I am one of those poor, unfortunate souls who struggle with sensitive skin. After puberty hit, I began to experience sensitive skin at its worst - rosacea flare-ups. My skin burst into an array of red bumps that spread from my cheeks to my forehead to, eventually, my whole face. I was incredibly insecure about this problem and was scrambling to find a solution. It took me years to find the perfect skin routine for me. Luckily, we are here to help you! In this guide, you’ll find the various symptoms of sensitive skin and tips on how to manage them!
Symptoms of Sensitive Skin
Not sure if you have sensitive skin? We’ve got you covered! Symptoms of sensitive skin can range from mild to severe depending upon how sensitive your skin actually is. While most people have experienced an adverse skin reaction at least once in their lifetime, the persistence of those symptoms is what indicates whether or not a person truly has sensitive skin. Here is a list of the symptoms you may experience if you have mild-to-moderate sensitive skin:
- You have excessively dry skin
- You're prone to UV damage
- Your skin appears to be red or ashy
- You're prone to breakouts and rashes
- You experience itchy skin that feels tight most of the time
- Your skin reacts to harsh weather conditions
- Your skin stings or burns when you apply ordinary cosmetic products
- Your skin often flakes or peels
Redness is often the number one indicator of sensitive skin. If you have red, itchy, flaky, and dry skin, chances are your skin is quite sensitive. Most people that have sensitive skin often encounter redness on various parts of their skin that may occur in the form of nasty red bumps or rashes. These horrid flare-ups can be triggered due to a number of reasons, including health and environmental factors. If you've experienced any of these symptoms, it's likely that your skin needs some extra pampering!
Do you often feel a tingling or burning sensation on your skin when applying an ordinary cosmetic product? One of the easiest ways to identify if you have sensitive skin is to see how your skin responds to different cleansers or moisturizers. You may not even realize you have sensitive skin until you’ve had a bad reaction to a cosmetic product. When your skin is naturally sensitive, its barrier is naturally quite thin and it soaks up all the harsh ingredients rapidly, resulting in your skin becoming easily inflamed and irritated.
These, however, were just the general symptoms of mild to moderate skin sensitivity. More often than not, sensitivity is a result of an underlying skin condition such as Eczema, Rosacea, or an allergic reaction (Allergic Contact Dermatitis). If your skin becomes aggravated only when it comes in contact with a specific product such as alcohol pads, you may have Irritant Contact Dermatitis.
In order to maintain healthy skin and keep those nasty flare-ups at bay, it is important to get to the root cause of the problem. Let’s take a quick look into the specific symptoms that indicate you’re suffering from a more severe skin condition.
If your skin appears to be red, oily, swollen and severely inflamed, chances are that you’ve been suffering from Rosacea. People suffering from Rosacea have red patches all over their face with bumps and breakouts that sting and burn. The varicose veins or “Spider Veins”, as you call them, are quite visible on their skin due to the barrier of the skin becoming compromised.
They might also develop raised patches called plaques and get a bumpy texture to their skin, which only occurs if you’re suffering from a severe case of Rosacea. I, on the other hand, had bad rosacea flare-ups that would be triggered at the slightest of things! It took me forever to diagnose my skin condition, and once I did, I was on my way to the path of recovery.
Eczema is known to be one of the most common skin disorders amongst children and adults. People suffering from Eczema may have extremely dry, itchy, swollen and inflamed skin covered in dark, scaly patches. There can be a frequent urge to itch, which may be so intense that it may lead to cracking and bleeding. Eczema, if not managed or treated properly, can be an absolute pain to deal with!
8 Tips & Tricks on Managing Sensitive Skin
Managing sensitive skin might seem like an absolute nightmare, but once you do some digging and find the right products, you’ll realize that it is quite possible to keep your skin healthy and happy in the long run by establishing an effective sensitive skin care routine! My journey to finding the right products has not been easy by any means - it took me a huge amount of struggles, downfalls, and tears, but this bumpy ride eventually lead me to my holy grails that I now can’t survive without! To make this journey a bit easier for you, I have compiled a few tips and tricks that will help you effectively deal with the toughest of skin problems!
Tip #1: Moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize!
One of the most helpful things you can do for your sensitive skin is to moisturize and moisturize often! One of the biggest things I struggled with when I was on the search for the perfect skincare routine was finding a moisturizer that actually properly hydrated my skin. Often times, the moisturizers I tried weren’t able to moisturize my skin as well as my skin needed. I quickly realized that not only did I need both an oil-based moisturizer as well as a water-based moisturizer, I also needed to moisturize in the morning as well as at night. The oil-based moisturizer that I am absolutely OBSESSED with is Penny & Pine’s Transformation Oil. I have not had a single flare-up since using this product, and I am in love!
Tip #2: Be on the look-out for products that are made specifically for sensitive skin
The key to establishing an effective sensitive skin care routine is to use mild and gentle products that do not contain any harsh chemicals or synthetic ingredients. Products that contain harsh chemicals can mess with your skin’s PH level, causing it to flare-up in no time. So, make sure to always use sensitive skin treatments that won’t be harsh on your skin.
