Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how important is it to care for your skin. With all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be easy to take your skin for granted. But if you don’t take care of your skin, you’re putting yourself at risk for several problems, including premature aging, sun damage, and even skin cancer.
Some people have dry skin, while others have oily. There are those who have a combination of both. And then there are people who have sensitive skin. If you fall into the latter category, you know just how difficult it can be to care for your skin.
Many people have sensitive skin, which is prone to irritation, redness, and dryness. Studies show that 60%-70% of women and 50%-60% of men have sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, you must be extra careful about caring for your sensitive skin, which involves avoiding the following skincare mistakes.
Using Harsh Chemicals on Your Skin
Harsh chemicals can strip away the natural oils from your skin, disrupt the delicate balance of your skin microbiome, or cause inflammation. Common harsh chemicals like phthalates are found in many skincare and cosmetic products and can actually do more harm than good.
If you have sensitive skin, exposure to harsh chemicals can lead to irritations, redness, and dryness. In some cases, it can even trigger allergic reactions. To avoid these problems, it’s best to stick to products free from harsh chemicals.
For instance, if you want to address dry and scaly skin, one solution is to use a gentle exfoliating product without harmful ingredients. But since you also have sensitive skin, it will be best to avoid ordinary scrubs with harmful chemicals like Phthalates. Long-term exposure to Phthalates could lead to skin irritation, so avoiding products containing this chemical would be best.
You can consider using a mild salt scrub for sensitive skin without Phthalates and other skin-irritating ingredients. There are many gentle scrubs that can help you achieve a healthy glow without the harmful ingredients. The key is to do your research and find one that best fits your needs.
Going Outside Without Sunscreen
Whether you have sensitive skin or not, wearing sunscreen every day should always be a priority. This is especially true if you’re going to be spending time outdoors. The sun emits harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that can damage your skin, cause premature aging, and even lead to skin cancer.
Sensitive skin is more prone to sunburns and other forms of irritation. To protect your skin:
- Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Apply it generously to all exposed areas of your skin, including your face, neck, and hands.
- Reapply it every two hours, or more often if you’re swimming or sweating.
Note that there are two types of sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun’s UV rays. Physical sunscreens, on the other hand, work by reflecting UV rays. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to use physical sunscreen as it’s less likely to cause irritation.
Taking Long Hot Showers
While there’s nothing wrong with a relaxing hot shower, spending too much time in the shower can strip away the natural oils from your skin. This can leave your skin feeling dry, itchy, and irritated. If you have sensitive skin, long hot showers can cause redness, blotchiness, and even breakouts.
Did you know that hot baths and showers can also lead to peeling, similar to sunburns? The difference is that with sunburns, ultraviolet radiation from the sun causes skin damage. With hot showers, the skin damage is due to your exposure to hot water.
To avoid these problems:
- Try to limit your showers to 10 minutes or less.
- Use lukewarm water instead of hot water, and avoid using harsh soaps or scrubbing your skin too vigorously.
- Gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel after showering.
Exposing Your Skin to Triggers
Certain things can trigger an adverse reaction in people with sensitive skin. These triggers can include hot weather, cold weather, windy weather, spicy food, and alcohol.
Some people with sensitive skin also have atopic dermatitis, which is a type of eczema. Atopic dermatitis is a chronic condition that causes the skin to become dry, itchy, and inflamed. Common triggers for atopic dermatitis include dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and certain fabrics.
If you have sensitive skin, be aware of your triggers and take steps to avoid them. For instance, if you know that windy weather makes your skin dry and irritated, carry a moisturizer with you so you can apply it as needed. This way, you can help prevent your skin from becoming too dry and irritated.
Caring for sensitive skin can be tricky, but it’s definitely doable. Avoiding these common mistakes can help keep your sensitive skin healthy and free from irritation.