The human’s skin is basically divided into 5 common types. Dry skin, oily skin, sensitive skin, a combination of 2 or more types altogether, and normal healthy skin, these are the 5 common types you’d find.
Now, if you are wondering what is the most challenging type to care for and maintain, the answer is simply the sensitive type of skin. You would have to take a lot of precautions to take care of your sensitive skin to maintain it in the utmost healthy condition.
In this article, we will be introducing a full guide on the characteristics of sensitive skin, main causes, and how to fully take care of it. We will also show you how to deal with seasonal skin allergies if you have sensitive skin so you avoid any major complications from occurring.
What is sensitive skin?
Simply, sensitive skin is the type of skin that is easily irritated by different factors such as high or low temperatures, uses of certain skincare products, and also it could be genetic. It is referred to as a reaction of the skin to a physiological or pathological condition, mainly in the face and upper chest part of the body. Resulting in many different types of symptoms such as burning, itching, and redness of that part of the skin. The most challenging problem about sensitive skin is that it can happen on any type of skin, just like the aging of the skin happens to us.
However, there is a misconception when symptoms such as tightness, redness, or allergies occur. Many people relate those symptoms with sensitive skin problems when it is not the case. In the next part, we will be discussing the main characteristics of sensitive skin so you become more aware of it and avoid any confusion with another skin discomfort or abnormality.
Sensitive skin characteristics
- One of the main obvious characteristics is a significantly thinner part of the skin. That part will be constantly affected by allergic reactions and will have red-like color spots on it.
- If your skin is more likely to start reddening due to general seasonal changes in the weather around you, then you have sensitive skin.
- Finally, if the skin is prone to inflammation, itching, tingling, and redness from some skincare products, this is usually because the skin is of the sensitive type.
What are the causes of sensitive skin?
The causes usually attributed to genetic factors, There different profiles of sensitive skin such as intolerant, red, and dry or dehydrated that can indeed be very sensitive. But, all of these factors have one thing in common which is hyper-reactivity of the epidermis when exposed to the environment or even cosmetics. Now, let’s go through these factors and causes in detail.
Individual factors such as genes, sex, the hormone level in the body, and also mental factors. Recent studies have shown that, more often than not, sensitive skin is associated with genetic factors, and that it is also more likely to appear in women more than men. Also, younger individuals are prone to sensitive skin more than older people.
Chronic sensitive skin is also mostly due to genetic factors. It is characterized by a very skin and fragile skin layer with an obvious red blood filament or wire-like shapes on the skin. Such skin is inherently sensitive to changes in the external environment.
On the other hand, some individual factors are not genetic and are, in fact, acquired. These factors simply happen due to inappropriate skincare behavior, resulting in skin sensitivity and fragileness. Also, lack of sleep and exercise, irregular eating habits, mental stress, aging, and allergies could be one of the main factors to elevate skin sensitivity.
External factors are the factors that cause the skin to develop a specific reaction and resulting in sensitive skin after a while. Physical factors for example such as the sun could pretty much damage the skin cells and cause the skin to be very fragile and thin. There is also the chemical factor resulting from cosmetics, cleaning products, and even polluted air that will affect the skin in a very negative way. And finally, there is a medical external factor that can cause sensitive skin from the use of a specific prescription drug or post a laser treatment surgery applied on the skin.
Othe skin diseases
Sensitive skin can also be the outcome of certain skin diseases you may have. About 66% of women with atopic dermatitis and 57% with acne or eczema, are suffering from sensitive skin.
How to take care of sensitive skin?
The short answer is simply by improving your body’s overall immunity. The body’s immunity is the main protection in taking care of your sensitive skin as it will enhance the skin’s tolerance against inflammations and will improve the skin barrier’s repair function. Here is how you can start.
Regulate psychological state
Health education and awareness is a very essential thing when it comes to skin protection. You should be more aware of the external factors that could trigger skin sensitivity such as the excessive sun’s exposure, spicy food, alcohol, emotional imbalance, and thermal environments. Also, the over-usage of cosmetics and makeup is also a factor that you should keep in mind and try to moderate cosmetic application on your skin as much as you possibly can.
Regular treatment and medical consultations should be carried out by medical professionals and doctors as this is a very sensitive matter. In fact, the complications of sensitive skin could lead to recurrent seizures if not treated properly.
Sensitive skin has a very thin and weak skin barrier and defense against ultraviolet radiation from the sun. It is also very possible to cause the skin to literally burn. So, make sure you take care of your skin when it comes to protecting it from the sun. For sensitive skin, it is actually best if you don’t expose it to the sun whatsoever, but if you absolutely have to be outdoors, you have to use a strong sunscreen product.
