The first step to flawless skin is knowing what kind you have - and if you're a sensitive type, it should be pretty apparent by now. In fact, you've learned to placate your skin, hesitant to apply any products that contain questionable ingredients and wary of formulas with fragrances. It can feel like you're walking on eggshells when it comes to your skincare regimen, but it's certainly worth avoiding a flare-up.
Guess what? You don't have to live in fear. Here are some sure-fire ways to soothe sensitive skin:
Be picky with your products
Before you buy anything for your skin, look at the ingredients. Steer clear of any cleansers with particularly harsh ingredients, like salicylic acid, which is only meant for oily skin types. These agents could potentially dry out your skin, giving it that uncomfortable tight feeling or worse - cause your glands to compensate by overproducing oil. The elemis soothing chamomile cleanser is specially formulated for sensitive types. With calming chamomile extract and moisturizing lecithin, this product can purify, strengthen and hydrate the skin all at once.
You should also be extra careful when it comes to exfoliation. An ideal scrub will be able to slough off dead cells without stripping the skin of its natural moisture or protective barrier. Bliss pore perfecting facial polish is formulated with natural micro-particles that gently remove grime, dirt and oil without disrupting the skin's delicate balance.
Reaching for the same washcloth repeatedly is one of the worst thing you can do for sensitive skin. Licensed esthetician Summer Gray told SheKnows that it's best to use a new one with every wash to prevent bacteria that builds up on the fabric from making its way into your pores. She also advises using one made of a soft, lightweight terry cloth, which is ultra gentle.
At the basis of many skin problems is dehydration. Therefore, it's especially crucial for sensitive types to make H20 a top priority. That means drinking plenty of water - yes, eight glasses a day - to keep the endocrine system in proper working order, thus purging out impurities and facilitating the renewal of new, healthy cells. By doing so, you'll see a major difference in the tonality as well as the texture of your skin. You could also invest in a humidifier for your bedroom or office, particularly for the dry winter months.
Nourish through nutrition
The fact is, every food you put in your body can have a direct impact on your skin's appearance. So what can you nosh on to keep your complexion at its best?
Gray explained to SheKnows that sugar and caffeine are both major culprits of inflammation, so try to limit your intake of both. The same rules that apply to your skincare products apply to your grocery cart: Look for items with the shortest ingredients list. The less added preservatives and chemicals, the better. Fill up on water-dense fruits and vegetables, like grapefruit, oranges, berries, zucchini, radish, celery and broccoli. Watermelon and tomatoes both have a high water content and are rich in lycopene, which can protect your skin against harmful UV rays.
Lastly, feel free to spice things up. Skincare expert Jennifer Yen explained in Daily Makeover that ginger, cinnamon and turmeric can all hinder inflammation.