Sensitive skin is one of the most widespread skin condition among people. 40% of all men and 50% of women fall under this category. For most people, including me, sensitive skin starts to be a problem during teenage years. The poor grooming practices that many of us had during our teenage years just blew the problem out of proportion. Often then skin was left dry and stressed.
Thanks to the will to change circumstances, I can now offer you my advice based on years of testing and comparing different methods and products. In the following paragraphs we will look at the signs, causes and solutions for this skin condition.
How can you determine if you have sensitive skin
Along acne, it is seen as one of the more problematic skin types because it tends to have unexpected side effects. Sensitivity has a wide range of ways of affecting your skin. It can range from small, local irritation all along to total domination of the skin of your face, which makes your life a daily struggle to maintain an acceptable comfort of your skin. If you experience any kind of sensitivity you must know the aspects that follow:
- You experience itchiness, redness and general sensitivity on areas of your skin (face and body)
- Violent reactions of your skin are commonly experienced
- Shaving is a struggle due to the frequency of razor burns
- Your skin is of a very thin texture which sometimes might feel easy irritable by external factors such as the sun, wind, stress and pollution
10 Tips To Handle Sensitive Skin
1. Analyse your lifestyle
This is the starting point of your journey to better the condition of your skin. It should be. Analyzing your lifestyle, backed by a proper skincare routine, will change your skin for the better. Skin sensitivity is something you’re born with, but a number of external factors increase the irritability of your skin.
You should book a doctor for an allergy test. You might be eating foods that have a negative impact on your skin. After completing this step, you should think about the different types of products that come into contact with your skin, and I’m not talking about the skincare products. You may be having a reaction to detergent, for example, or fabric conditioner. Thinking about how much you get into touch with these products you might be considering choosing carefully the next time you buy chemical-stuff cleaning products.
This is not exact science, it may be different for you but small lifestyle changes can have a big impact on the end results. A doctor or a professional can very easily point you in the right direction.
2. Check the ingredients of products
This is something that can be completed with a bit of attention. The last thing you want to do is to use certain products not suitable for your skin, causing your skin to irritate even more. Most manufacturers clearly state the ingredients their products contain. Look for special indications as some products clearly say if they’re suitable for sensitive skin.
When checking the ingredients of products try to avoid certain chemicals that might affect your skin. Always avoid products that contain one of the following: alcohol, petroleum or petroleum by-products, sodium lauryl sulfate (also known as SLS), parabens , lanolin and other animal by-products, and any kind of fragrance or perfume. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
3. Test the products you’re about to use
Always test products on a small part of your skin before using it on larger areas. This way you can find out in time if it’s suitable for you and avoid a general disaster. Try any product first on an area that is out of site and wait until the next day (24 hours) to draw conclusions. Analyse the portion of skin you applied a certain product on. If it changed texture or color in an odd way, use your own judgement and stay on the safe side. Some of the larger stores have testers for every product and you can you can try any product out before buying. You could even ask an adviser for a small sample.
4. More is not always better
There are so many products on the market which, don’t get me wrong, are good for you but if you have sensitive skin try to limit the number of products you use. Try not to overload your skin and stay with the basics. Don’t use more than a cleanser and a moisturizer at the same time.
5. Opt for specialist products tailored to your needs
When you decide to purchase a skincare product, having sensitive skin, you should choose something which is designated specially for your skin type. There are a number of manufacturers that have special lines for sensitive skin, that is what you should chase. Relying on years of research and development, these manufacturers know what to put into their formulas in order to leave any risk of a bad reaction out.
6. Don’t exfoliate your skin too frequently
Scrubbing your face with products meant to exfoliate your skin, removes dead skin particles. They also clean and leave your skin very smooth. But, when you have sensitive skin, the result might be something completely different. You already have a thin skin, so removing the exterior barrier will make it even more sensitive to external factors. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use facial scrubs, but use moderately.
7. Decrease the temperature
This is a mistake most men make, not only those with sensitive skin. The skin of your face is not very tolerant of high temperatures. So, when you wash your face with near-boiling water, guess what happens, more irritation occurs. Use instead moderately warm water because it is not so aggressive.
8. Protect from external factors
Always adapt to the weather conditions. Use sun cream, especially during the burning summer months. During Fall, shelter from violent wind. Wrap up tightly during winter. Of course the freezing winter temperatures might feel very refreshing, but all they do is further harm your skin and produce even more skin irritation.
9. Keep your skin well hydrated
We are 70% water. You’re whole body needs to stay well hydrated in order to be well balanced. Your skin needs to stay hydrated to keep its elasticity and texture. Moisturize on a regular basis after washing your skin thoroughly with warm water, using a moisturizer for sensitive skin. Leave it a couple of minutes to soak in.
10. Don’t underestimate a good shave
You would think shaving would be an extra stress factor on your skin. Actually, a good shaving practice shouldn’t cause any irritation. Of course, it depends a lot on the razor and on the shaving accessories. Remember to shave in the evening, when your skin is the most supple and don’t use too hot water.
One final advice would be to shave with the grain. If you go against the grain you increase the risk of getting skin irritation.