Having sensitive skin is an expression used by many to express that their skin reacts strongly to contact with certain products or allergens. However, it is generally necessary to take a closer look in order to better identify the problem:
- Is your skin dry and the application of moisturizing products causes discomfort at the time of application?
- Do you have a rash or red skin?
- Does your skin react to the sun?
- Does it resemble an allergic reaction?
- Is your skin chapped, making it sensitive?
- Does scratching leave marks on your skin?
Don’t forget that the skin is an important organ. Among other things, it acts as a barrier to protect the skin against external threats, helps to control body temperature and to produce vitamin D. This is why it has to be well taken care of.
Take notes to try to identify what seems to make your skin react. Try to notice if you react to a specific brand of cream, to certain ingredients or to a type of product in particular. Don’t hesitate to consult a doctor to receive a diagnosis. In the meantime, you can speak to your pharmacist who can provide information and advice.
Skin care: how do you choose the least irritating products?
Intolerances to products applied to the skin are often linked to certain ingredients. To limit the risk of a reaction and to promote your skin tolerance, opt for products considered to have a lower risk of irritation. For instance, choose products that:
- are unscented
- don’t contain the most common allergens, and
- are non-comedogenic
Products with the Canadian Dermatology Association seal of approval are known to meet these criteria. However, several products that don’t have the seal of approval can also be a very good choice. It often isn’t necessary to buy costly products. To make an informed choice, don’t hesitate to ask your pharmacist to help you choose moisturizing creams, lotions, cleansers or any other product to be applied to the skin. They can also recommend soap that is less irritating and that won’t dry out your skin even more.
A few tips to care for your skin
Winter is tough on facial skin. Exposure to the cold and to wind, as well as indoor heating (sometimes excessive) can cause skin to become dry, making it even more sensitive. Dry skin often manifests itself by itching. Be sure to properly moisturize your skin, especially if you have itchy skin. You should also follow these tips:
- Eat well and drink plenty of water.
- Avoid elements that can make the problem worse, like pollution, stress and exposure to certain chemicals.
- Quit smoking. Tobacco smoke dries, damages and makes skin more sensitive. Additionally, smoking causes premature aging of the skin.
- Protect your skin from the sun, wind, temperature variations or excessive indoor heating.
- Cover your face with a scarf when you go out into the cold.
- Always keep your skin well hydrated. Apply a moisturizing cream on your skin every day.
- Opt for products that are less irritating.
- Choose your makeup carefully, as several of its components can cause allergies or intolerances.
- Check the expiry dates of your skin products and cosmetics. Avoid using expired products. When in doubt, ask about the shelf-life of these products.
For additional information about how to care for skin or for advice about skin products, speak to your pharmacist who can provide the information you need.