Skincare: Signs You Have Sensitive Skin And How To Care For It

Eyes closed smiling black woman with acne - sensitive skin
Eyes closed smiling black woman with acne - sensitive skin Image from:

Sensitive skin is a common condition in which the skin is more prone to reactions such as redness and itching. Skin sensitivity is officially defined by the occurrence of specific symptoms that include burning, tingling, itching, tightness, redness, and pain in response to stimuli that would not normally cause these reactions. These responses usually develop when the protective outermost layer of the skin is weakened.

Caring for sensitive skin can be a bit of a struggle because one misstep can aggravate it. Here are some signs you have sensitive skin as well as ways of managing it.

Main causes of skin sensitivity

  1. Hyperactive immune system: usually genetic
  2. Weakened skin barrier: The skin barrier contains lipids or oils to keep skin supple and plays an important role in protecting against harmful environmental threats. It usually ends up weakened when there are too few natural oils on the skin or when the skin becomes dehydrated. This leaves it vulnerable to bacteria and other irritants such as allergens, fragrances, and overexposure to heat or cold. Skincare: Tips On How To Repair Your Skin Barrier

Other causes of sensitive skin

  1. Contact dermatitis: refers to inflammation that can occur when your skin is exposed to an irritant.
  2. Allergy: refers to inflammation as a result of an allergic response. Both 1 and 2 also cause Different Types Of Eczema And Treatment Or Management
  3. Rosacea: is a skin condition that causes redness and swelling in the face and neck whose cause doctors still don’t know.
  4. Acne: is a skin condition that causes pimples on the skin and is triggered when your skin pores are clogged. How To Take Care Of Acne Prone Skin
  5. Dry skin: really low temperatures can cause the skin to be sensitive. Skincare: 12 Skin Care Tips For Cold Weather
  6. Overuse of skincare products: certain ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or exfoliating scrubs can weaken the skin barrier causing dryness and irritation.
  7. Age: as you age your skin loses moisture and can become dry and cracked increasing the risk of developing a skin sensitivity. Beauty: Ageing Skin Concerns & How To Take Care Of Each
  8. Medication: certain medications, for example, ones used to treat hypertension can cause dehydration and thus dry irritated skin.
  9. Hormonal changes: such as those during the menstrual cycle can affect the skin.
  10. Makeup ingredients can also increase your skin sensitivity.

Signs of skin sensitivity

  • Rough, flaky patches
  • Wrinkled, rough texture
  • Redness and/or discoloured patches
  • Bumps and swelling
  • Rashes and breakouts
  • Open sores or yellow crust over the skin
  • Peeling skin
  • Itching and irritation
  • Burning
  • Pain
  • Skin reacts to weather so when the weather changes you get rashes or bumps or dryness
  • Skin reacts to fragrances such as laundry detergents and personal care products

Precautions and treatment

Moisturize: Use a lot of moisturizers. Moisturizer will provide temporary relief, soothe dry skin, potentially prevent scratching, and moisturize the skin. Thick creams are better and last longer than lotion. Moisturize immediately after drying from a shower or washing your hands. Use as needed throughout the day. 6 Benefits Of Incorporating A Moisturizer Into Your Skincare Routine

Oatmeal baths and facials are a traditional home remedy that works, soothing the skin and relieving dryness and irritation.

Take shorter showers and avoid using very hot water or extremely cold water.

Use mild, organic soaps and skincare products. Always conduct a patch test before using them all over your skin.

Switch to natural fragrance oils instead of using perfumes and deodorants.

Use natural and fragrance-free products for your laundry and dishes.

Pat dry your skin after a shower, never rub to dry.

Cover your skin with a protective layer of sunscreen whenever you go outdoors. Skincare: The Benefits Of Sunscreen And How To Apply It Properly

Avoid products with irritating ingredients like alcohol, dyes, fragrance, glycolic acid, lactic acid, preservatives, salicylic acid, and sulfates if you react to them.

Look for products with some of the following soothing hydrating ingredients: aloe vera, ceramides, colloidal oatmeal, hyaluronic, and sodium hyaluronate. Ceramides can repair the skin’s barrier function while colloidal oatmeal helps maintain skin surface pH.

If you’re still concerned about your sensitive skin, consult a doctor or dermatologist for help managing your sensitive skin.

Did you know that sleeping with makeup might be increasing your skin sensitivity? Make sure you always remove your makeup before you sleep – What Really Happens To Your Skin When You Sleep With Makeup On?

Also, make sure you store your products properly so that you do not get an infection or irritation from them. Beauty: How To Increase The Shelf Life Of Your Skincare Products 

Diet also plays a role when it comes to skin. Check out Health And Nutrition: Foods That Fight Inflammation

Here are 6 Common Mistakes People Make With Their Skincare Routine

Check out: 5 DIY face mask recipes for dry skin

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