Effective sensitive skincare should be done regularly and carefully. Reasonable skincare at this point should follow the principles of mild cleaning, soothing, and moisturizing. It is not necessary to clean your face too many times every day, you can just mildly clean it 2-3 times a day.
This therapy is known as Cold Therapy. It generally depends on using cold sprays and masks to treat the skin’s tissues and it is very effective in reducing skin’s inflammation and redness.
Red Light and Yellow Light
Red light therapy is also an effective anti-inflammation therapy that improves the skin’s tissue repairing function. While yellow light therapy enhances the skin’s metabolism and elasticity. Both therapies work great in relieving and treating sensitive skin’s symptoms.
Intense Pulse and Radio Frequency
Intensive pulse therapy emits light pulses on the skin to reduce skin’s sensitivity symptoms by blocking expanded capillaries and regulating epidermal cells. On the other hand, radiofrequency therapy can stimulate the rapid increase of collagen type 1 and 3 in the dermis, it also improves the overall tolerance of the skin.
If the symptoms are extreme and serious, you should be seeking medical attention as soon as possible. At this point, the medication is probably the solution to reduce severe inflammations, significant burning, and excessive tingling. Though, it is absolutely crucial to take your medications under a doctor’s supervision for a safer and more effective treatment.
How to deal with seasonal skin allergies?
Changing seasons is a period that elevates a lot of skin allergies, especially to sensitive skin. At that period of time, the skin is prone to a lot of complications. So, here how you can deal with those problems if they occur.
Stay away from anything that triggers your allergy
For example, if you are allergic to laxatives, sleeping pills, etc., you should immediately stop taking them during this period. Also, If you are generally allergic to odors such as pesticide sprays, dyes, and perfumes, you can wear a mask. After mensuration, women may have allergies in extremely cold or hot climates. Finally, many people have food allergies and supposedly they are very aware of it. You should always seek medical attention if you feel a slight allergic reaction. And you should always stay away from anything that might trigger your allergy to take place.
Choose skincare products that don’t contain alcohol, spices, and preservatives
Skincare products that contain alcohol are very likely to cause skin sensitivity because alcohol normally evaporates skin moisture and makes it drier.
Preservatives, on the other hand, are considered to be highly irritant on the skin. And that could directly lead to an allergic reaction. If you have sensitive skin, you should always choose a mild cosmetic brand that contains natural ingredients.
Choose a weak acid cleanser
Try to avoid the use of alkaline ingredients and strong cleanliness products at all times. Strong alkalinity will damage the skin and will eventually cause it to be very fragile. So you can use mild and low-foam cleanser products. But, you can’t use it too frequently and over 1 minute. Excessive cleansing will cause your skin to be more vulnerable.
Moisturize your skin in time
You have to keep your skin moisturized all the time during seasonal changes. Keeping your skin moisturized can protect it from being fragile and dull, especially during the seasons changing period.
Thoroughly remove your makeup
You need to make sure that you completely remove your makeup and don’t leave it on your face overnight. Incomplete makeup removal can lead to many skin problems, such as sensitive skin, dark circles, and wrinkles.
Do not wash your face with hot water
During the allergy season, try to use lukewarm water to wash your face with. Preferably, washing your face with cold water is going to leave it hydrated for a longer period of time.
Daily allergy prevention measures
People with sensitive skin should not only pay attention to skincare but also pay attention to the following things:
- Mattresses, pillows, and quilts may have mites. You have to wash and expose them to the sun on a weekly basis to make sure you don’t face this problem.
- Animal dandruff and hair should be avoided as they are prone to allergies.
- Constantly clean your house so you avoid any kind of infestation, especially in hot and humid environments
Is there any misunderstanding about sensitive skincare?
First of all, the main misunderstanding is women avoiding using skincare products when they have sensitive skin. Because they’re worried about allergies. Actually, if you don’t use skincare products, the skin’s self-healing efficiency will drop dramatically. And the skin will generally get worse.
Second, too much dependence on medication without a doctor’s consultation. Mixing medication with skincare products can lead to some serious problems and side effects. While yes, medication is sometimes necessary, it should always be prescribed under the supervision of a medical professional.
Is there any cosmetics ingredient that we should avoid?
Products that contain fruit acid, salicylic acid, and vitamin A acid are not suitable for people with sensitive skin. These kinds of ingredients can have obvious irritating effects on the skin and are very easy to show allergic symptoms.
Also, a lot of studies show that preservatives and perfumes are the main causes of skin allergies. So we need to avoid preservatives and perfumes as well.
Finally, we suggest you to avoid any spices ingredient in cosmetics as they will cause significant skin inflammation.
What are the most useful ingredients for the skin?
The following ingredients play an integral role in soothing and improving the skin.
- Hazel extracts, cornflower extract, Crataegus extract, blue chamomile, green tea extract, vitamin C, bioactive Peptides, aloe vera, and golden calyx.