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FIND BELOW- ESSENTIAL SKINCARE REGIME, SPECIFIC DO'S & DON'TS, DERMATOLOGIST'S VIEWS, DIET RECOMMENDATIONS

Sensitive-skin

DERMATOLOGIST SPEAKS

IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER

DIET

Sensitive skin is hypersensitive to any stimuli due to increased permeability of outer layer of skin and accelerated nerve response. It occurs when skin’s natural barrier function is compromised, causing water loss and causing skin to become susceptible to external irritants, such like bacteria, chemical substances, allergens or others. 

Some people don’t show visible symptoms initially but as the level of sensitivity increases; symptoms become more profound with frequent breakouts, prolonged redness/burning/swelling and scaling leading to skin being categorised as hypersensitive.

Dr. T. K. Gupta (MD, Skin)

  1. Sensitive skin falls into four different categories namely acne breakouts, rosacea, stinging reactions and allergic reactions.
  2. Sensitive skin people should refrain from changing skincare regime, treatment or products. Whenever you need to change always do it slowly over a period of 2-3 weeks. Sudden change can trigger a reaction. Always perform a patch test spanning for 48 hrs; on your inner arm or below your ear. Also always get your regimes devised by professionals.
  3. The triggers for sensitive skin: Sensitive skin varies from person to person hence one must find out individual skin triggers.
    • Environment: seasonal changes, excessive exposure to sun, artificial heating/cooling devices.
    • Lifestyle: stress, excessive use of cosmetics for regular make-up, diet lacking in essential vitamins, swimming in chlorinated pools etc.
    • Medications (oral/topical): prolonged acne medications, certain steroid medicines.
    • Certain skin conditions: atopic dermatitis, scabies, rosacea etc.
    • Hormonal changes during different stages eg pregnancy, puberty etc.
    • Allergens (allergy causing agents) like chemicals, preservatives, pollen, plants, food products etc.
    • Choosing incorrect skincare products and regime: this is extremely important but is usually overlooked. Hence make sure you use only those skincare products that are skin pH friendly, formulated specifically for your skin type/ concerns/ needs, are safe (do not contain toxic/ harmful ingredients in them) for application on human skin. And do not contain fragrances, colorant dyes, cooling ingredients like menthol, surfactants, sulphates, excessive preservatives, alcohols (SD alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, alcohol denatured, ethanol),  certain plant oils eg eucalyptus, peppermint, pure form of Vitamin C, high percentages of glycolic acid, salicylic acid etc.  
  4. People with sensitive skin should be extremely careful at beauty parlours/ salons. Avoid hot wax, steam and harsh chemicals. Make sure you use disposable/ sterilized or your personal towels, strips, combs, instruments used in facials, cleansing sponges etc. Also body spa’s are a big no for you.
  5. Always consult a dermatologist; without any delay; if you are suffering from sensitive skin issues; so that timely treatment can be provided before it flares up to a more severe condition known as hypersensitive skin.

DIET & SUPPLEMENTS FOR SENSITIVE SKIN

  • Avocados are great for people with sensitive skin as they are loaded with Omega-9 fatty acids, known to reduce redness and irritation levels in your complexion. Stock up on berries (strawberry, raspberry): these help to fight off free radicals in the body.
  • Introducing a diet rich in antioxidants & Vitamin A, B2, B5, C, E, Iron and low in carbohydrates, saturated fats can help stressed skin recover and return to a healthier condition. 
  • Supplement your diet with omega-3 fatty acids, flax seed oil, olive oil, nuts, royal jelly, beans etc.
  • Drink Aloe vera juice; it is very soothing for sensitive skin.
  • Consume lots of fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables.
  • Certain processed foods, such as white flour and sugar, can increase inflammation, and reducing these foods in your diet can bring relief.
  • Avoid spicy food and fried food. Junk food/fast food should be zero – it is not healthy and not part of a balanced diet and NOT good for the skin – especially not sensitive skin.
  • Plenty of Clean and Quality Water. In fact start your day with a glass of lemon water. The vitamin C as well as other antioxidants in lemon help combat free-radical damage.

ESSENTIAL SKINCARE REGIME-CLEANSING

TONING

EXFOLIATING

MOISTURIZING

PROTECTING

PAMPERING

ESSENTIAL DO's & DON'Ts of SENSITIVE SKIN

GENERAL SKINCARE DO's & DON'Ts for SUMMERS, MONSOONS and WINTERS

Step-1: CLEANSING (face wash/cleansers)

  • Choose a daily cleanser that helps strengthens the skin barrier function and protects against moisture loss. 
  • Use a mild liquid cleanser that matches pH of skin, is free of artificial colours and fragrance.
  • Avoid high% & low pH AHA’s (glycolic’s/lactic’s) or BHA’s (salicylic’s), surfactants, sulphates, excessive preservatives, menthol, alcohols (SD alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, alcohol denatured, ethanol).
  • Use a non detergent cleanser. Preferably choose ones having glycerin as one of their main ingredients.
  • Go in for cleansers that have smaller ingredient list. It is also a good idea to use baby products as they are quite mild.
  • Do not use a face wash daily unless you have acne prone skin. Wash your face using a synthetic cleanser or regular face wash only on alternate days. In between use good quality cleansing lotions, cleansing milk or baby oil.
  • Face wash with anti-bacterial properties should be used by those who are prone to acne breakouts.
  • For body- use a soap or body wash which is skin pH friendly and has glycerin as one of its main ingredient.

