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Handle With Care

The Dos and Don'ts for sensitive skin.

Sensitive Skin:

Can develop hives easily.

Has symptoms of stinging and burning.

Is reactive to frangrances and essential oil.

Sensitive to heat and cold.

May often have signs of rosacea.

Reacts quickly to stimulating products and reddens easily.

Genetically, sensitive skin is thinner skin, with blood vessels and nerve endings closer to the surface, that is more reactive to stimulants and irritants. Sensitive skin can also be acquired, usually from overuse of cleansers, exfoliants, peels or medication that strip the epidermis of barrier lipids that normally protect the skin from irritant inflammation. Here is your go-to list of Do's and Don'ts:

DON'T strip the skin. It is best to use non-foaming or low-foaming cleansers. Sensitive skin often suffers from impaired barrier function- a lack of lipids between the cells in the epidermis, which allows for easy irritant penetration and dehydration. Look for gentle cleansing ingredients like decyl glucoside instead of traditional lauryl sulfates. Alcohol-based toners are also big no-no.

DO use ingredients that support barrier function. Restoring barrier function greatly reduces redness. Ceramides and other essential lipids are important. They help patch the skin barrier and increase hydration, making it less susceptible to environmental irritants.

DON'T expose the skin to a

heat source, including the sun. Heat causes vasodilation, increasing blood flow and redness. Steer clear of heat treatments, heat producing masks, infrared light treatments, and excessive hot steam. Avoid heat and keep it cool!

DO receive treatments and use products that calm and soothe redness-prone skin. Cool steam, cool compresses, cool "cryo globes", and cooling gel masks are all good ideas. Soothing and calming massage can calm your nerves and redness. Products that contain ingredients such as allantoin, aloe, bisabolol, dipotassium glucyrrhizate, and green tea

just to name a few help reduce redness. Many newly discovered peptides also can help.

DON'T use scratchy, mechanical exfoliants like scrubs, especially ones with rough granules. These can further damage your already fragile barrier function, along with causing micro-tears in the skin leading to milia formation. Microdermabrasion should also be avoided.

DO keep skin well moisturized. Choose fragrance-free moisturizers ingredients like sodium hyluronate, sodium PCA, glycerin and seaweed extracts. Also be diligent about sunscreen! Only formulas that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, other types can cause the skin to sting and absorb heat unlike the ingredients above that deflect.

If you are diligent about the above tips and work with your Aesthetician to have a skin care plan you can easily keep your sensitivity at bay!!

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