If you have a sensitive skin, prone to rashes and redness, the problem might lie in some everyday harmful habits.
What does the term “sensitive skin” mean? To begin with, having a sensitive skin type means having a skin that is prone to rashes and irritations when using most of the cosmetics and beauty products around. In addition, sensitive skin can be determined by putting a light-medium pressure on the skin with your fingers, a test which your skin fails if redness appears.
But why even bring this question to the table? Well, simply because it is a term that is commonly misinterpreted and frequently abused. However, the problem is real and many have to deal with issues of sensitivity and skin breakouts.
Therefore, the first step is determining your skin type. If your skin is really that sensitive you can safely move onto the next phase of discovering if the problem lies in your everyday habits that additionally damage your already delicate skin.
Essential Information about Sensitive Skin
As we all know, sensitive skin can be extremely dry and prone to pimples, acne, and other bumps and flare-ups on a daily basis. The guilty parties for these issues are our age and genes, along with the hormones which are influenced by them and our lifestyle habits, as well as the environment.
That being said, we shouldn’t confuse allergic reactions with sensitive skin, as allergies may be just a reaction to a certain product, whereas sensitive skin is vulnerable in general. Additional causes of sensitive skin reactions include skin disorders such as eczema, dermatitis or rosacea, long exposures to sun or cold, as well as skin injuries leading to harsh skin responses.
Habits Which Can Worsen Skin Sensitivity
Many of us are so busy with our daily duties that we don’t have the time or energy to care about our skin and its requirements. Due to such a rushed lifestyle, we often forget about the dangers lurking in every corner. Sometimes we may even become the cause of skin irritations by unconsciously doing what we are used to, without considering the harmful effects some habits have on our skin.
Touching & Picking
Speaking of unconscious acts, do you know how many times you touch your face every day? According to a study, people touch their face 3,6 times per hour on average, while we touch common objects in our environment 3,3 times per hour.
From our fingertips to our face, a lot of bacteria, allergens and viruses are easily transmitted to the skin causing it to burst and react. It definitely worsens the condition of our skin, especially in the presence of acne or other pre-existing conditions.
Consider how many times you touch your phone, tablet or laptop, some of our most beloved possessions these days, which actually gather the most bacteria. Be aware of how often you touch your face and, if you must do it, wash your hands before. And clean your phone, keyboard, mouse and other devices often too.
On the other hand, there is another thing we do despite being quite aware of the negative consequences. We are talking about picking at annoying pimples, of course. But for this one, you know what you should do. Hands off and let it go through its natural stages, or suffer the costs of scars and inflammations for weeks.
Sprays & Other Cosmetics
How often do you use hairspray to fix your hair and keep it perfect for the entire day? While it’s an excellent solution for looking good, it’s definitely not good for our skin. You see, hairspray products are full of chemicals that endanger the skin, and without a dose of protection (like covering your face while you spray away) it can easily become inflamed.
Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of leaving your makeup on when you go to bed or you might not recognize yourself in the morning. Smudged mascara, foundation, toners and all of the makeup essentials you use clog the pores and trap bacteria deep underneath. And where does this lead? It leads to acne, redness, inflammation and overall skin disaster.
Additionally, invest in healthy cosmetics and recognized brands to give your skin a better chance of survival. Don’t choose products by their price, but by their quality, and never overuse products; stick to what works for your skin, and avoid mixing and matching a lot of different beauty products.
As mentioned above, one of the main features of sensitive skin is dryness. For the skin to remain soft and elastic, it needs to stay hydrated. With insufficient water in our body, the skin quickly becomes flaky. For that reason, you need to always have a bottle of water near you and drink as much as you can throughout the day if you want your body to properly cleanse the toxins and significantly reduce sensitive skin issues.
How often and in what manner do you clean pollutants off your face? Although sensitive skin causes worries and stress, less is more when it comes to washing your face and trying to put a stop to skin problems.
