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Sensitive Skin Solutions

Lydia Sarfati September 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
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The term “sensitive skin” has become very common—approximately 57% of people say that they have skin sensitivity, yet few are actually born with it.1 Only 2% of adults in America actually have sensitive skin.1 Sensitive skin is characterized by excessive dryness, stinging, burning, redness and tightness, and is often a reaction to certain skin care products or other products that come in contact with the skin. It has a tendency to blush and flush easily because it has more reactive blood vessels than normal skin. This type of skin may also react with pustules, skin bumps and skin erosion.

Sensitive skin can be genetic and inherent, according to race, age and gender, but the majority of people affected by sensitive skin have become so due to environmental or lifestyle factors. The skin’s main function is to protect; however, exposure to the factors that cause sensitivity can compromise its ability to function optimally. The first step toward conquering skin sensitivity is education.

If your skin is sensitive, chances are that it has a thinner strateum corneum, a weaker natural defense barrier of lipids and may have more dermal appendages, such as hair follicles, and sebaceous and sweat glands. These characteristics of the skin’s structure result in heightened permeability and less protection against irritating ingredients or pollutants, as well as an increase in moisture loss.

Triggers

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Woman With Rosacea

woman with rosacea

Cosmetic Tips for Sensitive Skin

  • Cosmetics should be rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants in order to protect and hydrate.

     

  • Cosmetics that have become contaminated with bacteria should be thrown out.

     

  • Avoid highly fragranced products.

     

  • Do not overexfoliate sensitive skin types.

     

  • Avoid scrubbing or scratching.

     

  • Use gentle products for sensitive skin

     

  • Gently wash eyes with a product made specifically for that delicate area.

     

Common Rosacea Triggers

A survey conducted by the National Rosacea Society of 1,066 rosacea patients resulted in the following list of the most common triggers of the condition.

1. Sun exposure

2. Emotional stress

3. Hot weather

4. Wind

5. Heavy exercise

6. Alcohol consumption

7. Hot baths

8. Cold weather

9. Spicy foods

10. Humidity

11. Indoor heat

12. Certain skin care products

13. Heated beverages

14. Certain cosmetics

15. Medications

16. Medical conditions

17. Certain fruits

18. Marinated meats

19. Certain vegetables

20. Dairy products

21. Other factors

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