Do you have sensitive skin? It’s such a loaded question and can mean many things. Figuring out in what way your skin is sensitive can help tremendously when choosing skin care products and treatments. So here’s the “Reader’s Digest” version of this topic. You might be classified as “sensitive” if:
- Your skin flushes and turns red easily. You can blame two things for this – your heredity (it’s commonly seen in those with Northern European, Celtic and Slavic genetics) and the amount of inflammation you have going on in the lower layers of your skin, causing more dilated capillaries (hence the redness on the surface). This kind of skin is referred to as “florid” and inflamed.
- You are the veritable “Princess and the Pea.” You and your skin are more intolerant to discomfort – you have a lower than average pain tolerance. Your esthetician may notice this during a facial or peel treatment and it is an indicator of what is going on in your skin.
- You react to skin care products, cosmetics, laundry detergents, soaps and fabrics with rashes, itching and redness. This can take the form of mere sensitivity or an actual allergic reaction and sometimes one can lead to the other. Your skin is reactive.
- You have an actual diagnosed skin condition. Rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and even acne can fall into this category. Again, you can blame your genetics for this one and a couple of these even fall into the autoimmune category.
So here are a few tips for taming the flaming red dragon:
- Obviously, avoid any product/ingredient that is harsh or irritating to you (synthetic fragrances, colors, preservatives or even high levels of active ingredients can be at fault here) and when you purchase skin care, ask if trial-sizes are available so you can test them out before investing in full-sizes.
- Look for ingredients that help to control inflammation topically like Aloe Vera, Sea Whip, Bisabolol, Willow Bark, Superoxide Dismutase, EGCG and Caper Bud Extract to name a few.
- Look at your food choices to see where there may be sources of
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inflammation, like high-sugar, highly processed foods. Sodas, candy, cookies, sugary alcoholic drinks, refined breads and pastas can all contribute greatly to the amount of inflammation you create systemically (see the recent post “Sweet Nothing’s”). Investigating an anti-inflammatory eating plan can be of great benefit to those with sensitive skin. Also, hidden food intolerances can increase inflammation and greatly aggravate sensitive skin – your licensed healthcare provider can help you uncover these.
- Let your esthetician know on consultation any and all sensitivities you have had in the past so they can create a customized professional treatment regimen to help you control the dragon and live in peace!