We all have that friend, the one whose mood can turn on a dime. You have to walk on eggshells, lest you say the wrong thing and send them careening off into a ten-minute rant about something you wish you didn’t have to pay attention to.
If you have sensitive skin, that friend is your roommate, and you wear them all over your body. If your skin is sensitive, everything affects it more than usual. You may be more prone to sunburn. You may react negatively to soaps, shampoos, and skincare products that others can tolerate. Your skin likely dries out quickly and may redden and burn through contact with rough fabrics and other environmental stressors.
If you find that you’re frequently complaining about itchiness, dryness, redness, and general discomfort, and your routines are no different than your symptom-free friends, you likely have sensitive skin.
You should know that getting fed up with your high-maintenance skin and storming out won’t help because it’s going to follow you everywhere you go. Instead of listening to its constant complaining — “That soap makes me itchy!”, “Can we burn that sweater?”, “Are you really going to smear THAT on me again?” — take soothing action. You can’t get rid of your sensitive skin, but you can take away the sting.
Causes of Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin is usually a symptom of some underlying condition, and while not serious, these disorders can set your skin on edge. They include:
- Contact dermatitis
- Dry skin
- Urticaria (Hives)
Genetics plays a heavy role in skin sensitivities, but some causes, like allergies, may develop later in life. Skin conditions that leave your skin more sensitive than usual generally have no cure. You can, however, treat the sensitivity.
How to Treat Sensitive Skin
The best way to prevent symptoms is to learn your triggers and avoid them. Pay attention to what you were doing when you have an outbreak and look for patterns.
Sensitive skin is often aggravated by fragrances, dyes, phthalates, parabens, salicylic acid, retinoids, sulfates, isopropyl alcohol, lanolin, and sometimes latex. If a product comes into contact with your skin, scan the ingredient list carefully, and avoid anything that contains a triggering component.
Favor hypoallergenic detergents when doing the laundry. Swap out your industrial household cleaners for fragrance and dye free alternatives. Switch to a sensitive skin body wash and shampoo and look for cosmetics formulated for skin sensitivities. Hydrate frequently using a sensitive skin moisturizer and avoid exfoliants and astringents that can aggravate your skin.
When washing, use soft, natural sponges and rub gently. Heavy scrubbing can damage your skin’s already compromised protective layer and activate your nerve endings. When bathing, avoid hot water, and pat yourself dry. Apply skin cream immediately after toweling off to help trap moisture.
The reality is that if you have sensitive skin, you’re likely going to have to contend with it for life. But that doesn’t mean it has to slow you down. Learn your triggers and avoid them and keep your skin protected. Try the Happy Cappy family of products. We formulate them to accommodate even the most sensitive skin. So befriend your skin again. You have no choice but to spend time with it, after all. Let Happy Cappy can make that time enjoyable.