You can also read the DO’s & DON’Ts of CLEANSING

Step-2: TONING

  • You can skip this step if your sensitive skin is not prone to acne.
  • Prefer water based toners over witch hazel based ones.
  • Avoid toners prepared from plant extracts or have artificial fragrance. Toners containing irritating ingredients like alcohol, menthol, acetone etc.
  • Choose well formulated toners having skin enhancing ingredients like hyluronates, anti-oxidants and cell communicating ingredients.

Step-3: EXFOLIATING (face scrubs)

  • Restrict exfoliation step to just once a week unless your sensitive skin is not prone to acne. If your skin is prone to acne then exfoliate 2 times in a week. Once using synthetic scrubs and once using homemade face scrub. Read our NATURAL REMEDIES- FOR SENSITIVE SKIN to find out how to make natural scrubs.
  • Use ultra mild, gentle scrub.
  • Totally avoid scrubs that contain abrasive scrubbing agents (such as those that contain aluminum oxide crystals, walnut shells etc).
  • Also avoid using rough face cloths or brushes or loofah’s.

You can also read the DO’s & DON’Ts of EXFOLIATION

Step-4: MOISTURIZING (cream/lotion)

  • Moisturiser for sensitive skinned people should be water based, skin pH friendly, fragrance free, hypo-allergic and formulated for sensitive skin.
  • Avoid the ingredients like artificial fragrances, colourants, excessive preservatives, menthol, alcohols (SD alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, alcohol denatured, ethanol), certain plant oils (eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender) and pure form of Vitamin C.
  • Avoid strong anti-ageing products Retin-A, Renova, retinol, retinal.
  • Avoid skin lightening products with hydroquinone, azaleic acid, kojic acid etc.
  • During the day you can opt for a mild, water –based, hypo-allergic moisturizer. Using baby moisturisers is also a good idea. Avoid ‘BB’ creams.
  • At night use a lotion/cream which is light textured and formulated for sensitive skin. Utilize skin barrier rebuilding lipids like squalane from olives and soy based lipids. Opt for ingredients/ repairing agents like glycerin, gluco glycerol, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, oatmeal, licorice extract, niacinamide, coenzyme Q10 beta-glucan, chamomile and epigallocatechin gallate, the active form of inflammation-reducing antioxidant green tea.  
  • You can also apply coconut oil on your dry sensitive skin not prone to acne. Coconut oil is loaded with anti-inflamatory and deep moisturising properties. But it cannot be used if you are prone to acne; then use jajoba oil.
  • Preferably avoid serums for sensitive skin. If you are a serum fan then opt for hydrating extra mild hypo-allergic serums.
  • Avoid waterproof cosmetics; instead opt for powder cosmetics.

You can also read the DO’s & DON’Ts of MOISTURIZATION

IF YOU have any skin concerns like (uneven skin tone, acne, post acne scars, wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin, dullness, stubborn blackheads, hyperpigmentation, dark circles, enlarged pores, complexion enhancement, dark spots, sun spots,  rosacea, melasma, skin allergies etc) then in addition to your daily regime you will require TARGETED TREATMENT regime which is specific for your skin concern but at the same time is also mild on your skin (eg milder forms of retinoids/pigment reducing ingredients etc).CLICK TO GET A DETAILED FACE CARE REGIME DEVISED EXCLUSIVELY FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE/ CONCERNS/ NEEDS

Step-5: PROTECTING (sunscreens)

  • People having sensitive skin would find it difficult to find to put on a sunscreen but please make sure you do not skip a sunscreen.
  • Go in for physical/mineral sunscreens that only utilize the inorganic active ingredients of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are usually stable, less irritating or reactive and better for delicate skin.
  • The latest technology of micronized zinc is also a good option as it is not only very light weight but it also offers terrific broad spectrum sun protection.

You can also read the DO’s & DON’Ts of SUN PROTECTION

Step-6: PAMPERING (with face packs/masks)

  • Avoid steaming and excessive facials. Get a hydrating facial done no more than once in 3-4 months and that too from an experienced beauty professional.
  • Avoid using hair removal creams and ammonia based hair colours.
  • Avoid exposure to formaldehyde based cosmetic products used in hair straitening, hair repairing chemicals.
  • Avoid aesthetic procedures like chemical peels or micro-dermabrasion.
  • Apply face mask once a week. For sensitive skin homemade face packs/masks are better than packaged ones. Read our NATURAL REMEDIES- FOR SENSITIVE SKIN to find out how to make useful face packs.
*Disclaimer : Result may vary from person to person.