5 Steps To Soothe and Protect Your Sensitive Skin
Does your skin protest any time you try new skincare products or switch up your routine? It can seem like no matter what you do to find yourself a good skincare routine, your skin just is working against you. The not so fun truth is, keeping your skin happy and healthy can be a bit harder for some. If you’re thinking this sounds a bit too familiar, keep reading. Learn about the signs of sensitive skin and how to show your skin type some major TLC.
Do YOU Have Sensitive Skin?
Before diving into a new skincare routine, it’s important to determine whether or not you actually have sensitive skin. While other skin types are pretty much black and white, sensitive skin can often be a tad trickier to nail down. Since there isn’t a definitive checklist that dermatologists use to define sensitive skin, it can be difficult to pinpoint if this is really your skin type. That being said, there are a few things you should watch out for that can help you determine if you have sensitive skin. Think about how your skin feels after using certain skincare products. If it becomes blotchy and feels itchy after using a product formulated with fragrance, alcohol, or soap, this could be linked to the skincare product you used. This is why finding the right skincare products for sensitive skin is a must.
If this sounds like your skin type, keep reading for 5 tips to help your skin function at its healthiest.
Simplify Your Routine
Using as few products as you can with as few ingredients as possible is a great place to start when it comes to sensitive skin types. Follow the principle, less is more when it comes to your skincare routine. Fewer products and fewer ingredients mean fewer chances to react to something in your skin-care routine. The basics of a skin-care routine are actually pretty simple; as long as you’ve got a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen, you’re hitting the minimum.
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Don’t Over Wash Your Skin
I know it can be so tempting to over wash your skin when you have a breakout. Skin actually does a surprisingly good job keeping itself clean, and with sensitive skin you want to do what you can to avoid irritating it by scrubbing or cleansing too often. Exfoliating can be great for most skin types, but with sensitive skin, be sure to only exfoliate every now and then. Definitely keep a close eye on how your skin reacts to the exfoliating, and don’t overdo it.
Read Labels On New Products
Just as you would read a label on something you’re going to eat, make sure you’re also reading the labels of ingredients found in your skincare products. Especially with sensitive skin, it’s important to nail down which ingredients trigger your skin sensitivity. Like we said above, try to use skin care products with as few ingredients as you can to help figure out which ingredients your skin reacts to negatively. A few of the most common irritants include fragrances, dyes, and preservatives such as parabens. It might take some trial and error but look for products that are fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and without dyes and parabens. Labels like these, as well as product lines “that are ‘free and clear’ of allergens and contain minimum ingredients, are generally a good place to start when looking for sensitive skin-care products.
Introduce New Products Slowly
As fun as it may be to get new skincare products, you’re excited to try, remember it’s important to introduce these products slowly. Try testing them on a small patch of skin first and see how your skin handles the new product. Also, if trying a retinoid, or a more irritating product, be sure to limit your use as first and gradually let your skin build up a tolerance. Slowly you will be able to increase the frequency that you can use the products, and this way you will avoid irritating your sensitive skin. Sometimes mixing a more irritating product with a good quality moisturizer can really help with the irritation. Finally, make sure to avoid the most sensitive areas of the face, such as the area around the nose, mouth, and eyelids.
Shorten Your Showers
For most who struggle with sensitive skin, it isn’t just your face that can get irritated. If you have sensitive skin or a skin condition elsewhere on your body, it’s important to treat it gently. Be sure the soap you are using to wash your body in the shower also contains ingredients that won’t upset your sensitive skin. Go for something fragrance-free, and try only really scrubbing in the areas most needed (where odor-producing sweat glands are found). This way you’re still getting clean, but not drying out your skin by over-washing which can cause sensitive skin problems. Try to limit the time you are in the shower (keep it short and sweet), and don’t make the water too hot as this is extra drying and irritating for your skin. After the shower, don’t forget to moisturize with a good lotion all over your body.