It’s a huge task trying to take care of normal skin, making sure that it stays free from blemish and it is glowing.
It becomes worse when you have sensitive skin. It makes the job of taking care of your skin twice as hard.
Sensitive skin, just as the name suggests is a skin that is highly sensitive, but in a negative way. This means that your skin will easily react to almost anything, even things that would naturally not trigger any reaction.
Several women have sensitive skin, and most times, they complain that they can’t stick to a skincare product or even a routine, because at the slightest provocation, their skin becomes irritated.
The truth is it doesn’t have to be that way. There are ways to care for sensitive skin, and we will be exploring those ways together.
Let’s begin with….
How do I know I have sensitive skin?
Before you conclude that your skin is sensitive, you must be sure.
We advise that you see a dermatologist. After several tests on your skin, your dermatologist can ascertain if you have sensitive skin or not.
However, there are some symptoms you should take note of. You know you have sensitive skin when you experience any of these:
Your skin easily reacts to products
Sensitive skin can be highly reactive to both skincare products and household products. Products like soaps, perfumes, detergents, etc. that you use.
If you frequently experience itchiness, dryness, or redness, then you have a sensitive skin.
You develop rashes on your skin very often
When sensitive skin is exposed to a trigger, it reacts with dry, red, flaky, or bumpy rash. This reaction gets worse during dry, cold or windy weather.
Your skin gets get easily sunburned
Sensitive skin gets easily irritated by sunrays. So, you might experience a lot of sunburn episodes, even if you do not stay under the sun for long.
You constantly have breakouts
If your skin is sensitive, you might constantly have to battle with breakouts on your skin. In worse cases, you might develop acne with red bumps and pustules.
If you have any or all of these symptoms, then you probably have sensitive skin. Also, if you are not sure of your skin type, click here to find out.
Now, to the next step…
What causes sensitive skin?
There are different factors that make your skin sensitive. Some of them include:
- Products with harsh ingredients like detergents
- Over exfoliating or scrubbing too much
- Extreme environmental conditions like cold, dry or windy weather
- Damage from ultra-violet rays of the sun
- Too much ingestion of caffeine or alcohol
- Hormonal changes
- Certain skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, etc.
- Certain medications such as allergy medicine, Accutane, Retin- A, etc.
At this point, we know the factors that trigger sensitive skin, its time to talk about how to take care of your skin.
How to take care of sensitive skin?
Agreed, sensitive skin can be quite annoying but there are ways to take care of your skin and deal with its sensitive nature.
Here are some tips that should help:
Avoid products that contain fragrance
The presence of perfume in skincare products like soap, lotion, etc., can be highly irritating to sensitive skin. There are also detergents and other household products that have fragrance in them too.
When shopping for these products, only buy products that are labeled “unscented” or “perfume free”. Also, look at the ingredients to see fragrance is on the list. Then avoid it.
It is made with purely natural ingredients that are suitable for all skin types.
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Avoid products that contain artificial colours
Most of the products you buy including shampoo, soap, lotions and even detergents, that are colourful contain artificial colour or dye, all in a bid to make them appealing.
When choosing your products, pick those that are colourless or those that are labeled “dye-free” or “no artificial colours”.
Also, if you see items like “FD&C or “D&C” on the ingredient list, it means it has dye in it.
It is better you go for products that are looking plain instead of the ones with bright or unnatural colours.
Always put on sunscreen
Some of us see sunscreen as an option, but it not. It is one of the compulsory skincare products every woman should have.
Your sunscreen protects your skin from the harmful effects of the sun, and reduces irritation caused by the heat of the sun.
We advise you to wear sunscreen daily, especially a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 or higher.
Also, try to stay way from the sun when it is strongest; from 10am to 2pm. If you have to be under the sun during this hour, reapply your sunscreen every three hours.
Put on clothes made with natural materials
Before you opt for a cloth made with synthetic fibers like rayon, or spandex, just because it looks beautiful, consider your skin.
Synthetic fibers tend to irritate the skin ore than natural fibers do. So, go for natural fibers instead like cotton, or silk.
However, you might want to stay away from wool even though it is a natural fiber. It has is quite scratchy in nature and might not go well with your skin.
Be careful of the kind of jewelry you wear
Nickel earrings, for instance, can make your earlobes red, itchy and puffy. Copper also causes itching, and redness. Sometimes, it could turn skin to a greenish colour temporarily.
It is better you buy silver jewelry or jewelry that is stainless steel.
Completely cover your skin under extreme weather conditions
Extreme weather conditions like cold, harmattan, extreme heat can irritate your skin.
When stepping out during windy seasons like dry season, winter or harmattan, cover up every part of your skin as much as you can.
If you have to be under hot weather conditions, make sure to put on sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and loose light coloured clothes that cover up your skin.
Don’t scrub your skin aggressively or too much
While exfoliation is good for your skin, scrubbing your skin too hard can irritate your skin and trigger negative reactions.
Instead of using brushes or loofahs to exfoliate, use an exfoliating cream instead or a mild scrub.
Also, when washing your face every day, do not use sponge. Use your fingertips instead or a soft washcloth.
Do not use hot water to bath
Using hot water on your skin only damage your skin. It strips your skin off its natural oils and leaves it extremely dry.
Take your bathe with warm or lukewarm water instead.
Do not take long baths
Spending a long time under the shower doesn’t make your body extra clean. It strips your skin off its natural and protective oils. By the time you are done bathing, your skin will be dry.
5 to 10 minutes under the shower is enough to make you clean.
Keep your hands away from your face
Do not touch your face no matter how tempted you are.
In the process of carrying out your daily activities, your hands can attract dirt and germs. Once you touch your face with your hands, you transfer the dirt and germs to your face which is more delicate than the rest of your body.
This can lead to the appearance of breakouts on your face.
If symptoms persist or become worse, please see your dermatologist
If after trying out these tips, the symptoms persist, I advise you see a dermatologist.
He/she should help figure out the major factor that triggers these adverse reactions and give you the solution for it.
There are medications and creams that your dermatologist can prescribe, and your skin will get better in no time.
Sensitive skin can be hard to take care of and can cause a lot of unease. But with these tips, you should be able to care for your skin properly.
Also, check out the factors that trigger sensitive skin and stay away from them. If you can do these, then you can go through your day without worry about skin irritation or reaction.
If symptoms persist, please visit your dermatologist or doctor.
Also, if you have any other tips that might be useful in caring for sensitive skin, feel free to share in the comment.
Likewise, if you have any question, please leave a comment. I would love to answer your questions.