If your current skincare products are causing you to break out or just generally feel uncomfortable on your skin, get rid of those culprits immediately! Keep an eye out for mild soaps and foaming cleansers that will gently take off all the impurities without damaging your skin. My personal favorite is Penny & Pine’s Rose Hip Seed Cleanser. I love how light and airy the texture of this delicate cleanser is, and the fresh, rosy scent is FABULOUS. I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of this cleanser!
Tip #3: Be familiar with ingredients that work best with your skin
With a huge number of options available out there, choosing the right product for your skin might be a tricky process. A general rule that you must keep in mind is to stay away from products that contain synthetic ingredients. The closer the product is to nature, the more beneficial it will prove to be for your skin. In order to follow an all-natural sensitive skin care routine, you should try to find products that contain the following ingredients:
- Vitamin E
- Colloidal Oatmeal
- Zinc Oxide
- Rosehip Seed Oil
Keep an eye out for sensitive skin treatments containing natural oils and butters including argan oil, borage primrose oil, borage seed oil, sunflower seed oil, shea butter, jojoba butter, and cocoa butter. All these natural ingredients contain powerful antioxidants that allow the skin to heal over time.
Tip #4: Never forget to read the labels of products before you buy them
Just as you do with packaged food items when following a healthy diet, do not forget to go through the label of the sensitive skin treatments you intend to buy. Keep your eyes peeled for the words hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic. In addition to that, carefully read the ingredients on the back of the label, as most skincare companies try to trick their consumers by using those words on their labels but not actually abiding by them. I, myself, have been tricked tons of times by those so-called brands that claim to offer the best skin care for sensitive skin.
So, before you spend those dollars, do yourself a favor by doing a quick research on Google to see if the product contains any irritants that can potentially harm your skin. One of the best moisturizers I’ve ever used is Penny and Pine’s Moisture Boosting Cream that is loaded with all the ‘good stuff’ for your skin! It soaks into my skin quickly and creates an ethereal glow – something I’ve never experienced before with other products. It does a great job locking in that moisture, and I honest-to-goodness haven't had flaky skin since I've started using it daily.
Tip #5: Avoid products with fragrances in them
Artificial fragrance is a BIG no-no when it comes to sensitive skin treatments. Believe me--synthetic fragrances are your hidden enemy! If you have ultra-sensitive skin like I do, it is important to keep in mind that products containing synthetic fragrances can cause massive flare-ups! So, always opt for fragrance-free sensitive skin treatments. I absolutely adore Penny & Pine’s Moisture Boost Serum, as it contains skin-boosting ingredients with NO artificial fragrances. This life-saving serum has totally changed my skincare game! My skin feels and looks a lot more plump and youthful now!
Tip #6: Always test products out on a small portion of your face or on your wrist before using
It is always a good idea to do a patch test first when trying a new product. In order to find the best skin care for sensitive skin, you may need to do a lot of patch testing before you finally stumble upon the right product! Try to get your hands on some free samples before splurging on an entirely new product. Apply the product to areas such as the back of your ears or neck and wait for at least 24 hours before making your final decision, as the consequences do not usually appear until a few hours or more in most cases.
If you're planning on chilling at your home over the weekend, testing the product on a small portion of your face would give you more accurate results. Watch how your skin reacts to the new products before spending your hard-earned money on them.
Tip #7: Read reviews!
Reading unbiased product reviews is one of the best ways to measure the effectiveness of a product. I cannot overstate the importance of this crucial act! Before you make your purchase, spend some time on Google and read some authentic reviews. Reading brutally honest product reviews will prevent you from getting ripped off in case the product does not perform as it claims. Plus, you’ll know beforehand if that particular product has caused any adverse reactions on other users with similar skin conditions – it’s a win-win situation!
Tip #8: Monitor what you’re eating (and are you drinking enough water?!)
Have you heard of the phrase “You are what you eat?" Well, it is the absolute truth when it comes to skin care for sensitive skin! You cannot expect to achieve healthy, glowing skin if your diet consists of nothing but junk food. Whenever I indulge in deep-fried or just unhealthy foods, tiny white bumps pop up up the very next day. The food that you eat has a direct impact on the health of your skin, so make sure to load up on these superfoods the next time you go grocery shopping:
- Buck Wheat
- Red Onions
- Olive Oil
- Leafy Green Vegetables
- Green Tea
These powerful superfoods contain a high amount of antioxidants, vitamins, flavonoids, anti-inflammatory agents, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, protein, zinc, and fibers that will soothe and protect your skin while keeping it in top shape! Say goodbye to McDonald's and limit your intake of foods that contain a lot of salt, sugar, and additives, as these can trigger inflammation. Stick to a healthy diet to keep your skin spot-free in the long run.
Also, make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day, if not more! Water helps in flushing out the harmful toxins from your body, allowing you to get healthier and radiant skin over time. Always remember that the journey to skin care for sensitive skin starts from within!
It took me years of researching, testing, and, quite honestly, crying before I discovered the best routine for my hyper-reactive skin. After reading this article, I’m hoping you won’t have to go through the painfully long journey I had to undergo. Here at Penny & Pine, your skin is our first priority. We’re here to help as much as we can!
Do you have sensitive skin? What products have helped you best with your sensitive skin?