4 easy remedies for dry sensitive skin

If you have sensitive skin you will have experienced dryness, skin reactions, tendency towards blushing and redness. Also if you have eczema you will have experienced skin irritation and rush. For both these conditions the skin can appear dry and scaly.

There are external and internal causes to these conditions, and understanding the mechanism will help you to improve the appearance and feeling of your skin.

Having excluded any allergies (check with your GP for testing!) possible causes of skin irritations are environmental factors like exposure to sunlight and cold/wind, use of harsh chemicals in your skincare and in soaps/detergents, use of makeup like foundation and concealer that are occlusive and do not leave the skin to breathe, but also internal factors as poor diet and not drinking enough water.

Here some easy tips for you:

Check ingredients on all products your skincare products and soaps. Avoid products containing fragrances (INCI perfume, or essential oils), avoid products that contain alcohol as very drying, and soaps containing: SLS, SLES, etc. Avoid synthetic ingredients and mineral oil (petrolatum), PARABENS, PEG, Formaldehyde, phthalates, triclosan. Also avoid retinoid, AHA acids and long exposure to hot water as it will dry your skin even more. Then check your laundry detergent and fabric conditioner, if you buy them at the supermarket it is very likely that they are packed with many synthetic chemicals and too much fragrance, which can contribute to your skin irritations. If you think about it, when you are drying your skin with a towel, all the substances on the towel will be absorbed into wet skin. Same with clothing, if you have irritating chemicals on your clothes, these will stay in contact with your skin 24 hours per day. Fabric conditioners are very irritating, better be avoided.

Choose natural laundry detergents, these should be non-coloured, plant-based and possibly fragrance-free. Brands like ECOVER ZERO and ECOS Fragrance-Free are really good examples. Instead of fabric conditioner as natural effective alternatives you can add ½ cup of white vinegar to your washing or ½ cup of bicarbonate of soda. You will save money, be environmentally friendly and your skin will be less exposed to unnecessary synthetic chemicals.

Watch your diet. Eat plenty of raw colourful vegetables, they contain antioxidants and vitamins that protect your skin and enhance functionality of your immune system. Season food with cold pressed extra virgin olive oil and seed oils, they are rich in Omegas and will nurture your skin from the inside. Avoid processed food and ready meals, they contain preservatives, flavourings and quite often excess salt (sodium), hydrogenated fat and simple sugars. Go organic if you can, organic foods is proven to contain more nutrients and it definitely contains much less pesticides (or none), so it is healthy option in the long run for your health. Drink plenty of natural still water.

Change your skincare routine. All products should be natural and possibly organic, ideally also fragrance-free. Your skin should be mildly cleansed on a daily basis, using a cleansing oil or a cleansing butter will help you rebalancing. Look for natural oils rich in Oleic Acid (omega 9) like olive oil, shea butter, rice bran oil and carrot seed oil. If you also have blemishes you need to look for oils high in Linoleic Acid (omega 6) like grapeseed oil, tomato seed oil and evening primrose oil. Macerated oils infused with calendula and chamomile flowers are also good options because in addition to the nurturing properties of the oils they bring the soothing compounds of these plants.

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