“Sometimes medical treatments beget their own diseases,” says New York City plastic surgeon Michelle Copeland, M.D. “As many people use a wide array of skincare products on a daily basis, I see an increasing number of patients with reactions to chemical components used as vehicles, binders and sometimes active ingredients.”
If you suspect that certain skincare products, such as retinols, glycolic and salicylic acids and sulfur, may be the cause of your easily upset skin, scale back or discontinue using them. Also, check ingredient labels to avoid products containing irritating dyes and fragrances. “It’s best to always use allergy-tested, fragrance-free products,” recommends Dr. Copeland. And lay off harsh scrubs and treatments like microdermabrasion, which can abrade the delicate barrier even further.
If the sensitivity persists, stop using all products for a few days and then gradually reintroduce them one at a time to see if a specific one reveals itself as the problematic product.
You’ll also want to be on the lookout for possible dietary triggers that make sensitive skin worse. Spicy foods that bring on redness and flushing, tannins found in red wine, eggs and gluten are all common catalysts.
To kick off the healing process, focus on strengthening your skin. “The most important aspect is to get that barrier back intact as soon as possible to prevent irritants penetrating and causing inflammation,” advises King.
Both sensitive and sensitized skin folks should look to products containing essential fatty acids to replace the lipid barrier, like gamma linoleic acid, phytosterols and ceramides. Eating sunflower seeds and avocados also help protect the integrity of skin by reducing water loss, adds King.
Clinically sensitive skin types should also maintain a daily calming regimen, using skincare products that contain soothing ingredients like oatmeal, chamomile, ginger, aloe or cucumber treat sensitive skin. With some TLC, you’ll get the healthy, glowing complexion you crave.
If shopping for eye makeup is one big guessing game, find your best colors here.
Highlight your eye color. Flaunt your body shape. Harness your confidence. Take our quizzes to better know yourself and get science-based, individualized advice to embrace your true beauty.
If shopping for eye makeup is one big guessing game, find your best colors here.Take Quiz
Define your curves and discover the best ways to eat, exercise and dress for your figure.Take Quiz
Find out how your relationship personality is affecting you and the people you love.Take Quiz
Find out for sure to best interact and deal with others.Take Quiz