LET'S TALK | Sensitive Skin
What is it?
Sensitive skin is where your skin is more easily irritated. This can be caused by some skin-care ingredients and the elements (wind, sun, heat, or cold). Sensitive skin can feel very uncomfortable, it may even burn, sting or turn red.
It can look like a greater tendency toward skin flushing, skin bumps, little pimples or even broken skin and can be caused by a variety of different reasons.
What causes it?
- skin disorders (eczema, rosacea, allergic contact dermatitis)
- excessive exposure to the elements
- side effects to some medications
- even genetic factors may play a role is sensitive skin
What should I avoid?
- Synthetic Fragrances are a big no-no. They are mostly derived from petrochemicals and contain chemicals like phthalates and benzene derivatives that can be harmful to the skin & endocrine system.
- Isopropyl Alcohol may have a quick-dry finish, but they leave the skin very dry and lead to irritation.
- Synthetic Preservatives such as Benzyl alcohol, polyaminopropyl biguanide, naticide and phenyl ethyl alcohol all have the potential to cause skin sensitisation.
- Sulfates (SLS & SLES) not only can cause irritation to your eyes, skin, mouth, and lungs but are also known to clog pores and cause acne in sensitive skin.
- AHA's and BHA's Glycolic, lactic & salicylic acid, and synthetic retinoids (although used often to treat scarring, skin discoloration and signs of aging) can speed up hydration loss with sensitive skin and make your skin even drier and more susceptible to cracking and sensitivity.
- Occlusive products (Sorbelene, Vaseline, Coconut Oil) are designed to hold water beneath the skin. While you may feel relief in the short term, they may actually trap synthetic ingredients next to healthy skin cells causing future irritation to sensitive skin.
Finally, watch the way you use your products... let the products do the work, not you. Harsh rubbing and scrubbing can cause micro-tears in your acid mantle which will lead to more sensitive skin.
How can I calm & reduce skin sensitivity?
One of the best things you can do is increase the level of antioxidants within your skincare as well as internally. Antioxidants are super high in anti-inflammatory properties which improve the health of your skin long term resulting in reduced sensitivities. Also, keep an eye out for products with these healing ingredients.
There are things you can do outside of skincare too - like try to maintain constant body temperature, have shorter showers and avoid hot water, pick up your level of fresh whole foods containing antioxidants (berries, apples, leafy greens), healthy fats & omega 3 fatty acids (avo's, salmon, seed & nut oils) and use cold water and cold compresses to relieve manually.