’t suit your skin type anymore and certainly as we get older and our whole immune system, metabolism, and the hormonal system gets out of whack, then sensitivities become increasingly more frequent. At worse though, it should be viewed as an annoyance and an irritation rather than as something life threatening! With some changes to your lifestyle, how you shower and the products that you use, you should begin to see vast improvements to skin sensitivity.
So let’s look at our top 10 super tips on how to minimize sensitive skin now.
- Tempting as it may be to take a steaming hot shower or bath and to luxuriate away for hours, you are doing your sensitive skin no favors at all. When it comes to showering, try and limit them to short and sweet. No more than 5 to 10 minutes and take the temperature down a notch and just go for warm as opposed to hot water which will only cause your skin to flare up even more. We already mentioned above the great benefit of an oatmeal bath. It really does soothe and bring relief to troubled and sensitive skin but again, keep the temperature edging towards luke-warm rather than scolding hot! We’re not suggesting you get into a tepid bath, but definitely, the temperature needs to be brought down a touch.
- You already know what we are going to say about avoiding harsh astringents in your skincare and grooming products. They’re just going to strip your delicate skin and aggravate it even more. We know that can be a bane if you really do want to try out a chemical peel to turn back the clock and get rid of some wrinkles but ask yourself whether the welts are really worth it! It goes for strong exfoliators too. That’s not to say that you can follow a full anti-aging skincare routine, but you definitely need to make careful choices about the products you use and the active ingredients they contain.
- If you know that your laundry detergent is the culprit and so often they are, then again opt for an eco or natural formula that is specially formulated for sensitive skin, is non-biological and also fragrance-free. You will still get clean and fresh clothes, just not with the scent of exotic black orchids!
- Don’t ever be tempted to shave any part of your anatomy without first using a highly moisturizing shaving cream or shaving soap. You will tear up and aggravate your face and suffer from more than a nasty case of razor rash. Go for one of the specially formulated sensitive skin shaving foams just to be on the safe side.
- Resist the urge to jump out of the shower and roughly dry yourself with the hardest towel you can find thinking that this might give you an extra exfoliation or rub away any surface skin condition from which you are suffering. It won’t. Trust us, it will just make your already sensitive skin even angrier. Gently pat yourself dry with a nice soft towel and be kind to your skin.
- Swap wherever you can for entirely fragrance-free formulations. That goes for your soap, your facial cleanser and also anybody wash or body soap that you use. The fragrance is not your friend if you are trying to get sensitive skin in check.
- Sadly, the same might also go for that expensive perfume or cologne you received for Christmas. It could be the scent you are wearing that is aggravating your skin sensitivity so if you are serious about minimizes the discomfort, you need to cut the root cause of the problem. If that is your eau de toilette or aftershave, either ditch it, spritz it on your clothes as opposed to directly onto your skin or swap for an essential oil instead or something like a solid cologne which will be less harsh. It doesn’t mean that you can’t smell as divine as ever, it just might be time to swap the expensive pure perfume for something more natural.
- It might also be worthwhile looking at all the cleaning products that you are currently using and switching over to organic ones. If you’re serious about not just the environment but also your home environment, then this makes a lot of sense, and there has been so much research and development recently going into this area that you can find great alternatives to your regular chemical-based cleaning solutions.
- Always, we repeat, always, do a patch test first on a discreet area of your skin before you go the whole hog and slather your body or face in something that you have never tried before. Give it at least a day to make sure there’s no chance of any adverse reaction and then you should be safe to start using your new product.
- Finally, try not to get stressed or overly concerned. Chances are you will be able to very quickly get to the cause of what is causing the sensitivity, and you can simply swap the offending product for something that your skin can better tolerate. It might work out to be a blessing in disguise as you discover some fabulous new brand that you might never have tried out before.