Controlling Skin Sensitivity

Finding skincare products that address your specific skin concerns and deliver real results is always tough, but if you have sensitive skin, it can seem like mission impossible.

The type of skin sensitivity that you have can make a difference.  In many cases, it’s the result of genetic factors, particularly if you have fair skin. You may simply inherit skin whose upper layers are extremely thin or have a decreased amount of pigment that makes it more vulnerable to certain ingredients that are common skincare products. Skin sensitivity doesn’t have to be genetic, though. For some people, environmental factors trigger reactions in their skin, which means anything from a change in climate to heavy dust can make you prone to sensitivity.

Whether your sensitivity is genetic or environmental, though, the symptoms are usually the same – redness, itching, burning, stinging and flakiness. And that’s the real problem with skin sensitivity – not only is it unsightly, it can be extremely painful and uncomfortable.

The best way to deal with sensitive skin is to use gentle products that won’t trigger a reaction in your skin. That means avoiding ingredients that are potentially irritating or too harsh for your skin. To start with, check product labels to make sure that they are free of fragrance and dyes, two of the most common skin irritants. If you’re in the market for anti-aging products, avoid potent ingredients like retinol and alpha hydroxy acids, which, while effective, can trigger a reaction in sensitive skin. Chemical sunscreens are often a problem if you have sensitive skin too. In particular, oxybenzone can inflame sensitive skin, causing painful redness and itching.

Now, considering all of the ingredients that you have to avoid, it might seem like you don’t have very many choices when it comes to skincare products. Fortunately, that’s not true – plenty of brands make products to accommodate sensitive or reaction-prone skin. In particular, Dermalogica’s line features an ingredient deck that’s largely irritant-free so you don’t have to worry about triggering a reaction – and with such a wide range of products, you have plenty of have options to choose from.

If you have truly sensitive skin, though, the Dermalogica UltraCalming line is an ideal fit.  The products in this line not only omit ingredients that commonly cause reactions, but actually work to soothe sensitive skin and improve its appearance.  Start with the UltraCalming Cleanser, which is fragrance- and dye-free and helps soothe irritation caused by other cosmetic products or environmental factors. You can rinse the cream formula off with water or use a tissue or cotton pad to gently wipe it off.  Follow up with the UltraCalming Mist, which locks in moisture and soothes inflamed or irritated skin.

When you’re dealing with a reaction, the UltraCalming Serum Concentrate can help calm and repair sensitive skin. It contains oat kernel extract and botanicals that penetrate the skin to fight off common irritants that can cause redness, burning, itching and inflammation. You can apply the Serum Concentrate morning and night to help prevent any irritation issues. To pump up your skin’s moisture, top the serum with the Dermalogica Barrier Repair, a waterless moisturizer that helps strengthen sensitive skin by repairing its protective barrier.

If you prefer a moisturizer with sunscreen in it, you can also use Dermalogica Redness Relief SPF20. Not only does it moisturize and contain mineral sunscreen to prevent irritation, it has a green tint to counteract redness in the skin.  The Super Sensitive Skin Shield SPF30 is ideal if you want to layer a separate sunscreen product over the Barrier Repair. It contains micronized, mineral sunscreens to protect your skin and prevent a reaction, but the formula also includes botanical extracts and antioxidants to fight irritation and premature aging.

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