Does your skin react quickly to both heat and cold? Does it easily fall prey to sunburn and windburn? Or is your skin usually dry, delicate, and prone to allergic reactions? Do some detergents, cosmetics, and alcohol irritate your skin? If you answered yes to all those questions, then you probably have very sensitive skin.
Sensitive skin is really a lay term, not a medical term. Specifically, having sensitive skin entails being allergic or easily irritated by a number of external substances or effects ranging from the sun to the different chemicals found in and outside the home. Skin sensitivity also includes having an allergic reaction to certain elements found in food or even in plants or animals.
Different people have different levels of skin sensitivity. People with sensitive skin have low tolerance for certain products or environmental conditions. People with sensitive skin may react quickly to chemicals, heat or wind by developing red, blotchy and irritated skin. Some people may react to a product, while for others it produces no effect. Similarly, some people may have a very severe reaction, while others only have a mild reaction. Every person should follow the same basic skin care routine. However, for a person with sensitive skin, there are some differences.
Here are a few tips for sensitive skin care:
- Use sensitive skin care products only (i.e. the products that are marked for sensitive skin care only). Also, check the instructions/ notes on the product to see if there are specific restrictions/warnings associated with the product).
- Even within the range of sensitive skin care products, choose the one that has minimum preservatives, colorings and other additives
- Do not use toners. Most of them are alcohol based and are not recommended for sensitive skin.
- Avoid excessive exposure to sun. Apply sunscreen lotion before getting out in the sun.
- Avoiding exposure to dust and other pollutants is also important for sensitive skin care. So, cover yourself adequately before going out.
- Use hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic moisturizer as a sensitive skin care product (if there is none specifically labelled as a sensitive skin care product)
- Use soap-free and alcohol free cleansers. Cleanse your face whenever you return from spending time out doors.
- Do not scrub or exfoliate too hard. It can cause reddish and even inflammation.
- Do not leave the makeup on for too long. Use hypoallergenic makeup- removers.
- Cleanse your skin after perspiration. Even your own sweat can cause a negative reaction on ultra-sensitive skin.
- Use products with soothing ingredients. Chamomile, Aloe Vera, Green Tea, Oats, and Grape Seed can calm skin irritation.
- Use products with Mandelic Acid for anti-aging. This gentle Alpha Hydroxy Acid has a slightly larger molecule size, which results in even skin penetration, reducing or eliminating irritation.
Sensitive skin care is more than just choosing the right sensitive skin care product. To provide the best sensitive skin care, an overall approach for the best possible care is needed.