If your skin reacts when it is exposed to new products such as soap, cosmetic, shampoo, lotion or perfume, you can be classified as having "sensitive skin". Sensitive skin can be defined as an abnormal skin response to various factors that may be physical or chemical. The response is far stronger than that of normal skin under the same circumstances. All skin types (normal, dry, oily and combination) can be affected, but it is more commonly found in women and in those suffering from dry skin.
Approximately 40% of the population believes they have sensitive skin. Symptoms associated with sensitive skin include: burning, itching, stinging or feelings of tightness, dryness, redness and swelling. These reactions vary in intensity, from mild to severe, and can be intermittent or permanent.
Having sensitive skin can be both uncomfortable and inconvenient as many cosmetics and toiletry products are unsuitable for your skin. Fortunately, it is possible to find products which have been specially developed for sensitive skin. By using these products, taking care to know the ingredients and avoiding potential irritants which may cause a reaction, you can help to keep your sensitive skin under control.
What causes sensitive skin?
Sensitive skin has a tendency to over-react to various physical or chemical factors. The causes of sensitive skin are many, and it is often hard to identify exactly which ingredients or conditions you are reacting to. These factors can be internal and/or external:
- skincare products containing an ingredient which irritates the skin
- skin diseases, such as atopic eczema, contact dermatitis, psoriasis and rosacea
- skin traumas, such as sunburn and aggressive skin treatments like chemical peels and abrasion
- the environment, including cold, heat, pollution and air conditioning
- diet, alcohol, spicy food
Skin care tips for Sensitive Skin
- hormonal status
1. Avoid products with fragrances (even natural ones) as they are the most frequent cause of skin irritation.
2. The next most sensitizing ingredients are preservatives, lanolin and sunscreens.
3. Be aware of additives that may irritate your skin such as "botanicals," "extracts," chemicals, and even vitamins.
4. Check the label to make sure the products you choose are "non-comedogenic"- which means they do not clog the pores and cause blemishes.
5. Avoid products that contain dyes or other colorants. These ingredients can cause skin reactions.
6. Soap can be harsh on sensitive skin so try to use a non-soap cleanser. Avoid grains or other scrubbing materials that may irritate the skin.
7. Use warm, not hot, water and pat dry with a soft towel to avoid irritation.
8. Avoid using too many products at once - or trying several new ones in a row. That makes it harder to identify an irritant if you do have a reaction. If you find something that works - stick with it.
9. If you have an itchy reaction, try not to scratch. Scratching irritates nerve endings, and increases the intensity of the itch. Try placing a hot, damp towel on the affected area for 2 minutes. Repeat as often as required.
No matter how sensitive your skin may be, LINACARE Intensive Moisture Therapy for Sensitive Skin or LINACARE Rehydrating Body Cream (Unscented) can help. LINACARE has been tested for over 12 years to be safe for even the most sensitive skin. It is lanolin-free, fragrance-free, colorant-free, and non-comedogenic. It was specially formulated to help keep your sensitive skin soft, smooth and problem free.