As a Skin Care Therapist, one of the most frequent statements I hear from clients is “I have really sensitive skin.” There indeed are sensitive skin conditions including eczema, rosacea, dermatitis, or autoimmune diseases. Sometimes, environmental factors such as sun, wind, or excessive heat or cold can also cause the skin to be sensitive. Not using good skincare or using bad skincare can also be a major contributor. That’s where I can help.
There are 5 simple changes we can make in our daily routine that can correct common environment culprits of sensitive skin conditions.
Health authorities recommend drinking two liters of water every day, but if you are a coffee or soda drinker and choose not to give it up, I suggest you drink more than the daily recommendation of water to help combat dehydration to the skin and body. Caffeine dehydrates the skin which can cause TEWL, Transepidermal Water Loss which causes loss of collagen and elastin (you’ll notice your skin is sagging and not not as bouncy with excessive caffeine).
Another cause of sensitive skin is Stress. It can cause your skin to slow down its production of collagen. Stress is the # 1 culprit and is underrated for causing damage to the skin in some cases. Stress moves our bodies into fight or flight mode which interferes with normal body functions such as digestion. Implementing stress relievers such as yoga, deep breathing, cognitive reframing, and learning how to set boundaries are all ways to control stress and take better care of yourself. Additionally, a good night’s sleep (parasympathetic systems rest and digest) is one of the best stress relievers too.
Many over-the-counter products have fragrances and other ingredients that actually clog pores and cause acne or irritated skin. There are products for exfoliation that can even cause scarring! For example, over-exfoliating the skin can cause the skin to be sensitive. In addition, there are medical-grade skincare products that can harm the skin, too. Unless your Dermatologist or Aesthetician has advised you to use such products, I recommend using only professional natural and botanical skincare products with the best-sourced ingredients for best results.
Changes in weather, dirt, and pollution can all play a part in the quality of your skin. Tucson, Arizona is notorious for causing year-round allergies to ragweed, trees, and grasses. This is why it is important to create a regular home-care regimen to combat environmental factors. I recommend minimally cleansing, using a toner, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen in the morning, and then everything but the sunscreen in the evening. Sunscreen is crucial and should be applied every two hours when getting sun exposure.
Examine your diet. Often sugar, dairy, bad fats and additives in food can cause a negative impact on the condition of your skin. I know from first-hand experience how changing what you consume can dramatically impact how you feel and look. Experiment with cutting out sugar and/or dairy, for even a couple of weeks, and see if it makes a difference in the appearance of your skin. You might be surprised.