Skin sensitivities can change a lot over your lifetime. Some people can be born with atopic eczema and can grow out of it as they get older and others can have strong, resilient skin as a child and develop skin sensitivities later in life. The key to managing sensitive skin is to listen to your skin and try to work with it, rather than against it.
Everyone’s skin is different, but here are some common things that can contribute to inflammation in the skin:
- The wrong skin care products: harsh chemicals like synthetic fragrances and strong actives, badly formulated products (not Ph balanced) and many natural products with super high levels of essential oils can be to blame.
- Extreme temperature changes : cold drying wind, harsh sun or snow, extreme humidity, controlled environments with strong heating/cooling and very hot showers.
- Allergies : allergies can present in different ways in different people. Some foods can cause skin to react, whilst other allergies can happen from ingredients in your skin care products.
- Genetics : some people are just born with skin sensitivities or skin conditions. In that case, you only have genetics to blame, or your parents.
- Skin conditions – e.g. acne, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis etc
So you have sensitive skin, what should you do?
AVOID YOUR TRIGGERS: Identify them. Avoid them. And protect yourself from coming in contact with them.
BE GENTLE: Use only gentle, good quality skin care products on your face and body that are designed for sensitive skin.
- Strong chemical actives
- Synthetic fragrances (if it smells of anything strong – don’t use it)
- Know your natural allergens (most strong essential oils)
- Traditional soap (including Castile Soap as it has a high pH)
- Harsh exfoliants on face and body (incl. scrub mitts and loofahs)
- Toners with SD Alcohol or witch hazel (personally, we think you should just pass on toner altogether)
WATCH THE TEMPERATURE: Avoid very cold or very hot water (lukewarm is ideal). If you are going to be in extreme weather conditions (like skiing) protect your skin with a barrier cream.
CLEAN TOWELS : For skin that is sensitive or prone to eczema or psoriasis, always make sure to use clean towels. Avoid sharing towels with others, as sensitive skin is more prone to infection. Try to pat your skin dry rather than rubbing it with a towel.
MOISTURISE, EVERYDAY, ALL OVER: After drying your skin, always apply a good quality, deeply hydrating oil designed for sensitive skin. It will help to prevent loss of moisture, but will also protect from environmental factors throughout the day.