Best skincare for sensitive skin

Have you ever used a product targeted towards sensitive skin and either way right after you put it on, your skin was itching and burning? Mine was, and let me tell you, it was not fun at all. Luckily it doesn’t feel that way anymore, and now it only happens from time to time.

Along the way, I’ve discovered how to deal with sensitive skin and figured some of the best skincare for sensitive skin, as well as some tricks.

What is sensitive skin?

Sensitive skin is not a disease or something specific that the doctor can diagnose you with, it is, however, a very common issue and in case doctors or dermatologists do diagnose it, they tend to look for dry skin, different skin reactions; and for the most part, people have sensitive skin because of other issues.

Some causes for sensitive skin.

  • Products you are using: If you suddenly have sensitive skin and you haven’t had before, or you didn’t have quite often, you should check the products you are using and if there is one relatively new that might be causing the issues.
  • Indirect reaction: Some times sensitive skin can be a reaction to a product that you don’t use directly on the skin. To give an example, it can be your shampoo, or if you wash dishes without gloves or even your perfume. There are many things that and not intended for your skin but they come to contact.
  • Bad treatment: With that, I refer to how one treats the skin. Do you do your skincare routine regularly? wear sunscreen, put on moisturizer? Do you touch your face too often? And when you dry your face, do you rub, or do you gently tap with a clean towel?
  • Dry skin: It is easy to relate itchiness to dry skin, but dry skin can also make the skin sensitive and makes it feel rough to the touch. Very dry skin will also look scaley and it can even bleed a bit.
  • Allergy: There are many allergy reactions to many different things, that sometimes we don’t even realize we are allergic to certain things. Some times we even develop allergies that weren’t there before, for example, I grew up with my cat and when I left for college, I developed an allergy to animals! in the beginning, I thought I was sick until later I discovered that It was an allergic reaction. Allergies are a huge cause for sensitive skin, so if you think you might have allergies or you do have an allergy, then the most probable thing is that your sensitive skin is a reaction to your allergy.
  • Eczema: I had eczema before. It happened the second week after I started my master’s degree. During that time, I moved to another continent, passing from summer to winter and I was so cold that I bought a small heater and I slept with it on. I was also using a retinoid cream every day. I was fine using the cream every day before because I lived in a humid and warm place, but after these changes, the treatment and my routine had to change, and because I ignored the symptoms (my skin was more dry, irritated, red) and everything I knew about skincare thinking that I just needed to get used to the cold and also ignoring that the heater I just bought was extremely drying for my skin. I got eczema in my chin and mouth. I was so embarrassed and it was so uncomfortable, I used to wear my scarf as if it was a mask so I could cover half my face. After that, I decided to not leave the heater on all the time, use the retinoid cream every other day and I stopped covering my face with tons of makeup so I could put a lot of moisturizer during the day. Luckily after that, I never got eczema again because I do pay more attention now and I’m more aware of what my skin needs.
  • Sun exposure: If you have a sunburn your skin will feel sensitive and irritated. Your skin doesn’t necessarily have to be peeling to mean that you have a sunburn. Also, there is a condition called Photodermatosis which makes your skin sensitive to sunlight, producing rashes, blisters, and a scaley-looking skin.

How to deal with sensitive skin

Having sensitive skin is awful. Not only is your skin irritated, but it also itches and in some cases, it feels like it’s burning, and in most cases, it comes with other problems such as dry skin, scaly and cracked skin, etc.

The first thing you should know is that you are not the only one with skin issues in case you feel self-conscious. Other people won’t see your skin as bad as you imagine, so you shouldn’t feel bad about it. Believe it or not, stressing about your skin will only make things worse and create more issues.

Skincare for sensitive skin

  • Use a neutral soap: when you wash your face, try using a neutral, fragrance-free soap, as well as try not to wash your face too often.
  • Moisturizer: try out different moisturizers, not necessarily the most expensive, see which one feels the best. You can seek moisturizers with oats, almonds, or aloe. I find those ingredients great for my skin.
  • Extreme temperatures: If you are outside when it’s very cold, try to cover your face and use a lot of moisturizers, avoid having your heater close to you, and try not to have it on all the time.
  • Be gentle with your skin: avoid rubbing your face when you are drying your skin, but rather tap it gently. Also, when you are taking your makeup off, you can soak cotton on the makeup remover (special for sensitive skin) and leave it on your face for a couple of minutes, you’ll see how easy your makeup will come off and you won’t have to rub it harshly.
  • Hypoallergenic products: You might be allergic to an ingredient that some skin care products might have. In this case, you might be safer using hypoallergenic products.
  • Organic products: Surprisingly, I’m not telling you to use organic products. Don’t get me wrong, if you can, you should use them. I am an advocate for organic skincare. I even wrote a post about organic skincare products and their benefits. The thing is, that organic products contain a high percentage of some ingredients to be effective and organic, and even if you are not allergic to those ingredients, it might cause your sensitive skin. So be mindful, if you have sensitive skin and use an organic skincare product, you might want to reduce it’s use or use it on alternate days. The best thing you can do is to search for certified organic skincare products for sensitive skin.
  • Test products: If you want to know if a certain product you are using is harming your skin, you can put a tiny bit on the side of your hand and wait for 24h to see a reaction, if your skin feels a bit off, even if it’s just a little, it might mean that said product is not suited for you.
  • Use gloves when washing dishes.
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Use sunscreen every single day, no exception.
  • Use Aloe Vera gel to soothe your skin.

What to avoid

  • Hot water: Avoid using very hot water and try to shorten your showers, if you are like me and enjoy hot showers, try to have them just a tiny bit colder and avoid the water hitting your face.
  • Long showers: It has to do with the hot water, try to have shorter showers.
  • Rinse well: Soaps and shampoos are meant to be rinsed. If you leave it on or there is something left, it can lead to sensitive skin and other skin problems. So after using shampoo and conditioner, you should rinse well, not only your hair but also your body.
  • Face Wipes: Face wipes to remove makeup is the worst, especially if you have sensitive skin. They contain many ingredients so that the wipes will remain moist and they have many preservatives.
  • Avoid alcohol: Alcohol makes you dehydrated, and this can cause sensitive skin, so if you feel your skin very sensitive, you should probably skip the alcohol until your skin feels better.

A better feeling skin.

Once you find what is causing your skin to be sensitive, you can see what products are more convenient to use and not to use. Try to avoid what I mentioned before, and try my recommendations, you should see your skin improving. Of course, as I mentioned, sensitive skin can be caused by other issues and health issues, so if you don’t think it’s coming from anything mentioned above, then you should see a doctor and figure out what is making your skin sensitive. Don’t ignore the symptoms if you have sensitive skin thinking that it will pass and get better because it can get worse as it happened to me before.

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