Being human comes with some pretty fabulous perks: cotton candy, Netflix, puppies - you know, the good stuff. Unfortunately, one of the not-so-great burdens (at least for us sensitive babies) is occasionally dealing with problematic skin. This oculd be anything from an allergic reaction to your best friend's dog, to a bad breakout from indulging in your favorite dessert. The worst part is when already unhappy skin becomes agitated, leaving you feeling helpless and confused about how to even go about treating it. No matter your brand of skin agitation, here are our best overall tips on how to soothe irritated skin.
Know your skin type.
The fact of the matter is that if you're not paying attention to your skin type, you could potentially do major damage by applying the wrong products. For instance, if you have naturally dry skin, applying anything potentially dehydrating without a follow up moisturizing product could exacerbate your existing issues.
Pinpoint the source of the problem.
Are your skin woes more acne-related or an allergic reaction to environmental stimulus? Again, applying the wrong products to your skin have the potential to aggravate already irritated skin (the last thing you want to apply to sensitized skin is an aggressive acne-treatment product).
The less chemicals in your products, the better.
Fragrances and other chemicals in your laundry detergent, skincare, and soap are some of the key causers of skin irritation. One trick of those with sensitive skin is to stick to baby friendly detergent, or hypoallergenic skincare products to ensure that the necessities in your day to day life aren't making your irritation worse.
Avoid long, hot showers.
The last thing dehydrated skin needs is hot water making it worse. In fact, being in water too much in general is more likely to increase dehydrated skin rather than moisturize it.
Wear hats, gloves, and scarves in cold or windy weater.
Investing in a decent set of wool hats, gloves and scarves are going to preserve the integrity of your skin's environmental barrier (which has a tendency to get worn down in nasty winter weather). Obviously make sure that whatever you choose to buy isn't itchy or more aggravating to the affected area.
Avoid harsh scrubs, brushes and loofahs.
Again, anything that is going to break down your skin's environmental barrier is going to make ANY skin ailment worse. Be warned that heavy exfoliants are included in this category, and not to overdo it.
Repair your skin's environmental barrier.
The Dermalogica Barrier Repair is one of our favorites for accelerating the skin's healing process without causing further damage or other problems along the way. It interrupts the inflammation triggers that lead to sensitization, repairs the skin's lipid barrier layer, and minimizes itching, burning or discomfort.
Apply a cold compress to the irritated area.
This trick is particularly useful for someone experiencing acne, as it greatly reduces inflammation if you catch it in its early stages. Be sure that you have a towel wrapped around the ice pack, as you don't want your skin to be damp and cold at the same time.
Apply refrigerated aloe vera gel.
You already know that aloe vera is very soothing to burns, but it can also relieve itching associated with other types of skin ailments.
Try to avoid makeup if possible.
Even if you have the most hypoallergenic, chemical-free, makeup made just for sensitive skin, ANYTHING you apply is likely to cause more harm than good. If possible, give your skin some breathing room for a few days (maybe over a weekend when you don't have any plans).
Invest in a humidifier.
Dehydrated and agitated skin needs moisture, and living in arid climates can cause your skin to be lacking in just that. Pair this with drinking more water than you already are, and your skin will be golden in no time.
Posted by Sadie Upwall
Project Manager and Editor for the best little beauty business in SLC.