Although sensitive skin is a recognized skin type that many people have to deal with, often times the skin itself isn’t sensitive, but rather it is “sensitized” which is a skin condition.. meaning that lifestyle, diet, age, and the environment make the skin react.
Constantly exposing the skin to these triggers can result in inflamed skin…which often shows up as skin looking blotchy and feeling itchy, dry, prickly, and/or tight. Sensitive skin, on the other hand, is a skin type you are born with.. like brown eyes or curly hair… which, of course, can also easily be triggered to react.
Almost anything can make an individual’s skin react… sun exposure, spicy food, alcohol, dairy, pollution, climate, hormones, stress, excessive exfoliation, harsh skin care products.. just to name a few.
What ends up happening is that the skin’s protective outer layer (called the lipid barrier layer) gets compromised when exposed to your trigger. Irritants and allergens can then penetrate the skin more easily resulting in sensitized skin.
The best way to identify your triggers is keeping a diary of your food, drink, and activities and noting how your skin looks and feels immediately as well as the next day.
In the salon, a custom calming and cooling facial will help reduce redness, itchiness, and inflammation.
For clients with sensitized, irritated, or sensitive skin, I use professional YUM Gourmet Skin Care products for facial skin treatments and recommend YUM skin care products for daily skin care at home. YUM is salon-level, all natural, organic skin care line which is formulated with highly effective performance ingredients found in nature.
In addition to your monthly calming facials, a basic skin care routine I recommend at home to help calm irritated skin and keep it looking its best includes the following:
- Beta Carotene Cleanser with Grape Seed Oil … supports highly sensitive skin by promoting healthy circulation and resisting UV aggression. This fragrance-free, color-free and paraben-free daily Cleanser offers an array of calming actives which target irritants that can cause redness or sensitivity… Use morning and night.
- Adzuki Blueberry Exfoliant… a fine powder exfoliant that provides optimal results with minimal irritation. Organic Adzuki Bean, Rice and Bamboo Flour gingerly removes dry devitalized skin while Colloidal Oatmeal sooths and calms irritation. Use 1-2 times a week by gently massaging into the skin for about a minute after cleansing. Rinse off and follow with toner.
- Pomegranate Toner with Organic Chamomile .. offers array of gentle, natural skin refining acids which boost texture and appearance. Mildly exfoliating, surface debris is swept away revealing a brighter, more even-looking complexion. Use morning and night after cleansing.
- Green Tea Calming Serum.. To calm the skin after I give a client an exfoliation, chemical peel, or waxing, I reach for a Green Tea Calming Serum with Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera cools and calms inflammation and Green Tea is a natural anti-oxidant which resists free radicals and protects irritated skin while promoting cellular regeneration. At home, applying Green Tea Calming Serum daily after toning can help calm irritation and redness due to sensitivity, excessive dryness, or sun exposure.
- Marine Algae Calming Gel .. The ultimate Marine based treatment for sensitized and sensitive skin. Marine Algae Calming Gel is an Organic Seaweed-derived gel that offers an immediate cooling sensation upon application. Botanical extracts of Gotu Kola, Green and Rooibos and water based hydration soothe irritated and sensitive skin. Use daily (followed by sun protection) or nightly as a moisturizer.. OR as a spot treatment on irritated and inflamed skin.
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