Is your skin prone to episodes of acne or redness? When it comes to designing a sensitive skin care regimen, it’s best to do a little cautious experimentation, since the last thing you want is to trigger an allergic reaction on your already overly sensitive skin. Make sure you follow our ‘9 Do’s and Don’ts list which will help calm redness, irritation and the other problems associated with sensitive skin.
What causes sensitive skin?
People with sensitive skin can experience symptoms such as redness, dryness, blotchiness, itching, flaking and breakouts. Though sensitive skin can be genetically based (especially conditions such as Rosacea and Psoriasis), most episodes of sensitivity are triggered by external factors. Exposure to sudden cold or hot weather, stress, hormonal changes, too much sun, lack of sleep and using the wrong or harsh products can weaken your skin’s delicate protective barrier, making it prone to irritation.
Do’s for Sensitive Skin Care
1. Be Gentle
Harsh scrubbing or chemical irritants can have adverse effects on sensitive skin. Ensure that you’re using a mild cleanser to cleanse your face and rub it gently to re-establish healthy skin chemistry. Soap alternatives such as African Black Soap, Castile Soap and Yucca Root not only deep cleanses the skin, but also negates the effects of harmful surfactants.
2. Do Patch Tests
Patch tests are essential before you use any new skin care product – even if the product is generally regarded as safe and natural! Though Ayurvedic ingredients are very mild for all skin types, some active ingredients can trigger allergic reactions in certain individuals, making it important to test any new product prior to using.
3. Keep your skin hydrated
Sensitive skin (Pitta dosha) is very different from dry skin (Vata dosha). Keeping your skin moist and hydrated with skin friendly natural ingredients such as Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, and Aloe Vera will not only help rehydrate your skin, but will also promote healing. Under no circumstances should you use products that contain petroleum based ingredients or mineral-oil and their derivatives which can clog pores, trap microorganisms under your skin, and aggravate skin sensitivity.
4. Use Anti-Hypoallergenic products
You must stop using OTC antibacterial products which are laden with chemicals such as benzoyl peroxide. They are the reason for those frequent on-and-off breakouts! Products that contain anti-hypoallergenic or antibacterial ingredients such as Neem, Aloe Vera and Tea Tree Oil are good for sensitive skin.
5. Keep Skin Calm
Certain natural ingredients such as Chamomile, Aloe Vera, Neem and Licorice root (such as those in our SBR Line – Sensitive, Blemished, Rosacea) have the ability to calm down skin irritation. Regular application soothes the skin and minimizes the chances of breakouts.
Don’t’s for Sensitive Skin Care
6. Skip SPF
Excessive exposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays can seriously damage your sensitive skin. Being a Pitta person, make sure that you use a broad spectrum Zinc Oxide sunscreen that is not only super gentle, but also helps soothe your skin. Always make a point to read the ingredient list on your sunscreen and pick the one that will potentially be the most compatible for your pitta skin. A sensitive skin-friendly sunscreen must include factors such as SPF 30-35, is a moisturizing, mineral based sunscreen and that which has zinc oxide as the active ingredient.
7. Products with Artificial Fragrances
Products with artificial fragrances contain certain toxic components such as benzaldehyde, benzophenones, synthetic musk and others that can irritate sensitive skin. As an alternative, you might consider traditional aromatherapy and switching to products that use pure natural fragrances in their formulations via aromatic steam distilled essentials oils of ylang ylang, peppermint, frankincense, orange, and lemon among others.
8. Products containing Alcohol
Alcohol dries out the skin very quickly, which is not at all good for sensitive skin. Alcohol can cause damage to dermal cells and disruption of the pH balance of the skin’s acid mantle.
9. Using Make-up
When you have a sensitive skin, dermatologists recommend you avoid product build-up on your face. Toxic chemicals in foundations, tinted moisturizers, primers, blush and others can seep down into thin, fragile skin and aggravate irritation. However, if going makeup free is not an option, try keeping it to a minimum and choose natural alternatives. Make sure you give your skin the time to heal and breathe.