Sensitive skin care tips that will give you the power to calm, protect and rebuild your skin!
1) Sensitive skin is that way because it lacks the natural protective barrier of lipids and oils, leaving the delicate cells exposed. This is usually destroyed by harsh products or treatments, illness or extreme dryness/dehydration (this is really “sensitized skin” rather than the skin type sensitive. More information about the difference here)
2) “Natural” products can sometimes make irritation worse, as they can contain irritating ingredients. Nature makes some of the harshest, most irritating compounds!
3) PROTECTION is the most important thing! Protect the exposed cells while rebuilding the natural protective layer. Barrier products like Dermalogica Barrier Repair are excellent at doing this, it will strengthen and heal skin with use
The Sun and Sensitive Skin:
4) Avoid too much sun – but remember the affects of heat and air conditioning which are very dehydrating. Use a moisturizer with humectants (the barrier repair suggested above works well) to prevent this
5) But – a small amount of sun exposure daily actually helps to strengthen skin by stimulating Vitamin D production – no more than 10mins and avoid the harshest time of day (10am – 3pm)
6) Be careful with the sunblock you use – stop using chemical sunblocks and try a good physical block for your face (zinc oxide instead of harsh chemicals)
Products and Treatments:
7) Some products can cause sensitization after long term use. If you’ve stopped using a particular one and are now experiencing a reaction, use gentle products and give it at least a month to rebalance
8) Stay away from microdermabrasion – far too harsh for ANY skin types. Light chemical peels can help but only if your sensitivity is mild and only if used properly (always see a professional if in doubt!). Best to avoid all exfoliation until your skin is healthy again
9) A green tinted foundation or primer can camouflage redness and provide extra protection. One that contains anti oxidants like Vitamin A and E is even better:
See the popular Smashbox Color Corrector for a good product.
Your Insides (Diet etc)
10) Good fats like avocado, fish oil and nuts all build the skin from within. Vitamin E and C supplements help too
11) Too much caffeine and spicy foods are obvious culprits, but so is sugar as it breaks down the structure of skin cells and causes inflammation
12) If you have acne and sensitive skin, deal with the sensitivity first by rebuilding the barrier as this contributes to the inflammation. Once you have this under control you might find your acne condition greatly improves
13) Use warm or cool water when cleansing and showering – hot water strips and dehydrates
14) Using the right cleanser is an important step for sensitive skin – it will cleanse properly without stripping, protect from water which can be harsh, calm irritation and rebalance. Cetaphil or Dermalogica Ultra Calming Cleanser are good options.
15) Keep your pillowcase clean, and use a gentle washing liquid! Also good quality fabric makes more of a difference than you would think
16) Try not to touch your face with your hands! They can lift oils as well as deposit dirt, chemicals and bacteria
17) And last but NOT least – remember that any significant change in skin takes at least 28days, so patience is important. It is possible to cure sensitive skin, be gentle and concentrate on protection and repairing of the natural layer