A Guide to Sensitive Skin


What Can Cause Sensitive Skin?

Sensitive skin can be caused by a variety of factors including genetics, environmental factors (such as exposure to wind, sun, or cold), skin disorders (such as eczema or rosacea), skin treatments (such as harsh chemical peels or laser therapy), or certain cosmetic products. It can also be a result of underlying medical conditions or skin infections.

Do Certain Products Cause Sensitive Skin?

Skin can react to a particular ingredient in a detergent, cosmetic, personal, food or even skincare product. If your skin is consistently red, itchy and irritated, a visit to a board-certified dermatologist could clear up some confusion.

Here are some tips for managing sensitive skin:
  1. Identify triggers: Determine what triggers skin reactions and try to avoid them.

  2. Use gentle products: Choose non-irritating, fragrance-free skin care products .

  3. Moisturize regularly: Keeping the skin well-moisturized can help to reduce sensitivity.

  4. Protect from the sun: Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect the skin from sun damage.

  5. Avoid extreme temperatures: Avoid hot showers, baths, and saunas, which can strip the skin of its natural oils and cause dryness and irritation.

  6. Pat, don’t rub: Gently pat the skin dry after washing, rather than rubbing it.

  7. Try to reduce stress in your life. This means something different to everyone. Take time out of your day just for you, spend time with friends, go for a short walk, or consider meditation. If you are unable to deal with your stress on your own, consider speaking with a close friend, find a support group or consult a health care professional.
  8. Avoid personal care products that contain these irritating ingredients: alcohol, camphor, peppermint, fragrance, urea, sodium laurel sulfate, menthol, lactic acid, and glycolic acid. Also avoid toners, astringents, and abrasive exfoliants (such as products with scrubbing beads).

  9. Wear 100% cotton clothing, particularly those items that touch the skin directly. Avoid polyester or other synthetic fabrics and remove clothing tags which may irritate the skin.