Sensitive skin is a condition suffered by many around the world. However, for those of us in India, our skin is especially sensitive. This is because of all the pollution and the hot weather conditions of this region. To combat this situation, Dr Kiran Lohia provides dermatologist-approved skincare tips.
When we use soap or face or body wash, we usually want foam because it makes us feel it’s making us clean. But the truth is, foam is not required at all for proper cleansing. Typically, when foam is present, it can mean that your wash contains strong surfactants such as sulfates. While these surfactants give you a great foaming experience and help in cleansing, they can also cause skin sensitivity and dryness if the pH of the wash is not modified. This is because, the pH of these strong surfactants are 8 and above, while our skin is at a pH of 5.5. This causes dryness, skin barrier breakdown and irritation, especially for sensitive skin. So, look for non-foaming cleansers for a gentler wash. (Read: Eat healthy for your skin)
The sun is a very common cause of allergy, even in India. In sensitive skin, your skin is more open to developing allergies, to products and to the sun. So, applying a good sunscreen is vital to protecting your skin from this harmful effect. Look for a sunscreen with broad-spectrum sunblock that includes anti-UVA and anti-UVB effect. So you should be looking at SPF30++, or more! And remember to reapply every 4 hours, and at least 30 minutes before leaving the house. (Read: How to choose the right sunscreen)
Parabens are preservative agents that help ensure that bacteria or fungus does not grow in our skincare product. While they are highly effective, they also have a risk of allergy. In skin which is already sensitive, your risk of skin allergy is higher than regular skin, so avoiding common allergens like parabens is important.
Stop your facials
Sensitive skin tends to be redder and more reactive to manipulation or pressure. Facials, in addition to utilizing 10 or more unknown skincare products within a single treatment; also tend to involve extensive extractions or harsh procedures. This can cause redness, pimples, marks, rashes and more. Stopping your facials will go a long way in protecting your skin from any untoward side effects. (Read: Facials – do you really need them?)
Avoid artificial fragrance
Fragrance is essentially ubiquitous in all skincare products and is a hard thing to avoid. However, fragrances contain thousands of unknown chemicals, all of which bear a small risk of an allergic reaction. Now, while your average person can wear fragrance their whole life without any problems, a person with sensitive skin has a much higher risk of getting rashes. So, if you can, look for products that say that there are no artificial fragrances or are certified natural. And, if you want a perfume, look into using essential oils, which are fragrant as well as effective.