We all want beautiful perfect skin. We read articles like this. We invest what seems to be a car payment or sometimes even a house payment on all the latest creams, lotions and potions – all of which claim to be that magic something that will solve all our skin problems…and in fairness, many times they do help. But are you one of these people who develop redness every time you touch your skin? Do you examine the label of a product that you are thinking of purchasing? When you do purchase a new product, do you hold your breath when you use it for the first time, hoping that your face will not be itchy, red or feel like it is on fire? If so, you may be one of the many people who have sensitive skin.
Sensitive skin is reactive and can be tricky to work with. It can be oily, dry, acne-prone and have aging issues that a person would like to treat. But people with sensitive skin have to be cautious, as many things can cause the skin to react with redness, itchiness or a worsening of the condition that is trying to be improved.
The main thing to remember about sensitive skin is to be cautious. Here are 5 tips that can help you navigate the balance between the sensitivity and the desire to have beautiful, healthy skin.
Avoid the sun if at all possible. The sun’s rays can be very harmful. Remember, our skin’s main job is to protect us. Exposure to the sun affects not only the skin that we can see, but the lower layers as well. By keeping sensitive skin out of the sun, we lesson the skin’s reaction to the sun…and with sensitive skin, the less reaction the better.
Cleanse in tepid water. Skin needs to be cleansed. However, extremes in temperature of water used on the skin can be hard on it. Avoid water that is too hot or too cold to keep skin happy!!
Choose products wisely. There are many products on the market for sensitive skin. Many of these products are unscented. Fragrance can be an irritant and many people with sensitive skin try to avoid it. Also try to limit “treatment” products to one or two used at a time. Remember, sensitive skin is reactive skin. In order to treat many skin issues, a product needs to cause a reaction to the skin. By limiting the number of treatment products used at a time, you allow the skin to react enough to focus on one issue, but not react so much that it cannot calm itself.
Watch your diet. What is happening in your body is also reflected by what is happening on your skin. If you find your skin becoming more sensitive at times, look at what you are eating right before the sensitivity. Common things that can make the skin react are spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine and sometimes other food sensitivities also show up on your skin.
Consult a professional. If you need help with your sensitive skin, seek out a licensed esthetician. An esthetician can perform soothing topical facial treatments to calm your skin, do a skin analysis and recommend products for your specific situation. For severe sensitivity, a visit with a dermatologist is recommended. If you do choose to see professional advice, remember that honesty is critical to effective communication!!! For example, if you love hot showers every night, but tell your professional that you only shower in cooler water so you don’t know why your skin is so dry all the time, there will probably be a very different conversation about your treatment. Remember, you are seeking them out for their professional expertise, so trust them with the truth!
Pictures & Author: Christy Laube : Licensed Esthetician, Licensed Cosmetologist & Educator at La’ James International College Cedar Falls.