“Sensitive skin” isn’t actually a medical diagnosis – it’s a common sense one. If you’re wondering if your skin is sensitive, start by asking yourself:
Have you had more than 3 or more reactions to a skin care product like soaps, lotions, creams, shampoos, etc.?
Have you had any reactions to sunscreens?
Do you develop itching with skin or hair care products?
Are you very careful when trying new products because you’ve had bad experiences in the past?
Are you sensitive to fragrances?
Have you had reactions to prescription medications that are creams/lotions/gels etc.?
Do you have a history of allergies, asthma, eczema or hay fever?
If yes, this alone does not qualify you, but, statistically, you do have a higher chance of skin allergies or irritation.
If you’ve answered “yes” to several of these questions, you probably do have sensitive skin.
What causes sensitive skin reactions?
Causes of sensitive skin reactions include:
- Skin disorders or allergic skin reactions such as eczema, rosacea, or allergic contact dermatitis
- Overly dry or injured skin that can no longer protect nerve endings, leading to skin reactions
- Excessive exposure to skin-damaging environmental factors such as sun and wind or excessive heat or cold
Genetic factors, age, gender, and race differences in skin sensitivity are less well-defined but still may play a role in causing skin reactions.
What are some tips for caring for my sensitive skin, especially on my face?
Cleansing. From one person to the next, sensitive skin responds differently to different cleansing methods. But most dermatologists agree that “deodorant” soap or highly fragranced soap contains strong detergents and shouldn’t be used on the face. Soap-free cleansers such as mild cleansing bars and sensitive-skin bars along with most liquid facial cleansers have less potential for facial skin irritation than soaps. The same is true for cleansing creams and disposable facial washcloths.
Moisturizing. Moisturizing products help skin hold on to moisture so it resists drying and abrasion.
Sunscreen .Your sunscreen should be rated SPF 30 or higher. Its active ingredients should be only zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. This is because you cannot have an allergic reaction to these physical sunscreens. They deflect the sun’s UV rays instead of absorbing them as chemical sunscreens do.
See guidelines to choosing skin care productsbelow.
“skin-friendly” products contain:
- Only a few ingredients
- Little or no fragrance
If you have sensitive skin, avoid products containing:
- Antibacterial or deodorant ingredients
- Retinoids or alpha-hydroxy acid
With an unfamiliar skin care product, how should I test for a sensitive skin reaction?
Before putting a new product on your skin, do the following:
- For several days, apply a small amount behind an ear and leave it on overnight.
- If your skin does not become irritated, follow the same procedure, this time applying the product on an area alongside an eye.
- If you still don’t see irritation, the product should be safe for you to apply on any area of your face.
What are some tips for protecting my sensitive skin in summer?
First, wear a sunscreen year-round. Use one that says broad spectrum with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, and use it every day that you will be in the sun for longer than 20 minutes.
Remember, the sun’s skin-damaging UVB rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Avoid going out in the sun during these hours whenever possible, any time of the year.
If you do go out, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and tight-woven clothing that covers your arms and legs. Apply your sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going out, and reapply it every 80 minutes, after swimming, or if you’ve been perspiring heavily.
Sources： webmd.”20 Common Questions About Sensitive Skin “