Sensitive skin care

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Sensitive Skin Care, Keep it Gentle

The best thing we can do for sensitive skin is to avoid irritating it in any way. Sensitive skin will react to all but the mildest skin products and can be quite frustrating to care for. This skin type is more often dry than oily and may become worse as we get older and the natural moisturizers in our skin decrease. Sensitive skin care also means avoid hot and cold showers, aim for warm water only. Stress may also worsen this skin type.

You probably already know if your skin is sensitive. Just answer these two questions…

Do you dread trying to find a cosmetic because you know that chances are its going to cause your skin to burn and turn red? Do you have a bathroom cupboard full of creams and lotions that you have only used once or twice because they reacted badly with your skin?

Or do you find your skin feels more uncomfortable in the colder weather when the humidity is low?

Then you probably do have sensitive skin which is the most frustrating skin type to have. So how do you look after it?

The main symptoms of sensitive skin are redness, burning, broken capillaries (veins), dryness and irritation. This skin type can also be prone to dermatitis, eczema or acne.

The first course of action would be to find out if an allergy is causing the problem. A dermatologist may perform a patch test to see if you are susceptible to one of the more common allergens. It may be an ingredient in a cosmetic, it may even be a dietary allergy or food intolerance.

Sensitive skin care - what causes skin to be sensitive?

If allergy is ruled out then the problem is genetic and there are still several things that can be done to help the situation. Do you live in an extreme climate? Extreme heat or cold can take its toll on sensitive skin as can strong winds and, of course, sun exposure. Try not to go outdoors more than you absolutely have to when conditions are extreme. Always wear a sunblock with an SPF of 15 at least.

Is there anything your skin comes into contact with regularly like pillowslips or towels which could be causing irritation? Wash these in a low irritant detergent or pure soap and rinse really well. Don’t use fabric softeners as these add fragrance – see if this helps.

It is also worth having a look at your diet. Do you love spicy foods? Try cutting them out just for a week and see if the problem subsides. If so bring them back gradually and see if the sensitivity re occurs.

Omega oils can help sensitive skin, in fact all skin types benefit from these. They can be found in fish especially oily fish like salmon. Antioxidants like vitamin C and E will improve your skin from the inside and are worth taking if your diet is less than perfect!

Its hard to find anything good to say about smoking, this is no exception! Smoking replaces the oxygen in the blood with carbon monoxide, uses up Vitamin C, causes wrinkles and sallows your complexion. It’s just simply bad news for your skin and bad news for your health. Its a hard habit to kick though especially if you try and go it alone.

Sensitive Skin Care Products

When buying any cosmetic always look for “Hypo Allergenic” on the label. This does not guarantee it won’t react to you skin but it does mean that some or most of the common allergens have been omitted from the product such as sulfates, perfume and some colors. Check the label if unsure.

Preservatives used to increase the shelf life of a product can be some of the main irritants. Put a little bit on a small patch of skin before spreading all over your face. Try to find products that have fewer ingredients, the more ingredients in a product, the greater the chance your skin will find one it doesn’t like! Avoid fragrances in anything you put on your face, it is an unnecessary ingredient and only included to make the product commercially acceptable.

Natural sensitive skin care products are the best choice as they contain less irritating ingredients and fewer chemicals. Look for those with calming properties. Essential oils can be used mixed first with a natural carrier oil such as almond oil. Soothing essential oils are Lavender, Chamomile, Sandalwood, Rose and Neroli.

Rose Ceremide sensitive & dry skin lotion will hydrate and nourish your skin without irritating it. Rose ceremide will also boost collagen and elastin production, helping skin repair.

Want to try it first before committing? There’s a sample size for pennies!

Don’t use exfoliants on sensitive skin, even the gentlest ones are still too harsh, the same goes for harsh soaps. Forget toners and astringents that contain alcohol, they are too drying. Try cleansing only at night (if pimples aren’t a problem), with perhaps a splash of warm water in the mornings, over-cleansing can irritate sensitive skins.

The fact is there is no simple answer to sensitive skin care. Try some or all of these tips and if nothing seems to help visit a dermatologist, they are there to help. Have a look at the dry skin and rosacea pages also.

A good place to find a dermatologist is The American Academy of Dermatology

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