Cleansing is one of the basic requirements of skincare, but this routine should be limited to twice a day. Over-washing the face can result in extremely dry skin prone to all sorts of infections, because it disrupts the skin’s natural balance.
The way you do the cleansing can also harm the skin. For example, rubbing harshly with rough cleansers is equal to intentionally destroying your already sensitive skin. The proper manner is to use gentle cleansers and mildly exfoliate the skin and wash your face with lukewarm water. Afterward, embrace the healing and hydration powers of a good moisturizer.
Is Your Cream the Enemy?
Who doesn’t want to smell fresh and delicious? The sense of comfort and instant confidence we get when we know we have an appealing scent is like no other. Still, have you ever wondered if the fragrance has something to do with your sensitive skin?
The common mistake women make is to pick a cream that smells amazing, not being aware of the connection between sensitive skin and certain fragrances. Sorry to inform you, but the scent will not provide any advantage to sensitive skin – on the contrary, it may cause serious harm. Although they may not smell that great, you should look for products based on healthy ingredients such as butters, oils, and extracts derived from nature, without artificial scents added to their formula.
Reconsider your cream choices, particularly regarding the soothing effects they might have on the skin. And don’t think you can’t smell great in the process, as the fragrance issue is solvable by inserting a few drops of chamomile, lavender or other essential oils into the cream – just make sure that they’re compatible with your sensitive skin and that you don’t add too much, since essential oils have a very high concentration.
Sensitivity Needs Sunscreen
Besides the fact that sensitive skin reacts negatively to sun rays and heat, the use of sunscreen protects you from premature aging as well. It can lower the risks and protect the skin from uneven complexion, dark spots, and rashes related to the sun’s effects. One thing to remember though is to select a sunscreen for the sensitive skin type.
Food is the Unavoidable Element
Our skin needs nutrients to stay healthy and radiant. If it is a regular thing for you to skip a meal or live on snacks and greasy cuisine, then you are in trouble. The reason is clear – you are starving your skin of the essential nutrients it needs to thrive.
Rashes and irritations may come from eating too much:
- Gluten based foods
- Diary products
- Food rich in additives and sugar
All of these types of food are fine to be consumed occasionally and in small portions, but overindulging will make your skin more prone to various disorders. Consume more products empowered by omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins in order to provide a protective layer that will keep the skin safe from harm.
No matter how many times we hear of the benefits of getting 8 hours of sleep, we never seem to apply it, or at least not regularly. But the skin needs its beauty rest, so giving up on some of your unimportant obligations to get enough sleep is a good starting point to fulfilling the requirements of sensitive skin.
During a nap, the skin rejuvenates and clears the pores, while with insufficient hours of sleep, the skin soon becomes dull, clogged, and irritated. Therefore, don’t blame the skin, but change your sleeping patterns and let it recover.
Though it may sound strange, pillowcases are a potential cause of your skin’s over-sensitivity. During sleep, they collect dead skin particles, which automatically leads to bacteria and other toxins multiplying.
To prevent skin damage, change your pillowcases regularly and wash them at 90 degrees (or the hottest program on your washing machine). Another useful trick is to iron the pillowcases before you lay your head down.
The best pillowcases to use in order to minimize their negative effects on your skin are those made predominantly of satin or silk – if you use cotton pillowcases, you might want to make a switch.
Stress is a crucial factor when it comes to skin and sensitivity. As the stress levels go up, so does the risk of skin problems. Stress affects your hormonal balance, leading directly to skin disorders.
There is only one solution to this problem – a healthy outlet for your built-up stress. Find something to take your mind off things and calm the nerves – exercise, meditation or a hobby you always wanted to take up but never had the time. Also, if you choose to exercise your way out of stress, note that you must wash the sweat off regularly, or it can yet again cause the skin to flare-up.
To sum up, sensitive skin is often and easily irritated. The only way to block and protect it from toxins is to implement these steps in your daily skin care routine for dry skin. Change your habits to prevent irritations, acne, pimples, and other skin conditions. But most importantly, change them so you can be happy and content.