8 tips to care for sensitive skin


8 tips to care for sensitive skin

It's hard to find a good skincare routine for skin that burns, irritates and breaks out. Here are tips to make things easier

By Ayat Toufeeq, 
 Cofounder, Powder.ae

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Published: Fri 18 Oct 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 18 Oct 2019, 9:57 AM

Looking after sensitive skin can be confusing - one wrong turn and your skin is either irritated, breaking out or much worse. Sensitivity can be triggered by different factors - either genetic or environmental. Keeping it in tip-top condition requires extra care and attention. However, that doesn't mean it has to be a major chore. Here are eight great tips for those with sensitive skin:
Wear sunscreen
Sensitive skin needs sun protection just as much as any other skin type. If your skin reacts badly to chemical sunscreens, try using a physical (mineral) sunscreen to keep the sun's harmful UV rays at bay. Mineral sunscreens use physical filters such as zinc or titanium oxide to block UV rays. These are less likely to cause reactions in comparison.
Keep a skincare diary
Stripping back your routine and maintaining a skincare journal can help you identify which ingredients lead to breakouts or irritation. This can also help you keep track of whether those expensive products really work for your skin, in the long run.
Be careful with new products
It can be really tempting to try out a number of new products in a desperate attempt to 'fix' your skin when it's already irritated. Unfortunately, this is almost always a terrible idea. It makes it difficult to identify which products are doing your skin harm, and which product combinations are too overwhelming for your skin to handle. Give each product a minimum of 28 days to notice changes.
Make healthy lifestyle decisions
There is no substituting the impact of a healthy lifestyle on your skin - getting plenty of sleep, water and managing stress will make noticeable improvements to all skin types. Sensitive skin, in particular, will benefit from a clean lifestyle as it stimulates your body's natural ability to get rid of harmful toxins. Try to avoid caffeine, sugar, dairy, soy, gluten and some additives, as these may trigger a reaction.
Avoid hot water
Excessive hot water irritates sensitive skin. It can trigger acne and rosacea flare-ups. Very hot water can also strip skin of its natural oils, so not only do you risk scalding your face, you risk dehydrating it too. Wash your delicate skin with lukewarm water, when possible.

Don't use harsh drying products
Avoid harsh cleansers that include sulfates and fragrances. Products with high isopropyl or SD Alcohol 40 may dehydrate and irritate your skin. Even polyethylene glycol (PEG) surfactants, which create foaming, may excessively strip the skin of its natural oils and lead to irritation. Instead, remove your makeup with cleansing oils to dissolve it gently without rubbing. Also, look for gentle, low-pH cleansers, which use non-comedogenic ingredients.
Don't over-exfoliate
Physical exfoliating scrubs are often made with particles with sharp edges that can cause tiny cuts on delicate facial skin, leaving it vulnerable to breakout-causing bacteria. Chemical exfoliators, unless especially gentle and formulated for sensitive skin, can also compromise the skin's natural moisture barrier. Enzyme exfoliants - which gently dissolve dead skin cell bonds and impurities on the surface of the skin, leaving it soft and smooth without causing any harm - are often the best option.
Don't touch your face
Whether or not you regularly wash your hands, picking and touching your face will only spread bacteria and irritants. For this same reason, regularly clean your phone and make-up brushes.
(Ayat Toufeeq is the co-founder of online beauty and skincare destination powder.ae)

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