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Saturday, July 4, 2020

Have Sensitive Skin? A Few Useful Tips

A lot of people claim that they have sensitive skin when they "break out" after using a certain product or were exposed to the sun. However, the most common causes behind blotchy patches of skin and sudden acne flareups are using inappropriate products not tailored for one's skin type and bad skin habits in general. If you are one of the many who breaks out or itches after even brief sun exposure, or after using a particular product, it's in your best interests to determine if sensitive skin is really the cause -- or something else entirely. 

How to tell if you have sensitive skin

Generally, sensitive skin is thin with visible broken capillaries under the skin's surface. Sensitive skin also has fine pores. When exposed to moderate changes in temperature, sensitive skin is inclined to redden easily, whether from cold or heat. Sensitive skin also tends to rash easily when exposed to dirt or even to moderate-strength skin care products. If your skin responds in these ways, chances are high that you really do have sensitive skin.  For a thorough and professional skin assessment, a visit to a dermatologist is in order. 

Since caring for sensitive skin can be quite difficult, it is advisable to limit the use of skin care products. Generally, simple skin care regimens are more effective on sensitive skin since these prevent product overload. Sensitive skin care also relies in part on strengthening the skin to reduce sensitivity and increase tolerance.

How to care for sensitive skin

1. Hydrate your skin.

Sensitive skin is especially prone to dryness, which can lead to increased sensitivity. Drinking eight or more glasses of water and applying a lightweight and hypoallergenic moisturizer a day can help restore your skin's moisture or lipid barrier that acts as defense mechanism against allergens. (See also my "Super Skin Saver Formula" article for more details about keeping your skin really moisturized.)

2. Eat skin-friendly food.

Fruits, vegetables, and other water-rich foods are essential in correcting skin imbalances. The vitamin, mineral, and water content of these foods hydrate your skin and restore its health. On the other hand, eating spicy food and drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks can increase your skin's sensitivity.

3. Limit sun exposure.

Sun exposure can cause sensitive skin to redden and burn easily. Before going out, apply sun protection on your face using sunscreen and on your body with sunblock lotion. Think in the direction, for example, of Clinique's many sensitive skin-catering products for non-irritating, mineral-based sun protection. You can extend the sunscreen or sunblock to your lips to prevent them from darkening. Applying an SPF-rich lip balm under your lipstick or gloss can help protect your lips. Umbrellas, sunglasses, and hats protect your body, eyes, and face from overexposure to the sun. 

4. Protect your skin at all times -- indoors too.

Even when you are indoors, your skin still needs protection. If you are staying in an air-conditioned room or one with forced heating, apply a lightweight moisturizer frequently. This will prevent your skin from drying out due to the extremities of temperature as often found under these conditions.

5. Avoid products with artificial colorants and synthetic fragrances.

Colorants and fragrances are added to skin care products only for increasing marketing appeal, and seldom, if ever, offer any real benefits unto themselves. What's worse, many times they even cause allergic reactions and can increase your skin's sensitivity. 

Aside from these tips, it's also a good idea to switch to skin care products that are specially formulated for sensitive skin. A thorough skin assessment and consultation with a dermatologist, as recommended earlier, can reveal to you exact skin care techniques and products that can help strengthen your skin and minimize its sensitivity. Also, you'd be advised to look into the wide range of organic skin care products available, as these are considerably less likely to cause you problems than more chemically-based formulations.

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