You have sensitive skin.
Perhaps, like me, you remember your mom doting on you more than your brothers and sisters at the beach or park, reminding you to double-up on the sunscreen because you “have sensitive skin.”
Maybe having sensitive skin became a part of your identity early on in life (again like me). Or, you could’ve woken up to discover eczema on your arms one random morning in the middle of middle age.
Welcome to the Sensitive Skin Club
Regardless of how long you’ve been aware of the fact that your skin is a bit more delicate than the average bear’s, you can take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone.
Millions of people all over the world classify themselves as having sensitive skin. And this means different things for different people. Some have a slew of allergies caused by a few nefarious ingredients. They do okay if they’re just careful about the products they use. Others have skin disorders that range in severity from mild rosacea or severe plaque psoriasis.
But it really doesn’t matter why you have sensitive skin, at least for the purposes of this article. The fact is that you’re a member of the club. So sit back, relax, and get these 7 sensitive skincare tips down pat for smoother sailing in your personal sensitive skin sojourn.
- Always Test First
Don’t just start using any ol’ skincare product. Test it first by applying a small amount on the inside of your elbow. Try it out for about a week. Abandon the product at the first sign of a negative reaction.
- Watch the Sun Exposure
People with sensitive skin get sunburnt easier than people with sturdier skin barriers, and that means faster damage by UV rays (which, as we all know, can cause cellular damage – even skin cancer). Use sunscreen under makeup and cover yourself with clothes when out for long periods of time.
- Go Fragrance Free
Many people are allergic to even the tiniest hint of scent. If this describes you, try going fragrance free. There is a growing movement for fragrance free skincare products. Solutions like the Sebamed Fragrance Free Gentle Hydrating Cleanser and Fragrance Free Hydrating Facial Cream are good places to start.
- Stick to a Clean Diet
You are what you eat – and so is your skin. Your diet heavily affects the health of your skin, so stick to eating non-processed foods as much as possible. Fruits like tomatoes, vegetables like kale and avocado, and compounds like olive oil may come to your mind first as good examples.
But there is a lot more in the way of food that’s good for your skin – and what’s on the menu may shock you (chocolate, anyone?). Check out this article in Prevention to start the enlightenment.
- Don’t Use Soap
Dermatologists have known for decades that traditional soap wears out your skin, depleting its natural barrier. Yet, only in recent years has this knowledge become widespread. Choose soap-free, gentle cleansers instead, like Sebamed’s Liquid Face & Body Wash.
- Moisturize Frequently – But Not Too Frequently
Sensitive skin needs a lot of love. It needs support. Moisturize your face with a pH-balanced cream at least once a day and keep a good lotion on-hand whenever your skin is feeling, well, sensitive.
Just don’t overdue it. Interestingly enough, our sensitive skin needs support – but it also demands some space (kind of like a petulant teenager).
Over-moisturizing can actually dry out your skin and intensify your skin issues (particularly if your lotion is too alkaline or acidic), so just watch how often you’re moisturizing.
And make sure your products are free of irritants while matching the natural acidity of your skin. The Sebamed Moisturizing Body Lotion is a great body cream option while the Moisturizing Face Cream is an ultra-delicate facial moisturizer you’re sure to love. Both are formulated at a pH level to match that of your skin.
- Know What’s In Your Laundry Detergent
Ok, last but definitely not least: your laundry detergent! We’ve all been there. You pick up a new detergent at the store when they’re out of your favorite one, not even thinking about a possible negative affect on your skin (out of mind, out of sight – your fave laundry soap’s never caused an issue so you just don’t think about it).
Then, laundry day comes. It strikes. Endless itching, rashes, redness. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I’ve been there too many times to count.
Odds are your sensitive skin reacted to a dye, fragrance, perfume or other substance that your skin simply did not like. Try fragrance free laundry detergents as a first step, but if it becomes an ongoing problem, head on over to your dermatologist’s office. S/he can give you an allergy test to pinpoint exactly what’s going on.
You have sensitive skin.
But so do I, so does your best friend, your neighbor, your boss, your child, your cousin. Millions of people are in this (seemingly) annoying “sensitive skin” club.
And the truth is, it’s not all bad. With a little camaraderie and a lot of self-care, we can all get comfortable in our own skins.