Help! You suddenly got redness and pimples? Your skin is tight and burning – and the more you apply cream, the worse it gets? Then you probably have sensitive skin. Why this is so and how to care for sensitive skin properly is a science in itself.
Therefore, we asked skin care professional Thorsten Abeln, managing director of the Hürth-based dermocosmetics manufacturer HighDroxy and Dr. Miriam Rehbein from the dermatology practice at the Friedensengel in Munich about the topic. Here you will find everything you always wanted to know about sensitive skin.
What is sensitive skin?
Typical symptoms are redness, feelings of tension, itching and burning. Scaly skin and pimples can also occur. By the way: Expert Thorsten Abeln remarks: “Oily or impure skin, which is often perceived as robust, can also be very sensitive.
How do I find out if I have sensitive skin?
Short self-test: Wash your unmade face with lukewarm water and wait 20 minutes to see what happens. Is your skin itchy, red and tight? This is a first sign. But it could also be that your skin is just dry.
Now please cream yourself with a mild, fragrance-free cream. Better? Then her skin was simply lacking moisture. But if the cream does little to relieve your skin, or if it makes it even worse, you’re almost certainly going to have sensitive skin. A self-test will give you a good tendency. You will receive detailed advice from a dermatologist or cosmetic specialist.
This helps with dry skin
Why is my skin sensitive?
Sensitive skin often has a high concentration of skin nerves that react strongly to external stimuli. If you suffer from a lot of stress in everyday life, your skin often reacts accordingly stressed. Lifestyle, extreme temperatures in summer or winter, hormonal changes – for example during pregnancy – and skin care routines also have a greater impact on sensitive skin than other skin types. It quickly turns red, itches and tightens. “But the cause is not always clearly identifiable.
It is often a combination of several factors,” Abeln points out.
Sensitive skin is almost always dry, however. This means that its protective layer is broken. Fragrances, preservatives and even pollutants from the air and detergent residues in clothing can also penetrate the skin and irritate it.
What ingredients do I have to watch out for if I have sensitive skin?
The basic rule is: Better to leave out what you can. The fewer products you use, the lower the risk of your skin reacting negatively to one, logically. According to Dr. Rehbein, the few products that you use should in any case do without the following ingredients:
- Camomile, calendula, arnica, rosemary and lavender may sound quite mild, but can irritate sensitive skin. Hands off!
- In general, essential oils should be avoided. Thus, natural cosmetics are not always the best choice.
- Perfume and alcohol have no place in products for sensitive skin.
- Chemical light protection substances. Better use mineral filters!
- Soap substances such as sodium lauryl sulfate or cocamidopropyl betaine, which are also found in shampoos
- You should also be careful with salicyl, fruit and Vitamin-A -acid.
Thorsten Abeln’s advice: “Do not overtax your skin! Pay attention to light textures when choosing your skin care. Particularly rich products often contain too many lipids, so the skin is sealed. Too much moisture, on the other hand, can soften the skin barrier and thus weaken it even further”. Dr. Rehbein adds: “Patients with sensitive skin are often allergic or at least sensitized to contact allergens. These are often found in cosmetic products.
So if in doubt, do an allergy test to see what you’re reacting to.”
Therefore you should use a facial serum
What helps against sensitive skin?
You must live with the skin you have, exchange is not possible. But you can make yourself comfortable in it. Don’t overtax your skin and avoid the ingredients already mentioned. Then the condition will probably improve quickly. It also helps to rinse your clothes clearly after the last wash to flush out any detergent residues. You can also use care products with soothing ingredients that strengthen the skin barrier. These include:
- green tea
- Licorice root
The best hand creams in comparison
How do I best cleanse sensitive skin?
As gently as possible so as not to further damage the skin barrier! Thorsten Abeln: “Whether the cleanser is suitable for sensitive skin is easily recognized by two characteristics”. They are :
1. the cleaner must not or only slightly foam.
2. the skin must not be taut after cleaning.
A clean towel for drying or dabbing is a matter of course. Strong rubbing should be avoided as a matter of principle, because it irritates the skin.
By the way: If the skin is very dry, you can leave the cleaner out in the morning. However, cleaning with water alone is not an advisable alternative: removing skin flakes, make-up and dirt is an important prerequisite for the skin to absorb further care substances – especially in the evening.
May I use an exfoliator for sensitive skin?
The basic rule is: Keep your hands off everything that scrubs on the skin. Mechanical peelings, i.e. those with granules, cleaning brushes and gloves weaken the barrier and are guaranteed to cause redness. Acid peelings are more suitable. They sound more aggressive than they are. But here too, restraint is called for. You should only use very mild products and your skin should slowly get used to them.
“Mix the acid peeling with your moisturizer or reduce the interval and do not use the product directly every day”, advises Thorsten Abeln.
The expert adds: “Use fruit acid products only in the evening and protect your skin during the day with a sun protection factor (at least 25). This is because the corneal flakes removed at night by the fruit acid actually serve the skin as the body’s own sunshade during the day.
How to make natural cosmetics yourself
Which sun cream is suitable for sensitive skin?
Sensitive skin usually also reacts to UV -light is particularly sensitive and quickly gets sunburned. “Daily sun protection is therefore mandatory – and the best wrinkle prevention anyway,” says Dr. Rehbein. Unfortunately, sensitive skin also reacts quickly to sun protection. As already mentioned, you should therefore use mineral rather than chemical filters. Avoid the irritating ingredients described above in sunscreen as well.
“In the end, however, the best sun protection is the one you like to use every day. Because that’s what counts,” says Thorsten Abeln.
Sun creams for the face in the test
Which make-up is suitable for sensitive skin?
“First and foremost, it should be easily and completely removable. This works best with mineral powders,” says the skin care expert. In addition, the products used should not clog the pores and allow the skin to continue to breathe. You can tell that by the remark “non-comedogenic”. And irritating ingredients such as perfume should of course not be in it, just like in skin care products. In addition: check the back of the tubes to see how long the make-up lasts.
Expired make-up is also a frequent cause of skin irritation.
When should I go to the doctor with sensitive skin?
“It is important to take longer lasting changes in the subjective skin feeling seriously and not to dismiss them as ‘mood fluctuation of the skin'” Thorsten Abeln knows. “If redness, itching, pustules, severe pimples, swelling and wheals persist, you should consult a dermatologist as soon as possible to rule out potential contact dermatitis,” adds Dr. Miriam Rehbein.
You should know these skin diseases
Sensitive skin has special needs and is not exactly considered easy to care for. Nevertheless, you can easily control skin irritations if you consider a few things. These include a healthy lifestyle and skin care that is tailored to the skin. If you follow our tips, nothing stands in the way of beautiful, radiant skin.