Men and women invest a significant amount of time and money to care properly for their skin. They use cleansers, exfoliants, moisturizers, and sunscreens in order to keep their skin healthy while protecting it from the environment. However, it’s possible that you may unintentionally be irritating your skin without realizing that you’re doing so. And if your skin is sensitive, you may end up frustrated because nothing seeems to work.
Let’s look at how you can avoid causing your sensitive skin unnecessary irritation. Plus, we’ll explore a few ways in which you can provide your skin with the care it deserves.
The Truth About Sensitive Skin
Regardless of your skin type, age, or ethnicity, you can develop sensitive skin. In fact, most people have some level of sensitivity that makes their skin susceptible to a number of annoying or unsightly conditions that can include flaking, chafing, cracking, and rashes due to changes in hormone levels, UV exposure, or other environmental influences.
Making matters worse, many skin care products contain ingredients that can trigger or exacerbate these conditions. Consider for a moment that most women use several products for their face, hair, and skin every day. Each product, on average, includes over a dozen ingredients. This level of exposure increases the likelihood of irritation or a reaction.
Things To Avoid
The first step is to identify ingredients and skin care techniques that cause irritation. For example, hot water can irritate sensitive skin in the facial area. Aggressive scrubs, astringents, and toners can also irritate. Try to avoid using bar soaps; many of them have a high pH that can cause sensitive skin to become dry and uncomfortable. Also, avoid vigorous scrubbing of your skin. It’s unnecessary and is likely to cause inflammation.
Though many people may not realize it, there are a number of ingredients within many popular cosmetic products that can aggravate your skin. For example, avoid solutions with high concentrations of benzyl alcohol, ammonia, or alcohol. Camphor, fennel, eucalyptus, and various fragrances, including many essential oils, can also cause sensitive skin to become irritated. If you have sensitive skin, you may have to try a number of products before finding ones that work. It’s likely that you’ll discover common ingredients amongst the ones that don’t. Keep a list and stay away from products that include ingredients that bother your skin.
Caring For Your Sensitive Skin
The key to caring for sensitive skin is to be gentle. The products you use and the manner in which you use them should be soothing rather than abrasive. Use cosmetic solutions that are specifically formulated for use on skin that is easily inflamed or irritated. Take advantage of moisturizers, cleansers, and sunscreens that can keep your skin hydrated while offering broad spectrum protection from the sun’s UV rays.
You may not be able to tolerate anti-wrinkle ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids and retinols so opt for those that are antioxidant based. Products with ingredients like Vitamin C, Vitamin E and green tea will be more readily tolerated by your skin. Seek out products that contain anti-inflammatories like sulfur, caffeine, aloe vera and niacinamide to help calm skin. And when it comes to sunscreen, look for formulations specifically designed for sensitive skin and that avoid the use of alcohol.
Here are formulations to consider for sensitive skin:
Rosacure – This cream has been specially formulated for sensitive skin. Rosacure contains antioxidant/anti-aging ingredients along with MSM (a sulfur compound) and silymarin (Lady’s Thistle Extract), a bioflavonoid. The combination of MSM and silymarin exerts a synergistic effect in reducing the appearance of facial redness.
La Roche Posay Rosaliac – Niacinamide, caffeine and other soothing ingredients help to calm skin.
La Roche Posay Physiological Cleanser – Specially formulated to be soap free, alcohol free and with a physiological pH, this gentle cleanser will clean skin without irritation.