A sensitive skin is one that is easily irritated or inflamed causing a burning or stinging sensation. You may have a oily or dry skin and still have a sensitive skin, it’s not really a skin type. Factors that contribute to a sensitive are genetics (major factor), chemical products s(cosmetics, soaps, lotions, creams) environmental factors (harsh winds, sunlight, temperature variations , pollen) , rapid body changes (rapid weight gain) like I Found out in my case. Sensitive skin is prone to acne, blackheads, skin breakout, or hives caused by heat, friction or allergy.
From personal experience I discovered my skin react badly anytime it is handled roughly especially my hands ,am in an area where there is so much dust, heat or use products containing steroids or hydroquinone. I have always avoided chemistry labs, hospitals, heavy industrial areas, anywhere there are mainly chemicals , because don’t know what or where can trigger off a skin reaction. My worst experience was in Lagos NYSC camp, so much cramping of people in a place gave my skin hell, It was like I was on fire, goose bumps, red hives, welts appeared on my skin, it hurts so bad and was an uncomfortable situation. I was eventually given ice packs to reduce the redness and numb the pain and drugs like also piriton, prenidsolone were also prescribed by the health workers.
N: B: This article is not to prescribe drugs, consult a medical practitioner before you take any decision; moreover experiences are individualistic and require different approaches. I have also learnt that natural cure is the most effective. Prednisolone and piriton contain steroids, are addictive and when use unwisely can cause more harm than good.
If you have a sensitive skin, you must follow these simple rules to have a lovely, healthy and glowing skin.
1. Information is key : Know your skin. Keep a record of when you first observed a skin reaction, the food you ate, product you use or places you visited. What remedies did you take that worked or didn’t work? Which cosmetics are most effective ? When I started having skin allergies, I added Izal, Dettol to my bath water thinking it was the water that was unclean, didn’t know it was due to my additional weight gain until a friend noticed and asked me to change my food habits. Just know yourself, what causes your skin reactions, know the foods to avoid, places not to visit (farms –poultry, crop, polluted areas, industries) if allergens are present. Or if unavoidable, don’t stay long In such places.
2. Proper hygiene: keep your environment free of dirt and dust. Wash your clothes, preferably with mild bar soap and rinse thoroughly with water. Store your cosmetics and makeup products in a cool, dry area, leave them covered always, avoid sharing brushes or makeup applicators with others to prevent contamination or catching an infection. Don’t pick on pimples, burst them or peel skin unnecessarily, it causes skin damage and spots.
3. Water: Drink lots water and natural fruit juices, a sensitive skin needs hydration. . Avoid not too hot or too cold water in having your baths: A lukewarm (warm to the touch) water is just right.
4. Moisturize, moisturize and moisturize: This should be your mantra, Currently I use cocoa butter, just love the way it feels on my skin, stays on all day, not like those lotions you use and need to rub on like twice more or your feet still appears white and dry a few hours later. Use moisturizers high in antioxidants value and has sunscreen (SPF 30 and above is best)
5. Cleanse: Wash and clean your face every morning and night. Use less soaps especially antiseptics, a mild cleanser will do the work such as a goat cleansing milk. Remove makeup before sleep. This is very essential. Use mild and gentle cleansers and toners. Never scrub or rub, just wash, cleanse and blot dry gently.
6. Products: Check out products you use on your skin carefully, Avoid those which have alcohol, allergens, antibacterial, alpha –hydroxyl, retinols or hydroquinone .Your products should have few ingredients and chemicals. Ingredients good for sensitive skin include chamomile, calamine, paraben, oatmeal, aloevera, allantoin. To ensure you use non- harmful products, take time to read labels, check out the ingredients carefully before buying . Never use old or expired products, Replace old products as soon as possible.
Always test any product before applying on skin. Do a spot test, say at the back of your wrist, leave on for 15 minutes, if no reaction sets in, then it can be assumed to be safe for use. If a product works for you, stick with it, stop switching products every time you see a new ad or a friend recommends a skin fixative to use. Be careful in selecting products. Changing products can also cause the skin to be more sensitive.
7. Facials and exfoliators: These help clean the skin, clear pores and hydrate skin. Oatmeal, yoghurt, pawpaw, honey, lavender,rose water, sheabutter, banana mash, are some of the ingredients you should include In your skin treatment. I make a mix of cocoabutter, sheabutter, glycerin as my body cream. Sheabutter clear scars, stretch marks while glycerin keeps skin smooth and supple.
8. Less is more: If you must use perfumes, spray a little on your cloths instead of directly on your skin, Use liquid sheer foundations, just enough to enhance the skin not lather it on, the skin needs to breathe. I prefer liquid foundations to cream foundations. Go more with odorless, fragrance-free natural ,herbal ,mineral skin care and makeup products.
9. Makeup application: Always apply makeup with brushes or applicators, never use fingers, avoid greasy makeup to prevents lines, wrinkles or crease which draws unnecessary attention to the face. Use pencil instead of liquid liners as they may contain latex which causes reaction on some people’s skin, don’t use cosmetics which requires harsh cleansers to remove them like a water proof mascara ,use mineral powder that is free of preservatives and artificial dyes. Before applying makeup on your face, moisturize with a day cream , brush on loose powder after applying makeup and spray on makeup fix to ensure the makeup lasts longer while also softening the skin, the makeup fix can be a thermal spring water.
10. Healthy living : Relax, rest, eat good food especially fruits ,nuts and vegetables and exercise. Your body needs all these for it to even out , glow and you achieve the perfect skin you desire. Avoid alcohol intake, smoking, excessive food and stress. Remember your skin is a reflection of your lifestyle habits. So make the right choices.
What other beauty tricks do you know? Please share!!!
Photo credit: Chidinma Ekile Instagram page
Photo credit: Chidinma Ekile Instagram page
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