Sensitive Skin Has To Be Carefully Treated
Sensitive skin is simply skin that reacts easily to very common irritants, such as fragrances, dyes, oils, lanolin, soap, alcohol, propylene glycol, and preservatives. Sensitivity can affect any skin type. The signs include redness, itching, burning, or bumpiness that develop after product use. (Contrary to popular belief, foods rarely cause skin sensitivity.) Many Indian women have skin that becomes easily irritated and dry in reaction to various common over-the-counter products. For Brown-skinned women, having sensitive skin can be especially troubling because the irritation may lead to pigmentation problems or the development of dark or light marks.
The good news is that some women who think they have sensitive skin actually don’t. Your sensitivity may actually be explained by other skin conditions, such as eczema or seborrheic dermatitis, which can be treated. If you suspect you have sensitive skin or if you’re not sure, consult a dermatologist. If in fact you do have sensitive skin, you’ll have to be especially careful about what products you use on your skin and how you treat it. Here’s what to avoid or use on sensitive skin only under a doctor’s direction:
- Toners or astringents containing alcohol
- Products containing essential oils (concentrated oil extracts from plants)
- Moisturizers containing fragrance, lanolin, dye, alcohol
- Sunscreens containing fragrance, oil, PABA
- Makeup containing oil
- Retinol products (Retin-A)
- Acne medications
- Bleaching creams
- Detergents and fabric softeners containing fragrance or preservatives
To protect your sensitive skin, shop for products and makeup with labels that say “alcohol-free,” “fragrance-free,” “hypoallergenic,” “sensitive skin,” or “noncomedogenic.”
Washing Regimen For Sensitive Skin
Wash once or twice a day with cleansers that are free of alcohol, lanolin, propylene glycol, and fragrance. Also avoid cleansers containing benzoyl peroxide. Use salicylic acid or glycolic acid with caution. Look for ultragentle products. Avoid soap altogether if it irritates your skin. Cleansers to try are Sensitive Skin Dove, Olay Sensitive Skin, Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser, and Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. While washing your hair in the shower, tilt your head back to avoid getting potentially irritating shampoo or conditioner on your face. Don’t forget to wash your hands frequently throughout the day and try not to touch your face. Your hands will transmit to your face the residue of all types of irritating products.
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Dr. Sunita Banerji received her MBBS degree from The Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, one of India’s leading Medical Institutes and received her DGO credentials in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1982. She started her successful Aesthetic Medicine practice in Lokhandwala, in 1989 after undergoing extensive training in London. She was far ahead of her time in starting this type of practice in India. Eternesse – The Best Skin Treatment Clinic in Mumbai – her brainchild helps treat major medical problems related to lifestyle, aging and cosmetic treatments and surgery.