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How To Care For Sensitive Skin

Taking proper care of the skin is necessary to maintain healthy skin. But, what if the things you use to care for your skin end up damaging your skin and causing you discomfort? Well, you most probably have sensitive skin.

Does your skin also gets affected by the smallest of things? Do you have to be constantly careful about the things that come in contact with your skin? Then, this article is for you! Most of the people who visit a dermatologist suffer from sensitive skin. It, therefore, is necessary to understand what is sensitive skin and how should you take care of it. Let's find out!

What Is Sensitive Skin?

Sensitive skin is a skin condition that can cause irritation, burning sensation, stinging and itchiness. It is a sensory reaction that can be triggered when your skin comes in contact with things it migt be allergic to or it can be due to environmental factors like dust, pollution etc.[1] Nevertheless, it can cause discomfort and pain.

Redness, rashes, sensitivity to UV rays, dry patches etc. are also quite common when it comes to sensitive skin. In fact, change in weather can also trigger a reaction to sensitive skin. There are no defined irritants when it comes to sensitive skin. You never know what your skin might react to. Hence, it is important to know how to handle your sensitive skin and what are the precautions that you need to take to prevent any possible skin reaction.

How To Take Care Of Sensitive Skin

1. Use lukewarm or cold water

Being sensitive, your skin might react to extremely hot water. No matter how relaxing or soothing a hot water bath might be for you, it can irritate your skin and make your skin dry and hence cause discomfort. Use lukewarm or cold water to take your bath or do the usual househol chores.

2. Don't overexfoliate

Exfoliating regularly is a good skincare routine. But when it damages your skin, instead of rejuvenating it, you should refrain from it. Overexfoliating can irritate the skin and lead to flaking. So, be gentle with your skin.

3. Keep your skin moisturised

Dry skin is one of the main reasons for sensitive skin. Keping the sensitive skin moisturised is very important. Be caredul while choosing the moisturiser and check for ingredients that might react to your skin. The best way to go is the natural way. Natural ingredients like aloe vera, jojoba or cocnut oil are the best when it comes to moisturising the skin.

Also, don't forget to moisturise your hands. They do a lot of work throughout the day and are exposed to most of the things. So, keep moisturising your hands.

4. Never skip sunscreen

The UV rays of the sun can be quite harmful and more so for sensitive skin. It is, therefore, important to protect your skin from the harsh rays of the sun. So, get a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. But, check the ingredients for any possible irritants. Also, ensure that the sunscreen doesn't have fragnance.

Apply sunscreen to your face, legs, feet, hands, arms and any other exposed area. Remember, you need sun protection even on a rainy or cold day. Don't step out of the sun without sunscreen and don't stay in the sun for too long.

5. Avoid scented products

Soaps, detergents and beauty products that smell amazing attract us, son't they? Well, they might not be good for your skin. The heavily scented products can cause irritation and itchiness to the sensitive skin. The reason being that these include chemicals that might be harsh on your skin. So, as much as you can opt for scent-free products.

6. Beware of acidic products

This might sound weird to you, but many of the products that we use on a daily basis contain acid. In fact, the soaps and facial cleansers that we use contain acid as well as it helps to fight infections. But, when you have a sensitive skin, you need to be careful.

Check the products for acids like alpha-hydroxy acids, beta-hydroxy acids, ascorbic acid, and kojic acid. These are the most commonly used ones. And if the products contain any of these, don't buy them.

7. Use natural products

Your best bet against sensitive skin is choosing natural products. So, choose natural products that don't contain harsh chemicals that might harm your skin. Look for products that are specifically for sensitive skin or are labelled as hypoallergenic.

8. Wear gloves while doing household work

The detergents and cleansers that we use to clean the house can be harsh on the skin. More so on sensitive skin. People with sensitive skin are most often than not sensitive to these products. So, it's better to protect your skin from these harsh products by wearing gloves while doing the household chores.

9. Be cautious about your dress materials

Very sensitive skin can also react to the clothes that you wear. Your clothes are in constant contact with your skin and if the material of your clothes isn't sensitive skin-friendly it can cause you a lot of discomfort. So, choose clothes that have soft and soothing material and not the coarse and harsh material.

10. Wear metal with caution

Sensitive skin can have an extensive reaction to certain metals. So, whether you have pierced your skin and are looking for some jewellery for the piercing or just want to accessorise your look, be careful. Ensure that the metal you choose doesn't have an allergic reaction to your skin.

11. Be prepared for the change in weather

Change in weather and extremely harsh weather conditions can irritate sensitive skin. So, it is wise to be prepared for the change in weather. When it comes to extreme weather conditions, cover your skin as much as you can in a very cold climate. In a very hot climate, don't stay out in sun for long, wear sunscreen and light flowy clothes.

12. Make a note of things your skin is allergic to

With all the things said, the most important thing that you need for sensitive skin is to know what your skin reacts to. Sensitive skin can be highly unpredictable and you never know what your skin might react to. So, if you find that your skin is allergic to something, immediately make a note of that. And remember it so that you can be careful and cautious the next time.

View Article References
  1. [1] Duarte, I., Silveira, J., Hafner, M., Toyota, R., & Pedroso, D. (2017). Sensitive skin: review of an ascending concept.Anais brasileiros de dermatologia,92(4), 521–525. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.201756111
Story first published: Thursday, August 1, 2019, 9:12 [IST]
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