DRY | SENSITIVE | EVEN SKIN TONE | WRINKLE-PRONE
SKIN SENSITIVITY AND YOUR SKIN TYPE
Sensitivity contributes to such skin issues as product and ingredient allergies, rosacea, acne, as well as burning and stinging in response to various substances. Learning to manage your skin’s reactivity is a challenge, but understanding why it is occurring can help.
Your key problems result from a damaged skin barrier. The barrier, the outer layer of your skin, is your body’s boundary between you and the world. When that boundary is overly permeable, you cannot keep inside the barrier important things that you need (such as moisture), and you cannot keep outside the barrier problematic things (such as irritants, allergens, and bacteria). Once the skin barrier is damaged, a cycle begins. Lack of protection leads to invasion of substances that cause inflammation; inflammation leads to itching and further breakdown of the protective barrier. As a result, the skin cannot hold on to water, and dehydration results. Dehydration then triggers further inflammation, itching, and dryness. A whole host of irritants can initiate or worsen the barrier breakdown. Preservatives, perfumes, detergents, and other chemicals in skin care products can cause inflammation and damage cells. Ingredients in shampoos, conditioners, hair dyes, shaving products, toners, and soaps can be a problem.
EVERYDAY CARE FOR YOUR SKIN
The goal of your skin care routine is to address skin dryness, wrinkles, and sensitivity (resulting in stinging and redness) with products that deliver hydrating, moisturizing ingredients that do not irritate your skin. In addition I’ll offer an approach to preventing and treating acne, for those of you with acne symptoms. To address your type’s different issues, I’ve provided two regimens. My first protocol is a hydrating maintenance regimen that may also help acne. Studies show that in many cases, moisturizing the skin will improve acne, even without acne medications, so this regimen concentrates on moisturizing. The second regimen is designed for those of you who frequently experience redness and stinging in response to skin care products. It uses products with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients to help rebuild the skin barrier and prevent wrinkles. If hydrating your skin does not resolve acne, please consult a dermatologist, who can prescribe antibiotics. Your dermatologist can also recommend an anti-inflammatory medication that treats redness and stinging.
Choose your products with care, rebuild your skin barrier, and moisturize regularly. Avoid harsh ingredients, use sunscreen, quit smoking, protect against drying environments, and don’t forget to eat your vegetables.