There are basically four things you should avoid if you have sensitive skin. The types of detergents and house cleansers you use, the types of soap and body cleansers you use, cosmetics and environmental factors can all lead to irritation of your sensitive skin. Once you learn what types of things to avoid you will begin to notice a decline in acute skin reactions such as redness and other changes in color and itchiness and your skin will look better.
Detergents That are Bad for Sensitive Skin
Since you have sensitive skin you are probably not going to be able to cut pennies by buying store brand or off brand laundry detergent. As tempting as it may be to save a couple of bucks on a cheap detergent, you simply have to avoid these types of detergents for the sake of your skin. The harsh chemicals and enzymes in these types of detergents are very likely to cause you skin irritation. Look for laundry detergent brands that are specifically designed to be non-irritating to people with sensitive skin. If saving money is an important factor, you can always make your own laundry detergent. You can find many recipes for homemade laundry detergent online that do not contain abrasive chemicals.
Bath Soaps Can Irritate Sensitive Skin
When possible you should avoid using soap that is labeled as anti-bacterial. These types of soaps are notorious for irritating sensitive skin. Soaps with deodorizers and ones that are heavily fragranced are bad for sensitive skin. Soaps and lotions containing retinoid or alpha-hydroxides are also some you should avoid if you have sensitive skin. Many brands of body soaps are made for sensitive skin. However, do not be fooled by labels that claim to be hypoallergenic. These are not always types of cleansers that are good for your sensitive skin. Instead, read the label of ingredients.
A soap free cleanser is best, as are products that have fewer than 10 ingredients. Look for the body soap that contains ingredients such as petroleum, linoleic acid, ceramides, mineral oil, glycerin, or dimethicone.
Another tip to avoid irritating your sensitive skin is to avoid hot baths or showers. Also, pat dry your skin after bathing and apply a good moisturizer while your skin is still partially moist.
Cosmetics that You Should Avoid if You Have Sensitive Skin
According to the American Academy of Dermatology there are certain types of cosmetics you should avoid if you have sensitive skin. Thankfully cosmetic manufacturers have developed several types of products specifically designed with sensitive skin in mind. Keep an eye out for make-up designed for sensitive skin.
Face powder is typically safe for sensitive skin because it does not contain many preservatives. Look for silicone based liquid foundation to reduce skin sensitivity. Waterproof cosmetics should be avoided because you will need harsh facial cleansers in order to remove them. Avoid liquid eyeliner because they contain latex that is known to irritate sensitive skin. The best types of eye shadow to choose are generally earth tones since they have fewer ingredients and dyes that would irritate the skin of your eyelids.
How the Environment Affects Your Sensitive Skin
Harmful rays from the sun can be very bad for the skin no matter what your skin type. If you have sensitive skin then you are even more likely to suffer damage to your skin from the sun. Tanning or overexposure to the sun without protection dries your skin and can lead to skin irritation as well as cancer.
You should wear clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible and wear wide-brimmed hats to protect your face. When choosing a sunscreen you must be careful to choose the right type for sensitive skin. Sunscreens with the active ingredients of zinc oxide or titanium oxide are the right kind for you. You should avoid chemical based sunscreens if you have sensitive skin because they actually absorb the UV rays, not deflect them like the zinc and titanium oxide based ones.
You have to avoid many things if you have sensitive skin; these are just some of the basics. Skin irritation for you is hard to avoid, no matter how diligent you are to avoid the basic causes. There are plenty of hidden skin irritants that are hard to pinpoint. Be sure to keep your skin moisturized, drink plenty of fluids, and be mindful of the common causes of skin irritation.