By Abby Vinas
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Sensitive skin types are easily aggravated by harsh products, weather, or free radicals that result in rashes, stinging and/or blotchy patches. We know it's no fun and can get really frustrating, but did you know there might be parts of your daily routine that are making your skin extra sensitive without you even knowing it? Wondering what these are?
1. You're washing too often and with hot water
As a general rule of thumb, avoid hot water, as it strips the skin of your natural oils and promotes dryness. Use lukewarm water instead and maybe even wash your face less often, too.
2. You're over-exfoliating
If you want to exfoliate, be cautious and do it only one time a week using a gentle, alcohol-free exfoliant (no loofahs, brushes or scrubs). Over-exfoliating strips the skin from its natural oils, causing irritation.
3. You're using the wrong makeup
Try to opt for makeup that’s mineral-based, since it doesn’t contain any harsh ingredients that can cause redness and irritation.
4. You're using too many products
Reduce the number of products you use on your face every day – especially makeup – to simplify your skincare and help your complexion clear up. However, be sure to apply your moisturizer daily to give it the soothing hydration it craves. Make sure to use a moisturizer that doesn't have any harsh ingredients that can damage your skin.
5. You're not drinking enough water
Staying hydrated is probably one of the easiest ways to keep your skin healthy and supple, as it helps your body to flush out toxins. Drink plenty of water, especially if you are planning to hit the gym or workout.
6. You're using fragrances, chemicals or dyes in your beauty, household products or clothing
Read the labels to avoid irritants that can worsen your condition. Not only stick to gentle, plant-based skincare products but also stay away from these irritants in laundry detergent and hair care products! Be diligent, avoiding harsh surfactants that can cause a reaction.
7. You're not patch testing
The best way to tell whether or not new skincare products will trigger a flare-up in your sensitive skin is to start by applying a small square patch on your wrist before rubbing it across your full face. The skin on your inner wrist is thin and comparable to the skin’s facial thickness, so it’s a good way to test for allergic reactions before your entire face is covered in hives or red splotches.
8. You're applying skincare products in downward strokes
The tiniest details can make the biggest difference, such as the direction in which you apply your skincare goodies. Move in upwards strokes as you apply your products so that you’re constantly uplifting the skin as you spread it out. Pulling down on the skin can incur more damage to the already-strained cells.
If you have a severe reaction to a certain product or products in particular, it likely means that you have an allergy to or sensitivity to a specific ingredient. Skin that persists to display signs of redness or irritation – even in the absence of any product use – might indicate a more severe condition like Rosacea, Psoriasis or Eczema.
These types of skin conditions are more severe than sensitive skin, and it is recommended you speak to a dermatologist or medical professional to diagnose any of these skin abnormalities and determine the best choice of treatment.
Abby Vinas has long been an active member of the holistic health community, advocating in favor of its benefits to both our physical and emotional well-being. Her commitment to leading a healthy lifestyle has made her an authority on self-care practices. Abby is passionate about fitness, nutrition, and proper skincare, and is also an avid lover of avocado toast and dog-petting.