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How many natural sensitive skin care products have you come across that come with deep hydrating and healing properties… that made you happy? Usually, they are hard to find.
A. Excessively dry or harmed skin that no longer has a protective layer and exposes the ends of nerves to easily react to anything.
B. Skin disorders like eczema, rosacea or dermatitis (a general term that describes an inflammation of the skin with itchiness and redness).
C. An often and constant exposure to harsh natural elements like sun, wind or excessive heat or cold. People who tend to sail a lot meet all of these criteria.
D. Skin care products.
If you are looking for a brief overview when it comes to sensitive skin, this video (below) will do the trick. Otherwise, read on.
Are you allergic to many ingredients in skin care products? Or does your skin gets overly dry or oily because of the products that you use? As mentioned above, there are many other things that can cause sensitive skin besides products: bacteria, environment, changes to temperature, contact with certain clothes or materials and interpersonal contact.
All of these things can be potential triggers. If your skin is sensitive, have you identified what they are yet? If not, then you can start by examining the products that you already own…one by one. Study which active ingredients are beneficial to you and which ones you must stay away from.
Simply pay close attention during the process, and you’ll be surprised how much information you’ll be able to gather just from this step alone. Since your (and everyone’s) skin changes quite frequently due to such factors as travel, hormone fluctuations, weather - you’ll discover something new each time. So, your primary focus should be on picking out ingredients that cause negative skin reactions and eliminating them when choosing new products.
Let’s talk about “overdosing.” On any given day, the average woman uses at least 20 plus different products on her skin, containing hundreds of chemicals, both synthetic and natural. They influence how oily or dry your skin feels. They may not only cause irritation or allergic reactions, but they also can clog your pores and cause acne.
On top of it, it is possible that they might interact with each other and become more harmful. Something as simple as what you use to wash your face or even the way you wash it, can create a group of complexion issues. For instance, washing your face too often can dry out your skin.
And if you use a cleanser that contains drying detergents, alcohol gel formations or salicylic acid, you can dry AND damage your skin, turning it into a permanent sensitive skin condition. While on the other hand, oil-based cleansers or creams (including oil-based makeup) can cause breakouts.
Some of us are genetically inclined to have sensitive skin, but we all have the potential to acquire it. Overdoing products that break down the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin) cause irritant develop dermatitis (itchy inflammation of the skin that comes in many types) and will trigger an immune response as part of the body’s healing mechanism.
For example, mixing and matching different skin care products can cause serious inflammation. Piling up a retinoid plus glycol acid cleanser and an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) moisturizer increases their strength threefold. If we would translate this mouthful - it would mean that all of these ingredients are meant to break down something on the surface of your skin, so it would look like you are giving yourself a chemical peel every day or even twice a day.
This is how you destroy your complexion. If you notice dry, red and flaking skin around your mouth, nose area or even near your eyes, it is a sign that you use too many products with powerful ingredients.
The main goal of your daily regimen is to maintain the protective surface of your skin. When you use too many harsh products with too many acids, you erode that top layer of your skin and expose yourself to infections and strip it of natural oils and moisture.
Be gentle to your skin and be a constant student of it. In the meantime, don’t complicate things. Simplify as much of this process as possible: identify the problem - find a solution - and stick to a simple, but effective skin-care system. Here are a few more tips that will assist you with simplification…
Run A Test
If you get a product and then have second thoughts, run a personal test. Pick a small and accessible area on your arm, put a drop of lotion on it and gently rub it in circular motion. Once done, put a bandaid over it and let it sit overnight. In the morning, remove the bandaid and you'll be able to tell if your skin is in the same (or in better) condition from the time you began the experiment or if you have some sort of negative reaction.
Using a "controlled area" test will help you identify singes that are contributing to your sensitive skin. Otherwise, it is difficult to identify the real cause. Most sensitive skin care products will be labeled as ‘made for sensitive skin’ … however, it is up to you to be extra careful.
Natural ingredients are less likely to trigger allergic reactions than their synthetic counterparts. If you have existing sensitivities to certain substances and you're aware of them, make sure they are not included (in natural or synthetic form) in the products you use.
Plant families can also trigger allergic reactions. For instance, if you have seasonal allergies that are triggered by goldenrod pollen, then try to stay away from products containing chamomile or plants that belong to the same family.
But in general, if you have sensitive skin, all chemical actives in any creams, lotions, gels or liquids should be eliminated, and instead look for naturally derived ingredients that help coat your skin and protect it against the harsh elements in your environment.
The more natural a product you can get, the less potential irritation you will experience. Also, avoid products with added fragrance (products scented with naturally derived materials (like the actual oils themselves) should be fine). Primarily, focus on ingredients that help to repair or heal damaged skin.
Search for natural elements that will soothe your skin with anti-inflammatory agents, such as kernel extract, olive oil, green tea, seaweed, papaya, chamomile, grape seed oil and sunflower seed oil.
Other ingredients to look for include colloidal oatmeal (only refined) and glycerin (a luscious hydrator that allows the skin to breath), which can soothe the skin and even out skin tone. In addition, aloe vera and sulfur can help treat chronic redness and inflammation.
Puzzled? See a Dermatologist
If you find that your existing skin care regimen is not working or you still have skin issues even after adjusting your regimen, you may want to seek the help of an experienced dermatologist.
A dermatologist can provide specialized medical care, cosmetic skin treatments and/or guide you in the right direction. If you like and trust your physician (or other health care provider), ask him or her for referrals. I was able to find outstanding specialists this way.
Have you discovered a unique cure that worked for your sensitive skin? Please share, so we can all learn.