SYMPTOMS OF SENSITIVE SKIN
Persistently red, flushed-looking, sensitive skin is often due to a mysterious, challenging skin disorder. For most people, it begins as a strip of pink across the cheeks. Gradually, the redness becomes visibly more intense, sometimes accompanied by bumps or extreme sensitivity and flaking.
Addressing these concerns isn’t easy. First of all, it’s incredibly important to start calming, hydrating, and nourishing your skin. Doing nothing or just the bare minimum means the redness and sensitivity are likely to worsen.
The signs (what you see) and symptoms (what you feel) of sensitive skin are:
- Redness and Soreness
- Itching and Burning
- Dryness and Flakiness
- Reactions such as bumps, erosions, pustules, blotches, redness, rashes
- High flushing and blushing tendencies
- Fine skin texture
- Premature ageing
- Prone to burns, flaky patches, acne, rosacea, contact allergens and eczema
- Breakage of capillaries close to the surface
- Reactions to cold or hot weather conditions
Sensitive skin can affect both men and women.
CAUSES OF SENSITIVE SKIN AND WHY
The outer layer of your skin – the epidermis – acts as a protective barrier for your skin, keeping harmful substances out and locking moisture in. However, your skin’s natural defences can sometimes become weakened, compromising the moisture barrier and leaving skin susceptible to external irritants such as harsh ingredients and allergens.
Some of the main causes of sensitive skin are:
- Environment: Cold weather and heating in the winter and hot weather and air conditioning in summer can all deprive skin of its moisture, leaving it feeling dry and sensitive. Dirt and pollution, such as exhaust fumes, smoke and dust, can also weaken the skin’s natural barrier and make it more sensitive.
- Ingredients: Many products contain harsh ingredients that can damage the skin’s surface and remove its natural protective oils, leaving it susceptible to sensitivity. Choose mild, fragrance-free cleansers to help prevent reactions to irritants.
- Hormonal Imbalance: Brought on by stress, your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, puberty or menopause, if your hormones are out of sync, the effectiveness of your skin’s moisture barrier function can be compromised.
- Existing Skin Conditions and Allergies: Some people are more likely to experience sensitive skin because they have pre-existing conditions such as acne, rosacea and atopic dermatitis. Undiagnosed or untreated allergies to foods such as gluten and dairy can also cause skin inflammation and rashes.
- Diet and Hydration: Without enough water or nutrients, your skin can become dehydrated and stressed, which can trigger skin sensitivity. Try to eat a healthy, balanced diet and drink plenty of water, every day.
CARING FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
There are many theories about what causes this kind of redness and sensitivity, but how to calm your skin and diminish the appearance of flushing, even for those with rosacea, is well established.
- Sensitive Skincare Routine: It’s critical to assemble the most gentle skincare routine possible so as not to aggravate matters. Also vitally important is to keep skin hydrated and nourished with soothing antioxidants. We can guide towards a skincare regimen that is formulated with those elements, making it ideal for those with redness-prone, sensitive skin. It is even suitable for rosacea, psoriasis and eczema.
- Gentle Cleanser: A Gentle Cream Wash effectively sweeps away skin impurities without using any harsh ingredients.
- Treatment Cream: A sensitive skin treatment cream is a specific hydrating lotion with proprietary ingredients to help fortify the skin's surface, relieve dryness and neutralise sensitivity and redness.
- Dedicated Moisturiser: A Moisture Replenishing Cream which is a rich, dewy formula will soothe the skin and replenish the skin's natural moisturising factors (NMFs)
- Sun Protection: Unprotected sun exposure makes everyone’s skin worse, especially those with sensitive skin and even those with rosacea. A Calming SPF Lotion protects the skin without compromising the skin's delicate moisture barrier.
TIPS FOR MANAGING SENSITIVE SKIN
Self-care tips for managing sensitive skin:
- Use gentle skincare products: Soaps can strip oils from the skin. Avoid using deodorant sticks, antibacterial soaps, perfumed soaps, and skin care products containing alcohol.
- Harsh exfoliants: Avoid abrasive scrubs, loofahs, or stiff-bristled cleansing brushes that cause micro-tears in skin’s surface.
- Sun Protection: Always use a sunscreen and protect your skin from the sun.
- Limit time in the bathtub or shower: A 5- to 10-minute bath or shower adds moisture to the skin. Spending more time in the water often leaves your skin less hydrated than before you started.
- Warm Water: Hot water can irritate your skin. Use lukewarm water to wash yourself, rather than hot water.
- Cosmetics: If you use cosmetics (make-up), use ones that are hypoallergenic.
- Soothe chapped lips: At bedtime, apply a Lip Serum to keep the lips hydrated and plump.
- Spices: Avoid spicy food. Spices can irritate sensitive and reactive skin.
- Hydrate: Drink plenty of water to keep yourself (and your skin) well hydrated.