Dermatologists define sensitive skin as very dry skin, which is prone to skin reactions such as pustules, skin bumps or skin erosion and has a tendency toward blushing and skin flushing. Excessively dry skin can no longer protect nerve endings, thus leading to sensitive skin reactions.
In addition to dryness, some other causes of sensitive skin reactions are skin disorders or allergic skin reactions, such as eczema, rosacea or allergic contact dermatitis.
Excessive exposure to environmental factors like sun and wind or excessive heat or cold can also cause sensitive skin to react. Underlying factors as well as genetics may cause your skin to have increased sensitivity.
Sensitive skin reacts badly to sunlight, chemicals in skin care products, excessive use of makeup and dehydration. Plus, it is more prone to dryness, itchiness and redness. The degree of sensitivity varies from person to person.
Since such skin is highly reactive and delicate, it needs extra care and special attention. Taking care of sensitive skin requires patience, but once you know how to take care of it, nothing can prevent you from enjoying healthy, glowing skin.
Here are the top 10 ways to take care of sensitive skin.
1. Drink Lemon Water Daily
Those who have sensitive skin must start their day with a glass of lemon water. The vitamin C as well as other antioxidants in lemon help combat free-radical damage. In addition, lemon water purges toxins from your blood, which helps keep the skin glowing and free from acne, blemishes, wrinkles and other problems.
To make lemon water, squeeze the juice from ½ lemon into a glass of lukewarm water. Add a little raw honey and drink it on an empty stomach every morning. Wait at least 30 minutes, then enjoy your breakfast.
In addition, drink water throughout the day at regular intervals to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized from within. It also helps the body flush out toxins.
2. Use Sunscreen Year-round
Sunscreen is very important to protect sensitive skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. As most sunscreens contain toxic ingredients or endocrine-disrupting chemicals that may harm sensitive skin, use a sunscreen with ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
These ingredients offer broad-spectrum protection without causing any side effects. It is best to go for a physical or mineral formula. Also, stick to a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30, which blocks 97 percent of UV rays.
Be it summer, winter or cloudy days, do not leave your house without using a sunscreen. Apply it 20 to 30 minutes before you go out in the sun.
Also, avoid being outside during the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are strongest, wear a large-brimmed hat and wear loose clothing to cover exposed skin.
3. Choose Skin Care Products Carefully
Be it a cleanser, moisturizer, soap or a face pack, you need to buy the right products for your sensitive skin.
Avoid using skin care and cosmetic products that have alcohol, harsh exfoliants, sodium lauryl sulfate, petrochemicals, acids, coloring agents, or synthetic fragrances as these can irritate the skin.
Instead, choose products that have powerful antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory ingredients like white tea, green tea, aloe vera, chamomile, marine plants, calendula and oats. Moreover, the fewer ingredients in a skin care product, the better it is for your sensitive skin.
If you have trouble finding the right type of cosmetic and skin care products, go for products labeled “hypo-allergenic” and “fragrance-free”.
Always do a patch test before buying any new skin care product. If you are not sure about a product, get advice from an expert before you buy it.
4. Go Easy on Cosmetics
People who have sensitive skin must be very careful when buying as well as applying makeup.
If you have sensitive skin, use a face powder containing few preservatives, a silicone-based foundation for minimal skin irritation, pencil eyeliner and eyebrow fillers, and avoid using waterproof cosmetics. Plus, stay away from complex anti-aging products.
Throw out old products and do not share makeup with others. Also, as far as possible, avoid using too much makeup.
5. Moisturize with Coconut Oil
Extra-virgin pure coconut oil is a natural moisturizer for sensitive skin. It has a good amount of fatty acids that help keep your skin well moisturized and prevent dryness. Coconut oil penetrates deeply into the pores, nourishing and moisturizing from within.
In addition, coconut oil treats conditions like psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It can even protect the skin from sun damage.
Before going to sleep, simply apply coconut oil on your face, arms and legs and massage with it. Wash it off in the morning. Do this daily to make your skin soft and smooth. For a soothing bath, mix 1 cup of raw, extra-virgin coconut oil in hot bathwater. Soak in it for 15 minutes and pat dry thoroughly.
6. Cleanse with Milk
Raw milk is an excellent cleanser for sensitive skin. In addition, milk has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that help get rid of dry and itchy skin. It also helps keep the skin moisturized and enhances skin complexion.
To use milk as a cleanser, dip a cotton pad in raw milk and dab it on your face. Leave it on for 5 to 15 minutes, then rinse your face with lukewarm water.
To make a moisturizing raw milk face mask, add ½ teaspoon of gram flour, also called besan, to enough raw milk to make a paste. Mix in a few drops of raw honey and rose water. Apply it on your face and neck, leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse it off using lukewarm water. Use this face mask once a week.
7. Pamper Your Skin with Rose Water
The natural cooling, astringent, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of rose water are good for sensitive skin. It also helps balance the pH level of the skin without making it too oily or dry. Moreover, being natural, it does not cause any kind of skin reaction.
Rose water works as the best toner for sensitive skin. Regular use of rose water as a toner can help prevent wrinkles, tighten pores and add a wonderful glow. Before going to bed, spray some rose water on your face and massage gently.
It also works as a natural makeup remover. Just dampen a cotton ball with rose water and use it to gently remove your makeup. You can also add 2 cups of rose water to your bath for a divine experience that will soften and add freshness to your skin.
8. Eat Healthy Foods
Eating a healthy diet is good for sensitive skin as well as your entire body. Pay attention to getting the right balance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, omega-3s and monounsaturated fats in your diet to keep your skin healthy and avoid dry, irritated skin.
Increase your intake of anti-inflammatory foods, such as olive oil, garlic, turmeric, ginger, tart cherries, wild salmon, spinach, sweet potatoes, blueberries, walnuts and avocados. These foods will reduce inflammation and benefit sensitive skin.
Some foods that can cause skin reactions in people with sensitive skin are gluten-based foods like wheat bread, soy sauce, beer, cereals and anything else containing wheat flour, rye and barley. Soy and soy-based foods, eggs, red wine and foods with artificial colors and preservatives can also cause problems.
9. Switch to Green Tea
Green tea is good for people with sensitive skin. It is full of antioxidants, which help protect the skin from harmful free radicals and keep it rejuvenated and youthful. It also helps soothe your skin.
Drink a few cups of green tea daily to help fight off various signs of aging and reduce sun damage. Plus, you can keep brewed green tea in the refrigerator and use it to clean your face.
You can also opt for skin care products that have green tea as one of the main ingredients.
10. Exfoliate Weekly
Exfoliating your skin is important for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It helps remove dead cells on the skin’s surface, in turn speeding up the skin renewal process and improving your skin texture.
Exfoliation also helps reduce the occurrence of blackheads and acne breakouts. In addition, regular exfoliation allows the skin to better absorb serum and moisturizers.
A very gentle way to exfoliate sensitive skin is to make your own exfoliating mask using natural products. Mash up some strawberries and add a little yogurt and ground oatmeal to make a thick paste.
Apply this paste on your clean face and gently massage using circular motions. Rinse it off using a washcloth soaked in cool water. Finally, apply a mild moisturizer.
Do not over-exfoliate sensitive skin. Once every 8 to 14 days is sufficient.
- Do not use hot water to cleanse your skin.
- Do not use petroleum-based products on sensitive skin.
- Keep your skin care regimen simple in both process and ingredients.
- Avoid extreme temperatures – hot or cold.
- Do not over-stimulate the skin with massage, rubbing or excessive or harsh cleansing.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking.
- Keep track of your allergens and avoid them.
- Exercise daily to boost blood flow to the skin.