Today’s post is probably going to be a little bit more rambly than usual but I wanted to talk about sensitive skin. Sensitive skin can be a real problem in day to day life and as someone who suffers with it myself I thought I’d share some of my tips, tricks, advice and product recommendations with you. I hope that you find this post useful.
What causes sensitive skin?
In all honesty there’s many different reasons for sensitive skin and sometimes there isn’t always a solid answer. Some of it may be genetic, I know that sensitive skin runs in my family so I have family members who suffer with different skin concerns, external factors such as diet can also affect the skin as can illness and stress. Sensitive Skin can be even due to allergies, I myself find that some skincare products I can use whereas others will irritate. Generally speaking sensitive skin can last a life time but it truly depends on each individual.
How do I know if I have sensitive skin?
I was unaware that I had sensitive skin until I turned eleven. I was trying some skincare products including the Beauty Fluid by Olay and some Simple skincare products and I realised that my skin felt very different to normal. My face turned tight and itchy, red blotches appeared and it felt sore and swollen. I had had that reaction before as a child when I realised I was allergic to face paint after having it painted, I also learned as I got older that certain brands such as Montagne Jeunesse Face Masks and even occasional products such as the Lancome Gel Eclat Cleanser caused by skin to feel the same way. I realised that I had sensitive skin that is most likely caused due to an allergy of some of the chemicals or ingredients used in the products.
I don’t have the exact symptoms above but I do have skin problems what do I do?
If you ever experience problems with your skin be it layers or dry skin, feelings of extreme tightness or soreness or you have any strange looking rashes then your first port of call should always be the GP. There is a whole hoarde of skincare illnesses, conditions and diseases out there but chances are that your GP has seen it before and can treat it. This can also include any problems you have with your scalp as it is still part of your skin. The skin is an organ of the body so it’s very important to take care of it, no matter who disgusted or scared you may feel it’s always worth getting checked out – usually the doctors will be able to provide creams or medications that will help keep it under control.
I think I have sensitive skin, what products should I avoid?
Unfortunately I can’t tell you exactly which products to avoid, because everyone’s skin is different, you may fall under the category of sensitive skin but everyone has their own preferences and this is very subjective. Over time I realised after using them that I can’t use Olay, Simple or Montagne Jeunesse products but that was after trying them. Usually with products such as hair dye, perfumes or even skincare a patch test is a good idea, this is where you apply a small amount of product to somewhere such as your arm (or with hair products a strand of hair) and you leave it for a few hours without rinsing. If said area starts tingling, hurting or reacting then you know that you are most likely allergic to the product and you can safely avoid it. If you are pregnant or have severe allergies though it is always best to consult your GP usually these instructions and warnings are on the box of the product.
*Tips and Trick – Don’t ever use someone elses medications or cream, products such as steroid cream which aid with eczema and psiorisis actually thin the skin which can lead to broken capillaries.
Is there any ingredients to avoid?
There isn’t a specific ingredient that I avoid as such but I am wary of products containing alcohol and parabens. Alcohol can often dry out the skin and strip it, and parabens which are often used to preserve a product can also be damaging to the skin. I also tend to try to avoid products with a heavy perfume, I will most likely never try Chanel skincare because chances are that the amount of perfumes and scents added to the product will irritate my skin. I often research a product one websites such as makeupalley to try and find if it will be suitable for my skin. That doesn’t mean I refuse to use these (eg my Origins GinZing eye cream is paraben free but contains alcohol) but if it doesn’t contain alcohol and parabens then that makes me happier.
*Tips and Tricks – If you are allergic to products try and compare the packaging and see which ingredients appear in all of them eg parfum, this could be the ingredient which is causing problems.
Is there any information out there about skincare and sensitive skin?
Of course! You can’t believe everything that you read on the internet but there are two resources that I throughly trust and that have more information on both sensitive skin and ingredients used in products. For information about ingredients particularly Parabens the FDA (U.S Food and Drug Administration) offers guidelines. I also like the website Paula’s Choice who explains (in depth) skincare way better than I ever could.
*Tips and Trick – Go easy on exfoliation be it chemical or physical, overexfoliation can be stripping on the skin.
What products would you recommend?
Again this is completely subjective so please don’t take my word as gospel on this but these are a few brands that I have tried that I find to be suitable for my sensitive skin:
La Roche Posay
Amie (I’ve not tried this but it’s aimed for young and sensitive teenage skin.
That concludes this post on sensitive skin, if you enjoyed this or found it useful please hit the like button and feel free to leave your thoughts and questions in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.