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6 Ways to Reduce Skin Sensitivity

Are you frustrated with constant skin dryness?  Do you have trouble finding skin care products that don’t irritate your skin?  Well you are not alone.  Thirty percent of people around the world suffer from allergic reactions to skin care products and sensitive skin.  According to research that number is on the rise.  

Skin sensitivity is characterized by dryness, itchiness, redness, and susceptibility to allergic reactions.  Sensitive skin care is becoming more difficult as the majority of products on the market today contain harsh chemicals.  In addition, environmental factors, household products, food, and other aspects of our daily lives can greatly affect the condition of our skin. 

Many products you see at the drugstore purport to be sensitive skin care products when they are really full of chemical irritants.  To avoid damaging your skin, it is best to avoid mainstream products and rid your lives of the common causes of skin irritation.  Here are 5 ways to help reduce skin sensitivity and achieve clear, beautiful skin: 

   1. For truly effective sensitive skin care, you have to approach the problem from the inside out.  This means you have to be careful about what you put into your body as well as what you put on your body’s surface.  Avoid spicy foods and peppers, which are known to cause flushing and redness.  Also avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can cause dryness and irritation of the skin.  Drink lots of water and eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

   2. Mother Nature provides the best ingredients for sensitive skin care products, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t do some damage of her own.  To prevent redness and rash, avoid sun and wind exposure as well as exposure to extreme cold and heat.  If you use a heater during the winter months, also use a humidifier to avoid drying your skin out.  

   3. One of the fundamentals of sensitive skin care is to take shorter baths and showers and not use hot water.  Lukewarm water may be hard to get used to at first but unlike hot water, it will not dry and irritate your skin.  After bathing, pat your skin dry with a towel instead of rubbing it.  Moisturize your skin immediately after you dry yourself in order to trap moisture.

   4. Prior to taking any medications, talk to your doctor about side effects.  Some medications cause phototoxicity, which leads to extra-sensitive skin and risk of severe sunburn.  Others cause photoallergy, which can bring about a dangerous systemic allergic reaction that affects more than just the skin.  If it is absolutely necessary to take a medication with these side effects, avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight, use sunblock, and wear a wide-brimmed hat and UV-protective clothing.  When choosing sunblock, opt for an all-natural, sensitive skin care product and avoid mainstream brands that contain harsh irritants. 

   5. Many products you use in your daily life whether they are for cleaning, hygiene, or gardening, are common culprits of skin irritation.   Some products to watch out for include laundry detergent, pesticide, soap, glue, varnish, talc, latex, and scented toilet paper, among many other things.  Avoid products with artificial fragrances and try to find natural alternatives. 

   6. Stay away from skin care products that contain parabens (methyl, propyl, butyl, and ethyl), derivatives of mineral oil (petrolatum, paraffin wax, liquid paraffin), artificial fragrances, and propylene glycol, to name a few.  All of these ingredients can cause toxic and allergic reactions.  This list just hits the tip of the iceberg.  An important rule to remember in sensitive skin care is to read labels before purchasing any product!  You will find that many of these harmful chemicals sneak their way into skin care products. 

      In order to tackle sensitive skin, you have to approach it from many directions.  A lifestyle change is often in order.  Sensitive skin care needs to be holistic in order to be effective.  Nowadays it is difficult to avoid the environmental toxins that can adversely affect your skin but by following the steps outlined above, you will reduce skin sensitivity and be much closer to achieving healthy, glowing skin.  Now is the time to start putting these tips to use!

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