As more people are identifying with having “sensitive” skin, we take a look at what that distinction means, and what products to look out for.
First, what is “sensitive skin”?
Really, it’s a broad identifier that might mean that your skin experiences slight irritation due to certain ingredients, or that you have larger concerns such as acne, rosacea or eczema.
Rosacea typically shows up as redness, visible blood vessels, or slight bumpiness on the face.
Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is extreme dryness, which can cause severe itching, painful cracking, and visible redness.
There’s no one definition of “sensitive,” rather, it can include a wide range of conditions.
What should you do if you experience skin sensitivity?
If you do experience irritation, redness, dryness, or other issues, there are a few steps to take to make sure that you’re tending to your skin the right way.
Examine Your Routine
If your daily skin care routine uses multiple products, take stock of what steps and products you really need. Using too many products together can cause some clashing and take its toll on the skin barrier. Make sure that you are limiting exfoliating products and not using them every day. Keep your routine simple and see if you can use five or fewer products.
Read Ingredient Lists
Certain ingredients, such as retinol and benzoyl peroxide, can be harsh and are more likely to cause varying levels of irritation. Likewise acids, especially if they are used too frequently, or if too many are used at the same time, can irritate skin.
Look for products that are mild, non-abrasive, and focused on protecting the skin barrier. Keep an eye out for soothing anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as green tea, chamomile, and resveratrol.
Account For Seasonal Shifts
As seasons change, our skin care needs do too. As we move into fall and winter, especially, dryness can become more of a problem and eczema can be exacerbated. Make sure that you use a gentle, soothing lotion to curb winter dryness, add hydration, and protect skin’s moisture barrier against cracking and flaking. (Merlot Skin Care’s newest release, All Body Moisturizing Cream, is designed to help with this.)
Pay attention to your daily skin needs, keep your routines simple, and at the very least, gently moisturize.