Having red and irritated skin isn’t only unappealing, but uncomfortable, too. Aside from the rashes and painful bumps that go with the reaction, you also need to deal with the itch. For someone who constantly experiences these things, it’s easy to feel frustrated, exhausted and even hopeless.
One of the best ways to calm sensitive skin is to make sure you don’t do things that can irritate it. As a guide, here are 5 great ideas to help you out.
1. Stay away from soaps
Cleansing your face and making sure it’s free from dirt, excess oil and makeup residue is essential if you want to get flawless skin. For sensitive skin, however, the process isn’t that easy.
For one, using the wrong cleansing agent can trigger a series of negative reactions that aren’t uncomfortable, but unappealing, too. Take, for example, soaps.
A lot of people use soap to cleanse their skin. One good reason is the suds soap creates. People think that the more suds and lather there are, the more effective a soap is in cleansing.
Unfortunately, what it actually does is strip the skin off of its natural moisture. This leaves the skin even more vulnerable to chemicals and irritants.
To ensure your skin’s safety, stick with gentle facial cleansers instead. These products may not be able to create as much lather and suds as you like, but they can definitely get the job done without harming your skin.
2. Cut down shower time
When you’ve had a rough and long day at work, it can be quite tempting to spend a longer time in the shower than usual. It’s one of the best and easiest ways to relieve stress and ease your worries.
Although it relaxes the mind, you should steer away from taking long showers as it can put your skin under a lot of stress. Soaking in water can affect the moisture level of your skin and leave it feeling dry, taut and flaky.
These are good signs that your skin’s natural barrier has been compromised- leaving it vulnerable to damages.
Aside from cutting down your shower time, you should also consider the temperature of the water you use. Instead of using hot water, you should shower with lukewarm water instead.
Make sure you don’t forget your moisturizer, too. It will help bring back your skin’s lost moisture and protection.
3. Be consistent with your sunscreen
All skin types need protection against the sun’s harmful rays. However, since your skin is delicate, regular sunscreens won’t do. In fact, they can even cause more harm than do good.
When buying a sunscreen for the first time, it’s a good idea to avoid products that contain chemical filters. Some examples include Methylisothiazolinone and Benzophenones.
They are highly irritating, especially with their ability to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.
Because of that, your best bet are sunscreens that contain mechanical filters, such as titanium oxide and zinc oxide. What these filters do is sit on top of your skin and reflect the rays before they can even cause harm to your skin.
Sunscreens should be applied before you step outdoors, preferably 15 minutes. You need to reapply them after every 2 hours to ensure continuous protection.
If you sweat a lot or if you are going out for a swim, you might need to reapply more frequently. Apart from sunscreen application, wearing protective clothing, like hats and long sleeves, can also keep your skin healthy and safe.
4. Do a patch test for every new product
Before applying a new product on your entire face, it’s a good idea to really get to know it first. One good reason is that not all companies and brands are completely honest with their claims.
If you see a product that promises to be hypoallergenic, don’t believe it right away. Instead, read its ingredient list and do a double check on its components.
Apart from this, it’s also a good idea if you can assess how your skin will actually react to the product. Since every skin is different, avoid relying on other people’s experiences to gauge the potential effects of a product on your skin.
Even the best acne cleanser for sensitive skin can still cause negative reactions.
Patch tests are supposed to be done 24 hours to a full week before full application. Take a small amount of the product and apply it on areas that aren’t readily visible.
One good example is the area behind your ear. If you don’t feel any negative reactions up to a full week, you can safely use the product on your skin.
5. Watch your diet
The food you eat can say a lot about your skin.
If you often indulge in foods that don’t possess vitamins and nutrients, you are practically depriving your skin the things it needs to protect itself. The weaker its protection, the more sensitive your skin becomes.
Apart from nutrient deprivation, there are also foods that can trigger sensitivity reactions.
Gluten intolerance, for example, doesn’t just manifest through gastrointestinal symptoms. In certain cases, it comes with a handful of dermatological manifestations, too.
The same is true with dairy. People who are sensitive to dairy don’t just develop episodes of stomach pain and changes in bowel movements; a lot of them experience rashes and acne, too.
If you think your sensitive skin is triggered by the food you eat, it can help if you can keep a food journal. By keeping track of what you consume on a daily basis and the effects you feel after eating them, you’ll be able to pinpoint and avoid your skin’s exact triggers.
Load up your diet with fruits and vegetables. Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants as they are a great help in fighting free radical damage.
Make sure you are hydrated, too. Drinking the right amount of water daily isn’t only critical in calming your sensitive skin but it’s helpful in boosting your overall health as well.
Hannah Do is the founder of Thank Your Skin, a beauty blog dedicated to provide honest skin care advice and information. She aspires to help her readers achieve their most beautiful skin by sharing personal tips learned through both years of experience and thorough research. Check out her latest article. You can find her on Twitter, Pinterest and Face