Skincare Tips: Signs of Sensitive Skin and What Can You Do About It?
Most of us are unaware of the fact that we have sensitive skin until much later in life. Until then, we would typically chalk it up to a bad reaction to certain products.
While that may be true, there are other factors at play, such as skin conditions like rosacea (which causes redness, visible blood vessels and at times, pus-filled red bumps), eczema (patches of inflamed, itchy, red, cracked or rough skin that sometimes produces blisters) and allergies.
Signs of skin sensitivity
At times, signs of sensitive skin do not manifest themselves so drastically but there are certain subtle changes on the skin that may suggest that you do, in fact, have sensitive skin.
Isolated cases of rashes and other symptoms may prove to be a typical case of the skin not agreeing with products. However, if you keep experiencing any uncomfortable symptoms often, you might just have sensitive skin.
Do take precautionary measures if you experience itchy skin, dry patches, reactions to sun exposure or fragrances, constant breakouts or burning, or stinging sensations on the skin.
Causes of skin sensitivity
It is vital that you get to the root of the problem if you are experiencing signs of sensitive skin so that you can then avoid, or solve it. Here are some common causes of skin sensitivity:
- 1. Dry skin
- 2. Certain skin conditions
- 3. Irritant or allergic contact dermatitis
- 4. Sun sensitivity
A lack of water and oil makes the skin much more susceptible to aggressors. Hence, dry skin can easily itch, bleed, flake, peel or appear red.
As mentioned earlier, skin ailments like rosacea and eczema are common problems people face. While there isn’t a sure way of determining this as symptoms and stages differ from one person to another, do consult a dermatologist if you are unsure.
You may experience irritant contact dermatitis at one point or another, especially after coming into contact with an irritant that causes only a specific area to react. Allergic contact, on the other hand, comes about after your skin reacts with a new product that has a specific substance that your skin does not agree with. Rashes, bumps, swelling, burning and tenderness may occur on the skin.
Heightened sensitivity to the sun is uncommon, although it does affect a certain number of people. This condition is known as photodermatoses, whereby the UV rays cause the immune system to react, causing the skin to develop rashes, blisters and cracks.
Handling and managing sensitive skin
Dealing with sensitive skin can be quite stressful as anything can trigger or set it off. It may feel like everything can cause irritation, but there are certain habits and skincare changes that you can incorporate into your life to be able to draw improvements. Here are a few things to note:
Sensitive skin is usually extra reactive to hot temperatures, so one of the easiest precautions to take is to wash your face and body with warm water, at most. Avoid hot water if you can.
Forgo exfoliants, astringents and scrubs. Instead, stick to sensitive skincare products. For starters, include a gentle cleanser that is formulated to soothe and cleanse sensitive skin, such as the Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter which also contains Pro-Vitamin B5. Follow up with a toner for sensitive skin, such as the Extra Comfort Toning Lotion which is formulated with skin saviours such as linden, sweet almond, marshmallow and mango. It is vital that you establish a specific skincare routine for sensitive skin.
Experiment with face oils. As sensitive skin is mostly caused by dehydrated skin, oil products would work best to nourish, replenish and comfort the skin. Seek soothing relief with a face oil such as the Santal Face Treatment Oil, which helps with redness, moisture loss and the formation of fine lines.
Double-check product ingredients and avoid artificial fragrances and alcohol. These are two of the most common skin irritants and will set off sensitive skin.
When washing your face, pat it dry instead of rubbing. Remember to always apply a moisturiser for sensitive skin.
Don’t forget the body. Apply a body lotion that would moisturise the skin as well, such as the Tonic Body Balm.
Before trying on new products, do a patch test on a small area of skin for at least 24 hours. Watch out for any signs of irritation or redness before applying the product full-on.