Having great looking skin is both a boon and a treat. When your skin oozes radiance and glow you not only look more visually attractive, you almost always feel more confident. Naturally, this works both ways, but especially for the ladies.
For many of us, unfortunately, it’s not always possible to look this way, reason being that our skins are vulnerable to the effects of sensitivity. As such, concerns about how to get rid of sensitive skin are understandably plentiful.
To be clear, no one has sensitive skin as a skin type; sensitivity affects every skin type there is. It doesn’t matter if yours is the normal, dry, oily, or combination type; there is a host of internal and external factors that can trigger sensitivity. Quite understandably, being knowledgeable about natural skincare for sensitive skin will help you know what to do to both avert any unpleasant symptoms or handle them effectively if they make an appearance.
Having suffered some forgettable bad skin days, you may be wondering “do I have sensitive skin”. Perhaps the best thing to do here would be to briefly explore the most common sensitive skin complaints and you can then try to relate these with the symptoms you’ve seen.
- Red blotches – In case of these, blood vessels, enlarged oil glands, bumps and thick skin will be visible on your nose, cheeks and chin. The underlying condition indicated by these symptoms is known as rosacea whereby your facial blood vessels dilate causing the blood to flow much nearer to the skin’s surface. You flush easily as a result.
- Allergic reactions – These erupt very soon after your system encounters something it doesn’t agree with; typical immune responses. In case these happen with greater frequency it may be the case that your skin’s barrier function is compromised by genetic abnormalities.
- Extremely dry skin – In this case your skin feels rough and tight. If your skin feels this way consistently it’s likely that you naturally have the dry skin type, and which when really dry leads to itchiness and irritation. If your problem is occasional the causes are likely to be dryness and dehydration.
- Breakouts – Here your skin regularly suffers an eruption of pimples, i.e. acne. This mostly happens when you’re stressed or have been lacking sleep. Exposure to pore-clogging products and having overactive oil glands are other notable causes.
Having established what the most common skin sensitivity problems are it’s only appropriate for you to ask “why is my skin so sensitive”. Getting the answers to this question will certainly help you make an informed decision in as far as choosing an effective approach to skincare for sensitive skin.
The most common causes of skin sensitivity are as follows:
- Allergic reactions
- Stress and lack of adequate sleep
- Hormonal changes during puberty, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy or menopause
- Use of harsh skin products or ingredients
- Don’t know how to remove makeup properly
- Use of certain medications
- Various skin conditions e.g. psoriasis, eczema, urticaria, rosacea, contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, etc
- Poor health – the responsible disease could be as inconsequential as common cold or as severe as cancer
- Poor diet and dehydration
- Excessive consumption of alcohol or caffeine
- Exposure to environmental stressors e.g. climate, pollution, etc.
- UV damage
From this list it is quite evident that the answer to the question “why is my skin so sensitive” may not be simple and direct; a couple of factors could be responsible for your skin’s sensitivity. In case you are unsure about what’s responsible then getting advice from your pharmacist, doctor or dermatologist is recommended.
You now have a much better idea of both what your sensitive skin condition(s) could be and what the probable cause(s) are. How to get rid of sensitive skin is naturally what should concern you next. There are lots of ideas, borrowed from the expert insights of doctors, dermatologists, dieticians, etc, that you can put into practice and in so doing implement your own skincare for sensitive skin.
Starting with what are really easy-to-do measures, here goes:
- Avoid feeling stressed for an extended period of time – The release of stress hormones results in excess production of sebum, resulting in acne. Choose to be jovial and worry-free and perhaps you won’t need to keep asking “why is my skin so sensitive”.
- Be gentle on your skin – Blotting, rather than rubbing, your face dry with a towel is far better.
- Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen always – This will protect your skin against the effects of sunburn and tanning, both known for their damaging effects on skin and resulting in it becoming easily irritated
- Always moisturize your skin – Leaving your skin dry and dehydrated is the sure way to make it more vulnerable to irritation and damage. You’re advised to apply moisturizer immediately after cleansing; a heavier moisturizer should be used in case you’re going to be exposed to extreme weather conditions. The use of a humidifier is also well advised if you’ll be sleeping in a room with heat or air conditioning.
- Cut down on alcohol consumption – This will help to prevent the loss of nutrients from the skin as well as promote repair.
- Stick to a healthy diet – Having overall good health will naturally ensure pleasant skin health. The consumption of foods rich in B vitamins, i.e. B12, B6, biotin, riboflavin and niacin, will help to keep your skin well moisturized.
- Drink enough water – In as far as how to get rid of sensitive skin is concerned, ensuring that you are well hydrated is of utmost importance. After all, the effects of dehydration are first noticed on the skin.
- Investigate the cause of your allergic reactions – Conclusively determining what triggers your allergy will let you know what to avoid. A dermatologist can help with this if you’re unable to find out on your own. Getting skin allergy remedy is unfortunately not an option; you’ll need to learn how to live with it.
- Exfoliate regularly – This will help you to get rid of dead cells, as well as help heal fine lines, hyperpigmentation, acne and large pores. Steer clear of too physical and gritty exfoliators though; you might want to consider the more gentler alpha hydroxy acid formulations
- In case of acne-prone sensitive skin it is advisable to go for a lighter course of treatment that’ll result in less irritation. First take care of the spots’ redness and swelling by dabbing some hydrocortisone cream on them. Next, apply a thin layer of 2.5% benzoyl peroxide gel; this will take care of the bacteria problem.
- Cleanse your face lightly in the morning and then more heavily at night. If you have dry skin or experience regular sensitivity it is advisable to use lukewarm water during cleansing; using hot water will most likely result in dryness and cracking. Also, use a mild soap-free cleanser; stay clear of any astringents or alcohol-based products.
- Ensure that you get enough beauty sleep – This is absolutely vital considering that it is at night that the skin works most of its regeneration and repair.
- Related to this is the need to regularly change your pillowcase. The fact that your face is in direct contact with a pillowcase all night long should be taken seriously, more so if you’re an acne victim. Worn out pillowcases should be replaced immediately.
- Also, using sheets made from natural fibers, e.g. pure cotton or silk is advised as these have the best ability to soak up the perspiration and oil your skin produces as you sleep. A regular change of sheets is mandatory.
- Always remove your makeup before sleeping – Opting to wear makeup overnight will result in clogged-up pores.
- Go for a skin-care detox – If you’ve been using a complex cocktail of products you’ll be better off scaling down to the essentials i.e. a mild cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF, and sticking to this regimen for the period of your skin’s recovery. Later on you can try using more products; do this one at a time and only after you’ve patch-tested each on your inner arm to confirm that irritation won’t occur.
- Go for the right type of clothing – You’ll be better off wearing clothes made from natural fibers, e.g. silk and cotton, in addition to ensuring that the clothes aren’t too tight a fit. When washing them ensure that the cleaning products used are not the harsh and heavily fragranced varieties that are likely to result in skin irritation.