The chances are that whatever your skin type, you will have experienced sensitive skin to some degree or another. Sensitive skin is a very common skin type, and it is the most regular one that we hear about. Our research shows that at least 50% of women feel that they have sensitive skin.
The signs of sensitive skin can include dry skin, redness, flushing, tingling, itching, swelling, flaking, rashes or bumps. We look at how to stop the symptoms of sensitive skin, so that skin looks and feel better. Alongside this, it is important to work out what is causing the sensitive or irritated skin. Once the cause has been established, care can be taken to avoid sensitive skin reappearing. Working out the cause of sensitive skin is not an easy process. We are all completely unique, so what may cause or heal sensitive skin in one person, may have no effect on another person. But there are some common patterns that have been found, especially in regard to a natural lifestyle. See the most common causes of sensitive skin, and ways to relieve and even cure them. It’s important to know that many are interrelated.
Conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can really affect skin. The good news is that there is a lot that can be done to improve and alleviate them. Especially helpful for skin conditions and sensitive skin, is using natural beauty products made with oils and butters, such as Shea Butter or Jojoba Oil. Try to purchase them in the most natural purest forms. Shea Butter is perfect to use on really sore skin, as it is very healing. So if you have dry patches, red rashes or sore areas, then gently placing Shea Butter on should really help and heal this. Shea Butter contains a high amount of unsaponifiable fats, as well as many rejuvenating vitamins and minerals. For larger areas of skin, try Jojoba Oil, which spreads on easily, and is not too greasy. It has special properties for skin nourishment, and is similar to skins natural biological sebum.
We suggest not using Petroleum Jelly. The consistency appears to be rich and it looks moisturising, but it only acts as a barrier, and does not have any nutritional benefits. If you are not keen on rubbing butters or oils on, or your skin is severely distressed, then we recommend using Dead Sea Salts, as they are amazing. Soak in the bath for as long as possible, and with as much salts as allowed on the directions. They heal sensitive skin as they have a high mineral content, especially Magnesium. But also, Zinc, Potassium, Calcium, Sulfur, Bromide, Iodine and Sodium. These are all beneficial to skin, and easily absorbed from the Dead Sea Salts. As well as calming skin irritation, they improve the overall condition of skin, by detoxifying and replenishing.
A change in food habits can improve skin conditions. So opt for health foods including those that contain essential fatty acids (such as Flaxseed Oil and oily fish). Include seeds that contain Zinc, such as Chia. Furnish each meal with fruit and vegetables high in vitamins, especially Vitamin A. Gut health is hugely important for our overall wellbeing, so include foods high in Probiotics, or take a supplement.
We have to be careful in the sun, but it is also important to our everyday health. The National Eczema Association state that Adding 10–15 minutes a day of sun exposure, particularly during an eczema flare, can provide relief and potentially speed healing.
The things that are going on in our mind, can have a direct impact on our physical health. Harvard Medical School found that skin conditions can have a psychological factor, known as psychodermatology. It’s a new scientific take on the relationship between the mind and the skin. The Psychiatric Times report that stressful life events proceed 70% of patients with atopic dermatitis. It has been found that hypnosis, mindfulness meditation, muscle relaxation, focused breathing and cognitive behavioural and talk therapy can assist skin healing and avoid future skin complaints.
Diet has a huge impact on our dermatology, and a bad diet will not contribute to healthy skin. The common foods that cause skin irritation and inflammation are sugar, salt, junk food and additives, such as food colouring. As well as assisting our skin to be soft, smooth, hydrated and irritation free. A diet rich in nutritious foods is good for all areas of our health, including our brain and body. Get plenty of good fats, vitamins and minerals from green vegetables, avocado, nuts and berries.
Skin gets drier in winter from the cooler air, and heating systems. When outside in cold weather, cover the skin that is on show with hats, scarfs and gloves. Support skin with a good diet and hydration. Treat skin with natural treatments like bathing with Dead Sea Salts and covering in natural oils like Coconut Oil, for soothing nutritious hydration.
Conventional washing powders and shower gels can cause skin sensitivity and irritation, due to the ingredients within them. Some shower gels remove the natural oils and moisture from skin, which can be very drying. Many skin body washes still contain known irritants such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, artificial colours and fragrance, and paraben preservatives. Always opt for natural skin washing products. Where possible use natural laundry detergents, or non-biological versions. Keep the amount of detergent to a minimum, and ensure that clothes are rinsed thoroughly, so they are on a long enough cycle, and the machine is not overfilled.
An allergy may be the cause of skin irritation, it could be certain foods, pets or even dust. Try to find the cause by making a diary of foods and lifestyle. Include the places visited and when you bath and clean the house, as well as a good description of the skin irritation. Then after 3 weeks assess the results, and it could be obvious what is causing the problem. Once this is established seek medical advice. Well known foods that we can be allergic are dairy, gluten, soy and peanuts. But we can be allergic to all sorts of foods, so an allergy test is recommended.
As much as we embrace ageing, skin does tend to get more sensitive as the years go by. We cannot slow down our age, but we can vastly improve the way that we treat skin. Avoid conventional skincare, that can be made with cheap chemicals that do not assist natural biology of skin and create harmony. Some of the cheap ingredients in skincare are designed to leave skin feeling soft and silky to start with, but they may not have any nutritional value and can upset the natural skin balance, be drying and irritating. On the other hand, natural toiletries work in harmony with our biology, and can contain the most amazing skin nourishing and supporting ingredients. The full Nakin range is suitable for sensitive skin, and specially made to work in harmony with our natural biology. Each product contains powerful plant actives, to improve skin without the use of harsh anti-ageing ingredients, such as Retinol.
Clean your face with a gentle product, such as our Advanced Cleansing Milk, that soothes and hydrates skin. Cleansing thoroughly, while imparting lots of skin loving ingredients. Avoid face washes as they can be drying and irritating. Follow with our Purifying Face Toner, which acts as a double cleanse after our cleansing milk. It purifies skin, but it is comforting for even very sensitive skin, so skin is clean, soft and hydrated.
Treat sensitive skin with our Performance Face Serum, to impart the best natural bio-actives, deep down into skin layers. Calm and indulge skin with our Revitalising Face Oil, as it is hugely caring from the beautiful hydrating plant oils, rich in antioxidants and soothing. Using a face oil is especially nurturing in cold weather, as moisturisers can have a freezing effect on skin, due to the water contained within them. Although moisturisers are still needed to protect skin, increasing the amount of oil on the face will reduce this, and give skin extra protection.
Moisturise and perfect the eye area with our Eye Cream Complex, the silky formula banishes fine lines, dark circles and puffiness without irritation. Then nourish and protect sensitive skin with a luxurious creamy moisturiser. Try Matt Formula Face Cream (oily/normal sensitive skin) or our Active Dew Face Cream (dry/normal sensitive skin). As a last step apply our Lip Treatment Balm to improve even the driest, sore or cracked lips.