If you have dry or sensitive skin, you are probably familiar with the discomfort and pain of flare-ups. Redness, flaking, extreme itching, and even cracking/oozing – all of these issues can plague people who suffer from sensitive skin. Aging, cold and dry weather, artificial heating, and certain skincare products can all wreak havoc on your skin and cause you to have symptoms. To help your sensitive skin look and feel its best, you need to establish a skincare routine. Here is a simple and easy to use guide to caring for your sensitive skin.
1 Cleansing your Sensitive Skin
If you have dry and flaky skin, you might be afraid of cleaning it regularly and stripping it of its oils. This is a big mistake, because your skin is attracting bacteria, and is building up a layer of dead skin cells. These things can make your sensitivity worse. If you want to cleanse your sensitive skin effectively, you should consider oil-based cleansing. While this method might seem counter-intuitive, it makes a lot of sense. Oil-based cleansers, such as balms and creams, work by attaching to the bacteria and impurities on the surface of your face without stripping you of your natural oils. As someone with sensitive skin, if you strip the oils from your face, you will be in big trouble. Without your natural ‘sebum,’ your face will crack, peel, and these fissures can bleed, ooze, and even become infected. Remove the oil cleanser with warm water and a soft washcloth – never use hot water.
2 Avoid facial scrubs-acid toner instead
If you have dry and sensitive skin that is peeling and cracking, you might think it is a good idea to remove this shedding skin with an exfoliant. While many facial exfoliants come in the form of harsh, rough scrubs, these can rip the delicate skin right off of your already aggravated face! If you have dry skin that you want to remove, consider an acid toner instead. It may seem counterintuitive to add acid to sensitive skin, but acid-based exfoliants are much more effective at removing dead skin than exfoliants. They can help your moisturizer and serums sink in well to the lower layers of your skin. A nice gentle option is a spritz toner – check out skincare guru Caroline Hirons’ recommendations for spritz toners here.
3 Moisturize and use serums
Once you have cleansed and toned, it is time to ensure that your dry and sensitive skin is well moisturized. Look for a product that is designed for sensitive skin, and that includes natural ingredients. Some calming yet moisturizing ingredients to look out for include avocado, shea butter, murumuru butter, chamomile, lavender, and rose. After you cleanse, gently dry your face and add the moisturizer to slightly damp skin.
4 Wash and change your pillowcase and towels regularly
The bacteria building up on your pillow over a week or longer can aggravate your skin, and cause allergic reactions that lead to skin problems. Change your pillowcase regularly – no less than once a week. Use only a soft washcloth on your face, and change it for a fresh one every day. Use a fresh towel every other day so that you don’t cause further issues.
5 Skip products that have perfumes or synthetic dyes
When you are choosing products to treat your dry and sensitive skin, stay away from anything that contains perfumes or synthetic dyes. These can cause your skin to flare up, and can sting, burn, and cause you to dry out even further. The same rule goes for the detergents and soaps you use to wash your sheets and towels.
6 Stay away from heated rooms and AC
While you might like to crank the AC on hot days or pump up the heat in your car or home when it’s cold outside, you could be making your skin much worse. Only use heat and AC at high levels when you absolutely must, and when you do – take extra precautions. If using electric heaters is your only way to warming less-toasty areas in your home, you can also add humidifier in your room to combat the hot, dry air. This will help your skin stay hydrated even when the temperatures dip low.
Caring for your sensitive skin will keep you looking and feeling your best
By implementing some of these suggestions and building your skincare routine, you can help soothe and cleanse your skin.