Millions of people suffer with the pain, irritation, and discomfort of sensitive skin on an ongoing basis. And while we can’t promise to magically heal you, we think this article will provide you with some helpful suggestions that will make you feel a little more comfortable in your own skin.
First Things First: What’s Causing Your Sensitivity?
Before we dig into some skincare best practices, it’s important that you become familiar with precisely what’s causing your sensitivity in the first place. In most cases, skin sensitivity fits into one of three buckets:
- Dry skin. Skin becomes dry when it loses water and oil. The result is a combination of itchiness, flaking, peeling, roughness, cracking, bleeding, and a red or ashy appearance. There are numerous conditions that can cause dry skin, but sometimes it’s a simple matter of needing more moisturization.
- Allergies. Sometimes skin sensitivity is the direct result of an allergic reaction to a food, substance, or product. Symptoms may include redness, itchiness, burning, swelling, tenderness, or blisters.
- Underlying condition. While allergic reactions stem from interference with an outside substance or material, some people suffer from underlying conditions. In other words, their skin is compromised because of a genetic issue, disease, or illness. Common skin conditions include eczema, contact dermatitis, rosacea, and photodermatoses.
If possible, you should determine the precise cause of your skin sensitivity. This will ensure you’re able to treat it in a very specific manner.
4 Helpful Tips
Everyone’s skin is unique, but the following tips are generally helpful for people with frequent or chronic sensitivity issues:
- Read Labels
Hopefully you already have a pretty decent idea of which ingredients, materials, and substances cause major skin sensitivity issues. If so, your best bet is to meticulously read product labels and ingredient labels before buying items. This includes all products, but especially health and beauty supplies and clothing.
Almost everyone with skin sensitivity can benefit from purchasing products that are fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and made without parabens and dyes.
- Improve Your Bathroom Routines
Do yourself a favor and optimize your bathroom routines to protect your skin and reduce irritation. Suggestions include:
- Avoid taking scalding hot showers, as heat tends to exacerbate underlying sensitivity. It’s also important to shorten the amount of time you spend under the water. Short, lukewarm showers are ideal.
- Ditch the multi-blade razor when shaving and opt for a safety razor. They cause far less irritation – especially when combined with a shaving soap made specifically for people with sensitive skin.
- Avoid over-washing or over-exfoliating your face. You might think you’re doing yourself a favor, but you’re actually just washing important proteins and lipids down the drain.
- Watch Out for the Sun
The sun is not your friend. It might feel good to lay out on a sunny day, but your skin will pay the price. It’s important to wear sunscreen and maximize protection via hats and long clothing that covers the arms and legs. If you do plan to be outside, try to avoid peak sunlight hours (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.).
- Optimize Your Diet
Healthy skin starts from the inside out. If you want to reduce sensitivity and live a happier, healthier life, you need to be smart about what you eat and drink.
Foods that inflame skin include red meat, fatty foods, gluten, dairy products, spicy foods, saturated fats, and items that are high in sugar content (like sodas and cookies).
Foods that soothe irritated skin include organic fruits and veggies, cold-water fish (salmon, herring, etc.), healthy fats (avocados and nuts), bone broths, and water.
Speaking of water, it’s very important that you stay properly hydrated. Remember that dry skin is often caused by a lack of water and oils. By consuming at least 64 ounces of water per day, you can give your skin the moisture it needs.
Talk With Your Dermatologist Today
There are plenty of things you can do on your own to reduce and/or avoid skin sensitivity. However, it’s very important that you don’t try to self-diagnose or medicate. Make sure you’re meeting with a dermatologist on a regular basis to review any changes in your condition so the right precautions can be taken.