Your skin is your first line of defense against external threats, including toxins and pathogens. If not cared for properly, your skin can experience problems, which can lead to chronic conditions.
According to the National Institutes of Health, upwards of 60 percent of all men and 70 percent of all women report having some degree of sensitive skin. It is a problem that will not go away–and could even worsen–if not addressed.
The good news is that there is a range of things you can do to combat sensitive skin, from basic lifestyle changes to choosing the right skincare products.
Below is the ultimate sensitive skincare guide. Keep reading to find out how, with a little know-how and determination, you can have healthy skin.
Causes of Sensitive Skin
One of the best things you can do is determine the cause of sensitive skin. Very dry skin, for instance, is distinct from allergic reactions. Patch testing is a good way to zero in on allergies, including foods to avoid.
Moderately severe conditions include skin that has been damaged. This can result in contact dermatitis, which results in a red, itchy rash. In most incidents, the rash only develops in the areas where the skin is damaged, but it can spread.
There are more serious, often chronic health conditions–like psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea–that can cause skin problems as well. These may demand medication prescribed by a dermatologist. Even if this is the case, the suggestions below can still help your skin, even if it does not completely heal it.
Avoid Hot Showers
You may look forward to a long how shower to relax and relieve stress. But they come with some negative consequences as well, especially for those with sensitive skin.
Too much abrupt heat will cause your skin’s lipid barrier to break down. This leads to irritation and dryness. Harsh soaps can exacerbate the issue.
Adjusting the temperature to moderate heat should be enough to improve–if not completely solve–this problem. Also, if you are prone to taking long showers, try cutting them down a bit.
Leading a healthier life will yield healthier skin. This is tough, as there are all kinds of things, including stress, that threaten this. Food preservatives and external threats like pollution can impact skin health as well.
These issues are complex, and changes do not come easy. Rather than quitting your stressful job, for instance, try doing basic things every day like regular exercise and getting a good night’s sleep. Staying hydrated is something we can all do, regardless of our life habits.
Find the Right Sunscreen
Protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun is paramount. But people with sensitive skin often struggle with finding an SPF that does not irritate their skin. That is because most sunscreens are made with strong chemicals that are good at blocking UV rays but not much else.
The good news is that mineral sunscreens are becoming more popular and accessible. These use ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to physically block UV rays.
Choose the Right Skincare Products
Avoid products that contain parabens (synthetic preservatives) and petrochemicals (derived from oil). Keep an eye out for skincare lines that contain sodium lauryl sulfates, which are also used in household cleaning products. In general, avoid any products containing alcohol, which has shown to additionally dry the skin.
All these products can come with a “natural” label, but none of them will do anything to help establish healthier skin. Quite the opposite: they could irritate and inflame existing skin irritations.
Instead, choose products with hypoallergenic ingredients that will calm your skin. Some good ones to look for include aloe vera; vitamin E; chamomile; and olive, sunflower seed, or thermal mineral water. All these are anti-inflammatory and will help build up your skin’s lipid barrier.
Establish a Sensitive Skincare Routine
Skincare is like taking care of your teeth: you can’t expect to brush for a long time once a week and have healthy teeth and gums. Conversely, establishing a daily skincare regimen can work wonders for your skin.
Cleaning your skin is the first part of this. A cream cleanser can help remove impurities in your skin without irritating it.
For someone with sensitive skin, the key is to not overdo it. There is no need to scrub several times a day. A gentle, once-a-day rinse is more than enough.
For a deeper cleanse, you can try exfoliating rubs. These are made of courser solutions that are fantastic for removing dead skin and rejuvenating your face. You should still limit exfoliation to once or twice a week.
Toners help refresh your skin without removing any of its natural oils. Be sure to use toners that are free of alcohol, which can irritate your skin. Look for ones that have soothing ingredients or even facial mists that can cut down on any redness or inflammation.
It also is vital to moisturize. Quality products will not only restore your skin’s moisture barrier but can help soothe irritated skin as well.
For soothing sensitive skin on your face, you might consider a facial mask. These give the healing ingredients time to relieve and soften dry or irritated skin. They are great at reducing redness or swollen areas.
Find the Best All-Natural Skincare
Now that you understand the best skincare for sensitive skin, you can start moving in the right direction. Remember, there is no “magic wand” of skin treatment. But, with a little diligence and determination, you can have healthy, radiant skin.
Anbiome takes a holistic approach to skincare. We focus not just on moisturizing, but on the causes of dehydration and other problems that lead to unhealthy skin. Take a look at our sustainable, clinically-proven products online, or reach out to us to learn more.