This week we partnered with Alana Mitchell, CEO of alanamitchell.com and skincarebyalana.com, to give you everything you need to identify if you have sensitive skin! Check out her article below:
For the most effective skincare routine that produces optimal results, being able to identify yours kin type is key. We all have one, even “normal” is considered a skin type. But if your skin seems to take a U-turn from “normal” by easily turning red, irritated, and flaky at the slightest thing, you may be experiencing sensitivity.
If you feel like you’re constantly trying to find ways to soothe your skin issues, and can’t purchase certain products because of fear of a reaction, then read on!
What Causes Sensitive Skin?
Any number of things can contribute to irritation. Genetics, environment, weather, hormones, hard water, and various household products can all be at the root of these types of reactions.
According to The International Society of Dermatology, 44.6% of Americans claim to have sensitive to extremely sensitive skin. (1)
If you think you may have sensitive skin, be mindful of the products you use. You can’t control the climate, your genes, or hormones but you are in control of the products you’re buying. Makeup, lotions, detergents, soaps, and more can all cause flare-ups. Unscented, natural versions of these products can help ease and soothe your skin.
How To Identify Skin Sensitivity
Is your skin easily irritated? Is it prone to getting inflamed, itchy, or dry? Whether you’re trying a new product, generally overheated, or susceptible to razor bumps after shaving, your skin type may have a reaction to just about anything. Sensitive skin can present itself in a variety of ways: acne, razor bumps, redness, and dryness. Even being prone to rashes and hives because of a new product are a sign of sensitivity.
The most common signs of sensitive skin:
- Skin reactions such as pustules, skin bumps, or skin erosion
- A dry flaky appearance
- A tendency toward blushing/skin flushing
Eczema and rosacea are also common skin conditions in people with sensitive skin. According to the National Eczema Association, 31.6 million Americans have eczema (2) . Similarly, the American Academy of Dermatology reports approximately 7.5 million people in the US have psoriasis. (3)
A proper skin care routine is essential, no matter what your skin type may be. For sensitive skin, washing the face once per day should be enough to keep it clean (if makeup is applied, this is a given). Exfoliating, it must be noted, can worsen skin that is already prone to sensitivity.
- Try a patch test: If you want to buy a new makeup item, soap, or lotion but are worried about the potential effect it can have on your skin, do the “patch test.” Test the new product on a small patch of skin for 24 hours to “sample” it out, especially if you’re considering a new facial product. Beauty samples are your new best friend! Patch testing can also be used to identify signs of allergies that care causing or contributing to your sensitive skin. It’s difficult for doctors and dermatologists to narrow down exact causes, so a patch test can be very helpful.
- Calming ingredients, like green tea, chamomile, and aloe are beneficial for soothing skin. A cream-based, calming moisturizer is the way to go. Though you can use a natural moisturizer like coconut oil on days when your skin is feeling extra dry. A general rule to follow when shopping: the fewer ingredients listed in a product, the better off your skin will be.
Regardless of whether your skin is prone to acne, it’s important to note that products containing acids, such as lipoic acid, glycolic acid and salicylic acid, may be irritating to sensitive skin. For that reason, caution must be taken with any skincare product containing these types of active ingredients.
Bonus tip: to help prevent fine lines and wrinkles and help reduce irritation, sensitive skin sufferers can use a mild retinoid every night followed by a moisturizer to stimulate collagen production.