It can be a difficult task knowing where to start when it comes to taking care of sensitive/allergy prone skin. Skincare brand La Roche Posay asserts that “sensitive skin is caused by nerve endings in the top layer of skin becoming irritated. This occurs because your skin’s natural barrier function is weakened and has broken down due to a trigger”. In order to keep your allergy prone skin healthy and prevent a flare up, it is important to maintain a suitable beauty routine that will help minimise sensitivity. Here are 8 beauty tips for allergy prone skin, to help you get started!
Stock Up on Antihistamines
According to the NHS “antihistamines work by stopping a substance called histamine affecting the cells in your body. Histamine is a chemical released when the body detects something harmful, such as an infection. It causes blood vessels to expand and the skin to swell (known as inflammation), which helps protect the body. But in people with allergies, the body mistakes something harmless, for a threat. It then produces histamine, which causes symptoms such as rashes. Antihistamines can reduce the severity of symptoms if taken afterward”. So, for allergy prone skin, it is important to stock up on antihistamines.
Less is More
When it comes to allergy prone skin, less is always more! Although the skincare market is vast and always promoting new and exciting products to try, using too many products can exasperate any existing sensitivities or even cause your skin to become allergy prone/sensitised. To avoid this situation, it is best to use minimal products in your daily routine, such as a cleanser and moisturiser (nothing more!). It is also important that your products are designed for sensitive skin, so that they don’t contain potential allergens and only contain minimal ingredients.
Use a Gentle Cleanser
In this day and age, we’re so used to seeing the shelves stocked with cleansers containing harsh ingredients such as strong acids, sulfates and grainy particles that are designed to cleanse and exfoliate the skin. These ingredients can really irritate allergy prone and sensitive skin, leaving it red and raw. Instead, use a face wash or cleanser that doesn’t contain harsh ingredients. A good options Simple Refreshing Facial Wash Gel and, A’kin Madara Purifying Foam Cleanser.
Natural isn’t Always Best
While natural skin care is all the rage at the moment, it isn’t necessarily always the best for sensitive/allergy prone skin types. The reason for this is that natural skin care often contains natural plant extracts and/or essential oils and other substances. While these do not affect many people, they often react adversely with sensitive skin. Plants contain hundreds, if not thousands of chemical compounds which can harm the skin. Essential oils can be particularly irritating to the skin. According to Paula’s Choice, essentials oils contain “compounds that have a strong potential to sensitize and aggravate skin, especially when the skin is exposed to air”. Conversely, many synthetic products which are designed for sensitive skin, contain very few ingredients and chemical compounds, to avoid irritating the skin.
We all know the feeling of opening up a new tube of face wash or foundation, squirting the product out of the tube and being pleasantly surprised by the delightful scent. As fulfilling as this experience is, fragrance is certainly not good for your skin! In fact, Green People affirm that “fragrance is the number one cause of adverse skin reactions to cosmetics”. The message is plain and simple: avoid fragrance.
Hydration is Key
As with any skin type and skincare routine, drinking plenty of H2o is essential for sensitive and allergy-prone skin types. These skin often lack hydration and become dry, flaky and itchy as a result. Optimising your water intake can help t combat this issue effectively.
Say No to Alcohol in Skincare Products
Alcohol is often found in skincare products, for the purpose of cleansing. However, when present in skincare products, alcohol is a harsh ingredient and a potential irritant. As a general rule, this is true to all skin types, but sensitive/allergy prone skin types have a higher chance of becoming irritated when coming in contact with alcohol. For this reason, it is best avoided!
Always Remove Your Makeup
This rule is simple, universal and relevant to all skin types – young and old. Be sure to remove your makeup at the end of the day, no matter how tired you are! Makeup sits on the skin, and if left overnight, it may inhibit your skin’s ability to repair itself effectively and also clog your pores. This can cause havoc for sensitive skin!