Updated: Dec 26, 2019
Our skin acts as a protective barrier. When the barrier isn't functioning the way it should it causes our skin to become vulnerable to irritants such as bacteria, UV radiation and chemicals. The effects of irritated skin can be seen as inflammation, redness, irritation and breakouts.
1. Manual handling
Your skin is like a delicate silk scarf and not a dirty dishrag. It must be treated gently and with care. How you manually handle your skin can be more important than the products you use. Using hard brushes or mechanical exfoliators might actually be causing micro-tears and trauma to the surface of your skin. This repeated trauma, over time can reduce your skins natural barrier function, causing it to be more susceptible to damage. Try switching to chemical exfoliators rather than mechanical ones, washing your face gently and get rid of the harsh brushes.
2. Your skin doesn't need to be squeaky clean!
People get it wrong by washing their faces more than just in the morning and at night. As well as removing dirt, you could also be stripping the skin of its protective oily barrier and irritating it. Why not try to reduce the temperature of the water you wash your face with and only exfoliate once (maximum twice) a week. Listen to your skin, it will let you know what's too much.
3. Go Fragrence-Free.
In general you should try to avoid dyes, sulphates, alcohols and definitely fragrances. Fragrances make your products smell great, which makes them more appealing to you as the consumer but this is the number one irritant to your skin. Watch out for terms and ingredients like 'parfum', 'citronella', 'geraniol' or 'limonene. These ingredients sit on the surface of your skin, irritating and drying out your face.
4. Hard water/ Soft water?
London might be the best city on Earth. Life is better, love is better. One thing that isn't better about the city is the hard water. Calcium and magnesium are minerals within hard water that prevent the soap from dissolving properly when you wash your face. The undissolved residue on the surface of your skin can cause your skin to be sensitive and blemish-prone. The minerals themselves, stay on the surface of your skin and can leave your pores clogged and damaged. The best way to manage hard water is to soften it, by getting a shower filter. Within weeks, you may notice the roughness in your skin and hair settling down.
5. The weather
The winter is a tricky time of year for the skin. The cold air causes the skin to be prone to dryness, dehydration and sensitivity. Its a good time for you to up your moisturiser game. What's more is that many people don't protect their skin from the sun in winter. It may be cold but so long as the sun's out, your skin is still susceptible to UV radiation. Like harsh fragrances, the damage from ultraviolet radiation is sadly only something that you'll be able to see with time.
Leave a comment and let me know if any of these changes help to correct your sensitive skin!
Love Dr. Fab