How To Identify Sensitive Skin
There are a number of symptoms, which may help you to identify whether or not you have sensitive skin (should you be in any doubt):
- Your skin reacts quickly to both heat and cold; Sensitive skin burns easily, when exposed to wind or sun
- Skin is easily irritated by detergents, cosmetics and alcohol, leaving the skin red and blotchy, with visible surface veins.
There is some good news however. Sufferers of sensitive skin do not have to go without make-up or skin care products. On the contrary; a common sense approach to make-up and choosing a good quality natural skin care regime will help to reduce the sensitivity over time and will promote healthy, vibrant looking skin.
Choose a Skin Care Regime that makes use of good quality, Natural Skin Care Products
Before you start putting any makeup on your skin, you need to be sure to ‘prepare the surface’, so to speak. The benefits to your skin of following a daily skin care regime using good quality, natural skin care products, can not be underestimated. It is key to ‘normalise’ sensitive skin. The following is a simple step-by-step process anyone with sensitive skin should follow on a daily basis:
- Two or three times a week use a deep cleansing mask specifically formulated for oily skin. Wildcrafted’s Red Earth Medicine Facial Clay has been specifically formulated for dry and sensitive skin and includes ingredients such as Red Clay and Rose Hydrosol, which are beneficial in treating your sensitive skin.
- Wash your face no more than twice a day using a natural pH balanced cleanser. Wildcrafted’s Hydrating Cleanser uses ingredients such as essential oils of Rose and Chamomile blended with Glycerine and Shea Nut Butter to cleanse, soothe and hydrate your sensitive skin.
- Use a toner that is appropriate for sensitive/dry skin. Wildcrafted’s Milk of Roses Toner makes use of Rose and Aloe Very to gently calm, hydrate and condition your sensitive skin prior to moisturising.
- Use a moisturiser designed specifically for dry and sensitive skin. Wildcrafted’s Rose Day Crème contains wholesome oils like Almond, Olive and Jojoba oils in combination with essential oils of Sandalwood and Rose to revitalise the skin and soothes and softens irritated, sensitive skin.
- Use your natural skin care regime every single day.
- Ensure your diet is very high in nuts, grains and vegetables and very low in saturated fatty foods. Consume foods high in vitamin A, such as: Meat, Chicken Liver, Cod Liver Oil, Cheese;
Vitamin B-complex, which includes: Whole grain cereals, wheat, Pulses, Nuts, Green leafy vegetables, Molasses, Meat, Liver, Brewer's yeast;
Vitamin D – some foods such as Milk, Beef liver, Salmon, Tuna, Butter, Sprouted seeds help in the production of vitamin D, and
Vitamin E which is found in: Avocados, Carrots. Cheese: especially Parmesan and Cheddar; Chickpeas, Egg yolk, Green leafy vegetables, Legumes, Margarine, Meats/poultry/fish, Nuts and nut oils, Oatmeal, Olives, Parsnips, Red peppers, Seeds, Soy products and soya beans, Sweet corn, Sweet potatoes, Tomatoes, Watercress, Wheat germ. Use Safflower, Sunflower and Sesame oils in your cooking.
- Drink plenty of water each and every day to help keep your skin hydrated.
Some common sense advice:
The American Academy of Dermatology offers the following recommendations:
- Choose make-up that comes in the form of a powder when possible. Powder cosmetics are not only great at removing shine, they have very few preservatives and contain few ingredients that can cause skin irritation compared with liquid makeup.
- Avoid waterproof cosmetics, which require a solvent to remove them. Solvents are often harsh petro-chemicals which sensitive skin reacts to very quickly and often with quite severe reactions. They also remove sebum, the oily substance made by the sebaceous glands in the skin. Without this oily barrier, also known as the ‘Acid Mantel’ of the skin, sensitive skin is exposed to potential irritants that can cause a beauty breakout.
- Throw out old cosmetics. "Women should keep track of cosmetic expiration dates and throw out any items that have passed their peak," cautions Dr. Bergamo. "Old makeup products can spoil or become contaminated. This is especially true for eye products, which should also be discarded if you experience any type of eye infection." Typical life spans for cosmetic products include 1 year for foundation and lipstick, 3 to 4 months for mascara, and 2 years for powder and shadows. It also is important to wash makeup brushes and sponges regularly to remove accumulated dirt and germs that can aggravate sensitive skin.
- Use black-coloured eyeliner and mascara products. Dermatologists feel that black is the least allergenic of all colorants used in eye products.
- Use pencil eyeliner and eyebrow fillers. According to Dr. Bergamo, "Pencil eyeliner and eyebrow pencils are wax-based and contain pigment and minimal preservatives. They are much less likely to cause problems than liquid eyeliners that contain latex, which may cause a reaction in latex-sensitive individuals.
- Stick to earth-toned eye shadows. Lighter earth tones, such as tan, cream, white, or beige, seem to cause less upper-eyelid irritation. "The higher concentration of pigments in darker colours, such as navy blue, can cause an adverse reaction in women with sensitive skin," Dr. Bergamo speculates.
- Check sunscreen ingredients. Dermatologists recommend daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor 15 or higher. For women with sensitive skin, sunscreen should contain only the physical sunscreen ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Unlike chemical sunscreens that absorb ultraviolet rays, physical sunscreen ingredients deflect the rays rather than absorb them.
- Use products that contain no more than 10 ingredients. The fewer ingredients in a product, the less likely it is to cause a problem. However, irrespective of the number of ingredients in a product, test it first on a small area of skin and see if there are any reactions before you use it over larger areas of your skin.
- Avoid nail polishes. Wet nail polish can be transferred to a person's eyes and face before it dries. This casual transfer can cause problems for women with sensitive skin or allergies to any of the components of the polish.
- Use foundations with a silicone base. Although powder is preferred to protect sensitive skin, women choosing a liquid foundation should look for one with a silicone base. Liquid facial foundations based on silicone do not cause acne, and silicone has a low incidence of skin irritation.