Do you suffer from sensitive skin? I’m a long-term eczema sufferer and over the years I’ve tried and tested most remedies. I thought to share my top tips to handle your sensitive skin.
Since I was born I’ve suffered from sensitive skin and eczema. When I was younger, I’d have severe eczema patches on every part of my body. I’ve had to be so careful of body washes, foods, clothing fabrics and pretty much everything else in between! My skin reacted to most things. As I’ve got older I still suffer, but I’ve learnt the best methods for handling it/what to avoid. I want to share all my advice and tips with you, to help those who also suffer. But, please note this is what works for me. It’s a case of experimenting and seeing what works best for you!
Fragranced and perfumed products are very irritating for sensitive skin. When looking for skincare I recommend opting for fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and pH neutral products. Always opt for milk-based toners over water-based products. Water-based products will strip your skin of moisture and dry it out further. Essentially, the thicker the product the better. Get into a routine of checking the ingredients in products before you buy them. It’s also a good idea to get advice if you are unsure or do a patch test in advance. Perfume can also trigger itchy, irritated skin, but of course, we all still want to wear it! I tend to spray the perfume into the air and then walk into it to reduce skin irritation.
Moisturiser is your best friend:
It can seem like an effort, but this is a godsend for dry and itchy skin. Get into a routine of moisturising both morning and evening, straight after showering. By moisturising damp skin, it helps to trap the moisture. Ensure the moisturiser you use is suitable for sensitive skin. The best moisturiser I’ve come across is ‘Aveeno‘. When I was younger and if my skin flared up, my mum would give me an oatmeal bath and it would immediately relieve my skin. It’s renowned for being a sensitive skin saviour. This moisturiser provides a similar relief. It is specially formulated with colloidal oatmeal. I tend to have no eczema flare ups at all when using this, which is amazing!
Products containing ingredients such as white tea, green tea and shea butter are also so effective for sensitive skin. This is due to their antioxidant properties. The way I have always looked at it is: the less ingredients, the better. The best thing you can do is stay away from products containing alcohol, colouring agents and harsh exfoliants.
Spice it up:
Fill your diet with anti-inflammatory spices/herbs such as turmeric, ginger and cinnamon. I cannot recommend turmeric enough. In all honesty, incorporating them into my diet didn’t make a life changing difference, but it did help. I decided to take it a step further and buy some ‘Turmeric Root Extract‘ tablets and have noticed a HUGE difference. Since I’ve been taking them, I haven’t had an eczema flare up whatsoever. My skin has been less inflamed, less red and not as sore. You can also make a soothing at-home-remedy with turmeric if your skin is feeling sore.
I tend to find my skin gets very irritated and itchy the more I’m sweating at the gym. My best advice is to shower as soon as possible if you’ve been sweating and avoid long sleeved workout tops. You want to ensure your skin can breathe when it’s hot. Opt for cold or lukewarm water when you shower, as a really hot shower will only irritate the skin further. I also used to believe that if I applied sun cream it would make my skin react. This is not true! As long as you are picking one suitable for sensitive skin. UV rays from the sun are a huge irritant for sensitive skin, so protecting it is a must. Mineral products are a lot gentler on the skin. Look for ones containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Sudden changes in temperature tend to also irritate my skin. In the winter, if I come indoors and I’m surrounded by central heating my skin will be at its worst. Increase the amount you moisturise during this time. It should help keep your skin from itching/drying out!
What you wear will also have a big impact on your skin. I try avoiding wool, mohair, nylon, rayon and polyester where possible. They tend to make my skin itch the most and I don’t find them breathable enough. The fabric most kind to skin is definitely cotton – particularly organic. The price point is higher, but it’s worth it.. What you wash your clothes in is also super important. My clothes have been washed in the same softener and detergent since childhood. As soon as they are washed in something else, my skin will react. Opt for a hypoallergenic, gentle detergent. Stay far away from anything scented!
Know your triggers:
One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give you is to keep a diary to stay on top of your skin. If your skin is particularly bad, note down what you have eaten that day, what you’ve done and what you wore. See if you start to notice a particular pattern. When I was younger, I was prescribed a cream that contained almond nuts. My skin was getting worse and worse. Turns out I was actually allergic to nuts. By keeping a diary, you will be able to note possible aggravators, so you can eliminate these to help your skin. Be mindful that alcohol, wheat and dairy can also aggravate the skin.
There are many at-home remedies to relieve your skin when it’s had a reaction. As I mentioned before, I find oatmeal baths really helpful. You can also use yoghurt, turmeric, olive oil, milk and honey. Honey is AMAZING. It’s full of antioxidant, antimicrobial and humectant (moisture preserving) properties. It also contains many essential vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for your skin. Simply rub it over your body, leave for 10 minutes then rinse off in the shower. You can also mix honey and olive oil together for extra moisturisation!
What are your top tips to handle your sensitive skin? I would love to hear them or leave a comment below if you have found these tips useful. Feel welcome to share my tips on social just tag us in @totmorganic!