Modern views. Ancient muse.
An Nyc edit, narrated in indus ink.
BY Love, Indus | PUBLISHED ON February 28, 2021
Even though “sensitive” is a common skin type for many people, there is no set medical definition for it. As a result, the diagnosis is made on a case-by-case basis. In common parlance, sensitive skin is used as an umbrella term for any symptom ranging from inflammation, rashes and/ or allergic reactions, and sometimes, sensitivity is a symptom of a pre-existing skin condition like eczema. So, what are the signs of sensitive skin? Here are some common characteristics that people with sensitive skin might experience:
If you have sensitive skin then it will react to even the slightest of triggers—think pollution, dirt or excessive humidity. It may also react negatively to soaps, perfumes and other household products. Basically, your skin’s tolerance will be very low and it will appear as though you are constantly suffering from contact dermatitis. In case you suspect that you have sensitive skin, you should get a skin prick test that checks for allergic reactions to more than 50 substances at once. Usually, skincare for sensitive skin consists of a pH balancing cleanser, hypoallergenic moisturizer and sunblock.
Dryness and breakouts
Sensitivity is often marked by perpetual dryness that is induced by non-functioning lipid barriers, which are responsible for holding in hydration and preventing transepidermal water loss. Remember that you cannot replace the loss of hydration with oil-based moisturization. Use products that include humectants like hyaluronic acid, glycerin and amino acids, among others. Moisturization without hydration will only give you greasy and chapped skin. Lipid barriers also protect your skin against pollutants, bacteria and allergens. So without the lipid barriers, your skin is directly exposed to several harmful agents that lead to frequent breakouts.
Sensitive skin is highly susceptible to UV damage. A primary reason for photosensitivity is melanin level. According to the Fitzpatrick Scale, a classification system that lists six skin types and their reactivity to UV rays, type I skin (pale white skin) is most prone to sun damage. While type VI skin (deeply-pigmented dark brown to black skin), “rarely burns, and tans well”.
Now that we have addressed different concerns of sensitive skin types, let’s look at how you could care for and pamper sensitive skin, and prevent it from flaring up:
Maintain consistent hygiene
It may sound obvious but maintaining proper hygiene is essential for sensitive skin. There is a misconception that pollution and dirt cause breakouts and blackheads, but the real culprit is clogged pores. When excess sebum filled in your clogged pores comes in contact with air, it oxidizes and converts into acne or blackheads. Additionally, lack of regular cleansing traps microbes and dirt in your skin, causing rashes and inflammation. One must maintain proper hygiene (e.g. change pillowcases every week) and wash with mild benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid-based soaps.
Pay close attention to ingredients and labels
When choosing skincare products, ensure that you are using appropriate ingredients, while avoiding ones that irritate the skin. For example, lactic acid may cause inflammation in dry-sensitive skin. However, there are other ingredients that soothe the skin and strengthen its ability to retain water, which is extremely effective at treating irritated skin. Two ingredients that have proven to be effective at treating sensitive skin are vitamin E and sericin.
A cross-sectional study established that stress positively correlates with acne. Another research review concluded that stress advances sensitization to allergens and lowers the tolerance threshold for itching skin. Meditate, exercise and examine your anxiety triggers so that you can better avoid stressful situations and/ or prepare coping mechanisms to deal with them better.
Get a good night’s sleep
Your skin repairs itself during sleep by accelerating collagen growth and cell turnover. According to a study at the National Library of Medicine, people who reported restful sleep saw 30 percent faster recovery of lipid barriers in the skin. Another study revealed that faces of the sleep-deprived were perceived to have more pronounced under eye dark circles and hanging eyelids. People with sensitive skin should regularly get seven to eight hours of sleep daily in order reduce sensitivity.
Use dermatologist-approved products
In order to ensure that your skin doesn’t flare up and remains healthy, always look for products that are dermatologist-approved, which generally signifies that the ingredients used are safe and effective. In addition, keep an eye out for (and avoid) the following:
When your skin gets triggered by any external stressors and becomes itchy, dry or uncomfortable, see a dermatologist. They will examine your symptoms and give you the best advice on treating your skin. One last tip from us - trash any product that has been sitting in your cabinet for too long. The longer it sits there, the more contaminated it can get.
Images courtesy freepik.com
PRODUCTS IN THIS STORY
$120 • 30 ml
The True Brew Transforming Serum is a daily-use, silky nectar that fuses rare, regional botanicals from the Indian sub-continent, such as golden Muga silk (known for its resilience and exquisite luster) and Makaibari Silver Tips Imperial tea, along with powerful scientific processes like biotransformation – to lovingly heal, restore and strengthen your skin.