As you all probably already know, sensitive skin is very difficult to take care of. You never know when something unpleasant will appear or what will be the reaction to a new cosmetic. What’s more, the treatment of the symptoms can be very difficult. It is challenging to overcome irritation, damage to the epidermis, burning or itching. If you are struggling with such problems, read today’s post and check out how to deal with them effectively.
Skin – what is it for?
Skin is a very important part of the human body because it has two basic functions: it protects against harmful factors from the outside and, at the same time, connects us with the world around. It is a barrier to microorganisms, sun rays, chemical substances and mechanical damage. As we all know well, the amount of these harmful external factors is increasing day by day. Meanwhile, our skin does not always respond in a suitable way to the environment that surrounds us. Thus, we might experience signs that it acquires the characteristics of sensitivity.
What is sensitive skin like?
We can talk about sensitive skin when it shows less tolerance to environmental factors (wind, sun, cold), cosmetics, pollution. What’s more, sensitivity may be accompanied by one of the skin conditions: seborrhea, seborrheic dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, rosacea, acne vulgaris, psoriasis. In this case, we are dealing with a very sensitive skin, which is difficult to treat, and the use of medicinal preparations may contribute to exacerbation of allergic reactions.
How to identify sensitive skin?
The symptoms of sensitive skin can be divided into subjective and objective. The first group includes, among others, the feeling of tightness, pruritus, stinging, burning and pain. Interestingly, such symptoms may be associated with the occurrence of depression or other psychiatric illnesses. The objective symptoms are: visible dehydration and exfoliation of the epidermis, erythema (redness of the skin) and swelling.
How does the sensitive skin react to various cosmetics? We can enumerate:
- skin irritation (burning, pruritus, prickling) resulting from the chemical action of cosmetics, occurs suddenly or after a few minutes;
- blemishes, redness, and exfoliation, which depends on the time of action and the concentration of the substance in the cosmetic and on the individual predisposition of the person;
- allergic changes in the skin that occur after some time from the use of the product, affecting people who are allergic to the substance;
- photoallergic changes – allergy to a given ingredient or cosmetic that was created with the participation of light.
Sensitive skin – causes
The skin can acquire the properties of a sensitive type due to various factors. The causes that determine such state include:
- allergies to skin care products;
- disturbances in the functioning of the epidermal barrier;
- sudden temperature change;
- mental factors;
- associated conditions: Atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, dilated blood vessels.
Did you know that the skin of your face is more sensitive and more susceptible to irritation? It happens because the face has a larger concentration of blood vessels and nerve endings and has a smaller stratum corneum, which is more exposed to various external factors. These are divided into five groups:
- Environmental: pollution, cigarette smoke.
- Physical: UV radiation, heat, cold, wind, air-conditioning.
- Contact and lifestyle-related: cosmetics, water, diet, drugs.
- Of mental nature: stress, emotions.
- Hormonal: menstrual cycle, menopause.
How to take care of sensitive skin at home and at a cosmetologists’?
The most essential step in acne skin care is avoiding the factors contributing to the above-mentioned symptoms. Therefore, products containing salicylic acid, urea, fragrances, and colorants should not be used. It is recommended to use products with vitamin A or its derivatives, AHA or PHA acids. Cosmetics for the care of sensitive skin must be hypoallergenic, must provide protection against external factors, and regenerate the hydrolipid barrier of the epidermis. What’s more, products designed for sensitive skin should moisturize, have anti-inflammatory qualities, and strengthen blood vessels.
As for the at-home skin care, make sure to use products with weightless formula and natural composition, and wash your face in a very careful way. For the cleansing of dry skin, use a delicate lotion, for very sensitive skin – thermal water, for combination skin – micellar water, for seborrhea skin – syndets that are easily washed off the skin surface.
Pay attention to whether the hair washing products irritate your complexion. If so, change them to be more gentle or think about a new way of washing your hair. However, in order to exfoliate your skin, use mild preparations with the content of plant enzymes. Their action consists in dissolving dead skin cells without the need of friction. In the care of sensitive skin, it is also important to use protection against UV radiation through filters and vitamin E. The second most essential step is to moisturize with products rich in unsaturated fatty acids.
Skincare treatments in a beauty salon should be similar to the homemade methods. Oxydermabrasion or cavitation peeling can be used for purification. Iontophoresis or sonophoresis are great solutions as a relief for hypersensitivity and blood vessel reactions to external factors. Masks abounding in collagen and algae, as well as phototherapy and surface scrubs with mandelic acid and chemical peels, will work wonders in sensitive skin care.