Caring for Sensitive Skin: Best Practices and Products to Avoid

Signs of Sensitive Skin

There isn’t a specific definition of “sensitive skin.” It’s more about describing its condition. Therefore, sensitivity can manifest in both dry and oily skin types. It results from a compromised protective barrier, loss of elasticity in blood vessel walls, insufficient sebum production, and nerve endings located close to the surface. Sensitivity is often observed in individuals with fair or red hair and thin epidermis. You can recognize sensitive skin by these signs:

  • Persistent tightness sensation.
  • Burning and itching after contact with hard water, soap, or synthetics.
  • Tingling or prickling sensation.
  • Skin redness (especially in low temperatures).
  • Dryness after bathing.
  • Burning sensation after consuming spicy food.

What Can Trigger Sensitivity?

The nature of sensitive skin can be acquired or inherited. Thus, it’s essential to classify the causes within the framework of sensitive skin types:

Type 1: Hypersensitivity arises rapidly due to severe stress, emotional overload, medication intake, climate conditions, or insufficient vitamin intake. The hallmark of this type is the rapid onset and subsequent rapid alleviation of symptoms.

Type 2: Sensitivity occurs in conjunction with certain illnesses. This could include coronavirus, liver diseases, dermatological issues, metabolic disorders, or gastrointestinal tract disorders. Increased sensitivity can also result from hormonal imbalance, allergies, or infections.

Type 3: Sensitivity in this case is triggered by aggressive skincare and low-quality cosmetics. Peels, acids, or products with high alcohol content can disrupt the skin’s upper protective barrier, causing redness, flakiness, dryness, or tingling.

Type 4: This is an inherited type transmitted genetically. It doesn’t necessarily manifest immediately after birth. Often, sensitivity arises due to some triggering factor, such as severe stress.

Other factors that can contribute to sensitivity include:

  • Age-related skin changes. As we age, the epidermis becomes thinner, lipid synthesis decreases, and the number of aquaporins necessary for water delivery to cells diminishes. As a result, there’s moisture loss and increased sensitivity.
  • Body condition. This could be pregnancy, puberty, hormonal imbalances, which can weaken the skin’s barrier function.
  • Climate. In hot climates, the body’s water loss intensifies, leading to dehydration and increased skin sensitivity.
  • UV radiation. Sunlight causes the formation of free radicals, leading to damage to the skin’s protective barrier, slowed regeneration, and increased sensitivity.
  • Smoking. Nicotine negatively affects the skin, causing the formation of free radicals, constricting blood vessels, and impairing skin nutrition.

What Cosmetics Does Sensitive Skin Need?

If cosmetics are chosen incorrectly, the skin gradually becomes dry, dull, lifeless, and loses its strength and elasticity. To provide proper care for sensitive skin, it’s crucial to pay attention to the composition of home skincare products. They should contain such components as:

  • Plant oils: Natural ingredients actively nourish the skin, soften, restore, and strengthen its protective functions.
  • Hyaluronic acid: Helps retain moisture in the skin, nourish, and moisturize it.
  • Allantoin: Reduces redness, dryness, irritation, moisturizes, and nourishes cells.
  • Vitamin E: Known for its excellent protective functions against free radicals, helps smooth wrinkles.
  • D-panthenol: Helps restore and soothe irritated skin.

Care Rules

Each step of caring for sensitive skin is essential as it requires delicate treatment to restore protective functions.

Step 1: Cleansing

It’s hard to imagine proper skincare without gentle cleansing in the morning and evening. Morning cleansing is necessary to remove accumulated overnight dirt, refresh, and prepare the skin for makeup application, while evening cleansing is to remove makeup and prepare the skin for bedtime care. Skin cleansing should proceed in two steps:

  • Makeup removal using micellar water, light lotion, or milk. Be sure to check the composition of the cosmetic product, especially if it can be used to remove waterproof makeup. It’s essential that it doesn’t contain aggressive components.
  • Washing with a mild foam or gel cleanser containing moisturizing ingredients.

Step 2: Toning

Once the face is cleansed, it needs to be moisturized. For this purpose, a toner can be used to prepare the skin for applying nourishing cream or serum. If the toner is chosen correctly, it will instantly relieve the unpleasant sensations of tightness, dryness, and flaking.

Step 3: Applying Cream or Serum

At this stage, soothing, nourishing, and moisturizing products are applied to the face. Emollients, which promote the restoration of the skin’s protective layer, regulate the water balance, and restore cell exchange processes, should be preferred.

Step 4: Applying a Mask

This step doesn’t need to be done daily. It’s enough to use masks 2-3 times a week. These can be cream, gel, or sheet masks containing a high concentration of active ingredients for skin restoration and hydration.

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