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Understanding Sensitive Skin Care

I apologize for the delay in completing this blog series, but better late than never right?

Sensitive skin is a common skin type that is characterized by an increased sensitivity to certain environmental factors, stress levels, genetics, or skin care products which can interfere with our livelihood and lifestyle. Blemishes or tender areas on our skin can directly impact our clothing, decisions to be out in public, who we see, or cleaning agents for skin and clothes for example. Understanding factors that are the source for sensitive skin can help us manage it in our daily lives.

Harsh weather affects sensitive skin types
Harsh weather conditions

The environment offers the elements which are harmful to our safety and our skin helps protect us using natural defenses. Environmental factors that can impact our skin sensitivity include the sun, pollution, humidity, or dry weather. All of these environmental factors can impact your skin sensitivity in different ways with different ways to handle. Dry skin exposes nerve endings to excessive sweating which may interfere with skin dehydration and pH balance.

Stress and mental well-being are also a contributing factor which impacts the human body in many ways. One way your body reflects stress is through your skin. Rashes and skin irritations are only two symptoms which may appear when stress levels are higher than your tolerance levels.

Genetics also play a role in sensitive skin types. Inherited genes from a parent, or combination thereof, impacts our body composition and its evolution. Dermatologists can share the scientific reasons genetic play a part in one’s skin sensitivity but anyone living with it can share their personal stories.

psoriasis is a form of sensitive skin
psoriasis plaque on elbow

My husband has been living with psoriasis since he was 18 and shared with me a number of stories about his skin sensitivities. Psoriasis is inherited from genes of the parents. The skin areas with psoriasis tend to be a focus point when in public and it can cause embarrassment and self-confidence issues. He used chemically formulated ointments and lotions, both trial and clinically tested, to calm or reduce the skin plaques but were both unsuccessful and expensive. Everyone has different body compositions and reacts differently to chemicals and products in different ways. Some have different degrees of reactions and others experience discoloration or discomfort. Since meeting me, he has turned to natural skin products to help control his psoriasis as one means.

Another cause of sensitive skin relates again to one’s body composition and how it reacts to different chemicals or products. This theory does include natural ingredients as people still react to natural sources like lavender, honey, coconut, and almonds. There are substitutes of varying degrees but most natural ingredients are available to test on yourself in a controlled manner.

So what is a solution? Natural skin care can be particularly beneficial for people with sensitive skin but not the only solution. Natural skin care typically avoids harsh chemicals and synthetic ingredients that can cause irritation and inflammation. Here are a few ways that natural skin care can help you manage sensitive skin:

  1. Natural skin care products formulated with gentle, plant-based ingredients are less likely to cause irritation or allergic reactions than synthetic ingredients.

  2. Many natural skin care products contain ingredients that can help to soothe and calm sensitive skin, such as chamomile, aloe vera, and calendula.

  3. Natural skin care products often contain ingredients that can help hydrate and moisturize the skin, which is particularly important for people with sensitive skin, who may be prone to dryness and flakiness.

  4. Natural skin care products are typically free from harsh chemicals, fragrances, and preservatives that can cause irritation and inflammation in sensitive skin.

  5. Natural skin care products can be formulated with specific skin concerns in mind, such as redness, inflammation, or acne, allowing for targeted treatment without aggravating sensitive skin.

  6. Many natural skin care brands prioritize sustainable and ethical sourcing of ingredients, which can be appealing for people with sensitive skin who are concerned about the impact of their products on the environment and animal welfare.

Healthy diet supports healthy skin care
Natural and wholesome foods

With my husband's case, he uses natural skin care products to help control his psoriasis condition and it works, but not alone. There have been further improvements when he stays well hydrated and is careful with his diet. Vegan diets may have helped as he shifted to a heavier vegetable and fiber diet but he is still a carnivore at heart.

At VoiLife Wellness, we believe one must tackle skin issues both from the inside and out. Our bodies reflect events and conditions that are happening inside our bodies through our skin and other means. Changes in skin are usually one of the first symptoms that something inside is asking for attention. Address the root cause and chances of handling sensitive skin issues become more successful. Here is a list of guiding questions to ask yourself when narrowing down the root cause of sensitive skin issues:

  • Do I notice differences during particular weather patterns?

  • How does stress change my sensitive skin?

  • Do my parents share any symptoms?

  • Does my skin react to chemically formulated skin care products, positive or negative?

  • Do my cravings impact your sensitive skin areas?

  • What activities trigger sensitivity in my skin?

balance scale resembling the need to balance sensitive skin care
balance scale

Sensitive skin is a very general topic and it can affect confidence but remember that sensitive skin does not define you. Managing sensitive skin symptoms is quite a large undertaking and try not to be discouraged from it. Know that there are many causes for sensitive skin and each are manageable and with the right knowledge, understanding, and discipline. Make note to target both the causes and symptoms for sensitive skin conditions. Balance is needed as is most life stuff. With sensitive skin, try to focus on:

  • using products with as few ingredients as possible, reducing the risk of irritation;

  • giving preference to products with ingredients such as cucumber, allantoin, aloe, chamomilla, colloidal oatmeal;

  • limiting exfoliants when your skin is sensitive or irritated (exfoliation thins and weakens your skin);

  • avoiding soaking in the bath or shower for too long, the water will wear down the skin's protective film which makes your skin dry and sensitive; and

  • practicing a diet with reduced meat, fat, alcohol, caffeine, sugar and substitute with natural ingredients and whole foods. These will give you not only a fresh radiant look, but also change your body inside full of energy and vitality.

In summary, sensitive skin can originate from many different sources, or combination thereof. Some sensitive skin symptoms can be treated or reduced and others not so much. It can take much effort and discipline to care for as needed. There are many factors to consider and to be balanced with your lifestyle. When it comes to stress, diet, genetics, environment, or chemically formulated products, all contribute to skin sensitivities in different ways.

Be healthy and beautiful in all the ways you live with or without skin care! Skin care only supports your beauty, but it must originate from you. Be cognizant of your habits and correlate to your sensitive skin areas. Beautiful outside, healthy inside!

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