By: Ashley Austin
For those with sensitive skin, you know the struggle of finally using a new product only for you to wake up with hives the next day. No matter how hard you try, it may seem like a never-ending battle with you and your skin.
However, don’t claim defeat just yet. We’ve compiled a list of 10 things that could be aggravating your sensitive skin. P.S. - you may want to bookmark this for later.
What is Sensitive Skin?
Sensitive skin refers to skin that is easily irritated when your skin comes in contact with certain skincare products, household products, or other allergens. The causes of sensitive skin reactions occur when the protective layer on your skin called the epidermis is weakened, which leaves your skin more prone to irritations.
If you have sensitive skin, you’ll notice reactions like bumps, painful burning, itching, dryness, or tightness. Also, those with sensitive skin may have skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and allergic contact dermatitis.
How is sensitive skin diagnosed? Your dermatologist will perform something called an allergy patch test that tests the sensitivity of your skin. You can also perform this test at home by applying a product on your inner arm and waiting a week to see if an allergic reaction appears.
Sensitive Skin Mistakes
- Using the Wrong Makeup - It may be tempting to buy the latest beauty product that every makeup YouTuber is raving about, but if you have sensitive skin, you have to proceed with caution. To explain, some makeup products contain irritating chemicals like silicone, preservatives, and latex. Therefore, it’s important to read ingredients and opt for products that don’t contain ingredients that may cause a sensitive skin reaction. Not sure where to find non-irritating cosmetics? Take a look at our selection of non-toxic makeup products in the BLK + GRN marketplace.
- Skipping Sunscreen - The sun is one of the number one factors for irritation. Why? The UVB and UVA rays damage and weaken your skin’s outer layer. That’s why it is crucial to pack on your sunscreen every day.
- Doing Laundry with Harsh Detergents - We all have that tried and true brand of laundry detergent, but you may want to take a closer look at its ingredients. Most laundry detergents on the market have harsh chemicals that linger on your clothes after they’ve been washed. Once these chemicals get in contact with your skin, it could cause an allergic skin reaction. We recommend using a milder detergent that gets the job done without the use of skin-irritating additives. One of our favorite laundry detergents for sensitive skin is the Gentle Laundry Detergent by Dinobi.
- Taking Hot Showers/Baths - Contrary to belief, it is not necessary to bathe in super hot water to get super clean. Hot water strips your skin of its natural oils leaving it dry and flaky. The drier your sensitive skin is, the more chance of itchy rashes or flare-ups of skin conditions like eczema. It is recommended that you bathe in warm water to help protect your skin’s top layer and to keep your skin supple and moisturized.
- Using a Loofah - Yup, you read that right. Using a loofah could be irritating your sensitive skin. The coarse material is harsh on delicate skin and it may cause tiny skin abrasions. Ditch your usual loofah and opt for a more gentler natural fiber washcloth or konjac sponge.
- Wearing Irritating Fabrics - Hate to break it to you, but some of your favorite wardrobe staples may be aggravating your sensitive skin. Fabrics that are said to irritate the skin are wool, bamboo, synthetic fabrics, and wrinkle-resistant fabrics. If you have sensitive skin, it is recommended that you stick to more natural and softer fabrics like cotton, alpaca, cashmere, hemp, merino wool, silk, and linen.
- Drinking Alcohol - It’s no secret that alcohol is super dehydrating, but if you have sensitive skin, it could make it even more difficult for it to hold moisture. You see, alcohol can prevent your body from reabsorbing water -- leaving your skin extra dry and prone to irritations. While knowing this may make you want to swear off alcohol forever, the good news is that you don’t have to. The key is to drink alcohol in moderation and stay hydrated throughout the day before you have your first drink and thereafter.
- Using Scented Products - One overlooked sensitive skin no-no is using products with fragrance, even essential oils can irritate your skin. This is why it’s recommended that you use fragrance-free products.
- Over Exfoliating - Exfoliating should be a staple in your skincare routine, right? Well, not exactly if you have sensitive skin. While sloughing off dead skin cells will help you get a radiant glow, doing it too often may be disturbing your skin’s outer layer. Instead, stick to chemical exfoliants no more than once a week.
- Not Using the Right Cleanser - Most facial cleansers out there are not kind to your skin. Many disturb your skin’s protective layer and cause dryness and even premature aging. To keep your skin intact, use a mild and gentle cleanser made for sensitive skin. Our recommendation is the Gentle Apricot Foaming Cleanser by Ph7, it not only removes excess dirt and oil but restores moisture too.
As you can see, sensitive skin can be bothersome. However, it doesn’t have to be with the right care and attention. Check out our curated selection of products designed for sensitive skin.