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Tips for Soothing Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin can cause significant discomfort and can impact self-esteem. While it may not be possible to reverse this sensitivity, it is possible to address it and avoid common causes of irritation. Here we outline some of the ways you can take control:

  1. Avoid using multiple products. Products promising smoother, healthier skin abound. From toner, to anti-wrinkle serum, to facial masks, it’s not uncommon for a person to use three, four or even five products on their skin — every single day. The problem is that, in addition to its active ingredients, each product likely contains dozens of inactive ingredients that can irritating. By using just two or three products, you could be applying 100 chemicals or more on your skin. Look for a single product designed for sensitive skin that combines a moisturizer, skin-protectant and sunscreen.
  2. Choose a non-irritating moisturizer designed for sensitive skin. So many over-the-counter moisturizers today contain heavy fragrances or other ingredients that can irritate. Choose a product that is fragrance-free, or that has a very mild fragrance and is specifically designed for sensitive conditions.
  3. Avoid hot showers. Hot showers can both irritate and dry out the skin, exacerbating sensitivity and triggering flare-ups of conditions like rosacea. To avoid irritation, take warm, not hot, showers.
  4. Pass on the harsh skin treatments. Light-therapy, microdermabrasion and chemical peels have become popular, in recent years, but all of these treatments damage the skin’s epidermis and can lead to irritation-burning, stinging, peeling, and redness. These treatments can irritate even the most resilient and exacerbate skin conditions.
  5. Limit time in the sun and wear sunscreen. Overexposure to the sun can damaging, causing redness and painful inflammation. Sun exposure can also trigger rosacea flare-ups. Limit the amount of time you spend in the sun and always wear sunscreen. Ideally, you should use a single product moisturizer with sunscreen to limit your exposure to the number of chemical ingredients encountered when using multiple products.