Part of what makes each of us beautiful is our uniqueness. Skin is incredibly unique, from the subtle differences in tone and texture to the varying challenges each of us face. Skin type is one of these differences, and it comes with the challenge of knowing how to care for your skin type in a way that nurtures and protects it. When you have sensitive skin, this can be even more difficult.
What Defines Sensitive Skin?
Sensitive skin is one of the most difficult types of skin types to understand. Sensitive skin often exhibits characteristics of other skin types. It might be dry, oily, or a combination of each. In addition to any skincare issues a person may have, sensitive skin seems to attract irritation, redness, and inflammation. Sensitive skin is also prone to inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea, and allergic reactions to skincare products.
With sensitive skin, it’s important to be extra careful in how you care for it. Of course, you want to use gentle skincare products but there are other steps you can take to avoid irritation and redness. It’s also important that you’re able to identify other skincare concerns that exist with your sensitive skin. For instance, if your skin is truly acne prone or if those breakouts are a result of exposure to irritants.
As frustrating as it can be at times, it is possible for your sensitive skin to be radiantly healthy and beautiful. Here are 7 of the best tips for caring for your sensitive skin.
Always Patch Test
If you have sensitive skin, it’s always smart to take the time to patch test any new products. Before you apply anything new to your face, apply some to the inside of your arm and leave it on overnight. If you wake up in the morning with zero irritation, it’s most likely safe to apply to your face. Keep this in mind too when your favorite skincare products undergo any type of reformulation.
Go Gentle and Natural
Sensitive skin requires skincare products that are gentle and contain as few sensitizing ingredients as possible.
For sensitive skin, start with the gentlest, natural cleanser you can find. Avoid cleansers that contain sulfates or other drying detergents. Once your skin safely tolerates the cleanser, then start working in other products that are formulated for sensitive skin but also address your other skincare concerns.
Trust Your Skin
If your sensitive skin is prone to dryness and irritation, you may be tempted to slather on multiple creams and moisturizers. If you’re prone to breakouts, you might think acne control products or overzealous exfoliation is the answer. In truth, your sensitive skin is already trying to balance itself. When you overuse products, you disrupt this balance. Instead of trying to correct your sensitive skin, look for ways to naturally support it.
Identify Your Triggers
There’s often a trigger behind sensitive skin reactions. Sometimes, it’s something external like stress or heat. Other times, it’s something your skin comes in contact with that causes issues. Sunlight, fabrics and detergents, perfumes, skincare products, hair products, and cosmetics are also common triggers.
Every time your skin reacts, take a step back and assess what could be the cause. It’s always a good idea to keep a journal where you can keep track of potential triggers and look for patterns. It’s time consuming but writing down the ingredients in the products you apply to your skin can help you identify solitary irritants.
Keep Showers Short and Sweet
Long, hot showers are luxurious, and a cool shower can feel great on a humid summer day. Unfortunately, extremes in either direction can rob your sensitive skin of essential moisture. If your facial skin is sensitive, chances are the rest of your body is as well. Take showers with water that is comfortably warm, and don’t linger in there too long. Also, be mindful about using body cleansers and after shower moisturizers that are natural and gentle as well.
Beware of the Word “Hypoallergenic”
Skincare companies make a lot of claims, with one of them being that their products are hypoallergenic. It’s a buzzword that took over the skincare and beauty industry some while back, but you shouldn’t always take it at face value. There really aren’t any rules that regulate how the word is used. This means it’s crucial that you look beyond the marketing and investigate the ingredients on the label. If there are questions, always patch test or skip it for a product that leaves you with fewer doubts.
Always Use Sunscreen
Exposure to the sun seems to only escalate problems with sensitive skin. The problem is that it’s not always easy to find sunscreen that doesn’t further irritate your skin. The solution isn’t to go without sunscreen. Instead, look for sunscreens with zinc oxide and other natural, mineral-based UV-blocking ingredients.
Honoring Your Sensitive Skin
Your sensitive skin is beautiful and works hard every day. It deserves to be respected and cared for with the gentlest, natural skincare products and routine that supports and protects it. Choose your skincare products carefully, read labels, and find a brand you trust to uphold your high standards of quality and purity. Embrace your sensitive skin and honor it every day.