4 Ways to Protect Your Sensitive Skin That Actually Work
Our skin has been through a lot these past couple of months: cold and brisk weather, the sporadic warm days, and spring which is around the corner, hello allergy season, ugh! If you suffer from sensitive skin, your skin issues may feel constant and sometimes, multiplied by the environment and especially the skincare products you choose.
Give your skin a break and take a moment to give a serious reassessment of your current beauty routine. As we look towards a new season, Latina beauty expert and dermatologist Dr. Mercedes Gonzalez shares with us the best ways to revamp your routine to ensure that your skin is glowing year round, especially if you suffer from any sensitivities.
1. Hydrate Skin Everyday
During winter and as we enter a new season, be consistent with your skincare routine and your skin-care choices. Always opt for a hydrating cleanser and moisturizer. Moisturizer should be applied at least twice a day, or several times throughout the day (i.e. when you wash your hands, returning indoors after being outside, etc.) to ensure your skin continues to be hydrated. You should also avoid rough fabrics on the skin, especially during cold season when you’re layering up, and avoid extra hot water when bathing, as both can lead to skin irritation. I recommend your routine adapt with the seasons, and always remember to visit your dermatologist or a certified esthetician, who is knowledgeable in skin of color, if you’re unsure how to improve your skincare or see changes in your skin.
2. Be Mindful of Sensitivity Triggers
Those with sensitive skin tend to have reacted to beauty products or certain ingredients before, so a good rule of thumb is to avoid products that have an abundance of fragrance on their ingredient label and look for “fragrance-free” alternatives. In general, products that contain a lot of “alcohols” can also be irritating. A common area that many of my patients experience irritation or pigmentation issues is their underarms. I recommend the winter as the best time to treat these issues, so you’re all set for sleeveless season in the warmer months. My go-to for sensitive skin types is Dove 0% Aluminum Deodorant. This deodorant has 0% alcohol, 0% aluminum, and ¼ moisturizers, offering women a gentle alternative for their underarm care!
3. Melanin Magic
I can’t emphasize the importance of this enough – sun protection, sun protection, sun protection! … Did I say sun protection, and yes in the winter too! A good regimen for your face, especially if you suffer from dark spots or hyperpigmentation, is to wash the skin with a gentle moisturizing cleanser. Then apply an antioxidant serum, such as one with Vitamin C, followed by sunscreen with an SPF of a least 30 in the morning. At night, invest in a good color-correcting treatment to help combat uneven skin tone issues/dark spots.
4. Bonus Tip
Remember, sunscreen is just one part of comprehensive sun protection plan, you should also use: sun protective clothing, hats, sunglasses and always try to find shade. You should avoid further irritation or rashes in the areas prone to darkening, by choosing gentle skin-care products, especially in areas such as the body folds that are prone to darkening. Any type of inflammation or rash in these areas can result in darkening of the skin once the inflammation has healed. This is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. So make sure you’re taking extra care of your skin if you’re suffering from these sensitivity and pigmentation issues!