The skin comprises of protective layers that locks in moisture and prevents external factors like sun, wind and pollutants from penetrating through it. Anything that damages this protective layer causes the skin to react to the environment, making skin itchy, dry and sensitive. Sometimes internal factors like stress and certain types of food causes skin irritation. So, the next time you wake up with irritating blemishes on your face, take a deep breath and don’t stress. Calm down and prevent yourself from poking and prodding the skin, trying to get rid of the blemishes. Wait for at least 30 minutes as the flare-up may just be a momentary thing. If the condition stays even after that, start thinking of possible reasons for the irritant, and a possible solution.
Skin irritation may manifest in many forms – becomes red, itchy, feels dry & tight, gives burning sensation, may feel bumpy, starts peeling or flaking, and it may even become cracky and start bleeding.
Consider the following when you find yourself in a dilemma trying to figure out the possible reason or the solution to the stressed skin problem.
The surrounding environment has a direct bearing on skin health. Air pollution, water and even strong winds may cause skin irritation. Know the impact of the sunny weather on a desert trip, or of relaxed days on the breezy beach during holidays or on weekends. The sun’s UV rays and strong winds may stress the skin, leaving it dry, flaky and irritated.
Skin protection from the sun and wind is vital; ensure that you keep skin hydrated and soothed. Make morning and night cleansing a ‘must do’ of your beauty ritual, in order to combat city pollution. Look for products specially formulated for sensitive skin, so that you can take care of skin cleansing, hydration and soothing it, without worrying about skin irritations. Wear adequate SPF while venturing out in the sun, and if your skin is sensitive to the wind wear a hat. Also be mindful of the area where you choose to sit, walk or run. Sometimes prevention is the cure – it’s best to avoid environments that stresses the skin then to combat the skin damages.
Internal factors like stress and nutrition are major contributors of skin flare-ups. People with excess tension and anxieties in life resort to unhealthy snacking and meals. Take cognizance of the anxieties and stressors in your life; And try to manage stress through meditation and yoga. Track your food habits: Have you been eating dairy products (in case you normally don’t eat dairy); Has the week been intense in office; Are you drinking too much lately?
Keeping track of the diet is significant, as the skin directly reflects what you ingest. Many studies have revealed that acne and breakouts are triggered by diets rich in high glycemic index. So, avoid white bread, white rice, refined carbohydrates and food high in sugar. Dairy products like skimmed milk are known to aggravate acne in many people. Rosacea flares are easily triggered by a diet comprising of alcohol, spicy food and hot food items. Psoriasis patients may experience psoriasis flare ups due to obesity and alcohol.
Modify your lifestyle by practising yoga in the morning, stay away from dairy during lunch break, observe tech-free evenings after office for a few weeks, and look for noticeable changes in skin condition. Instead of spending hours trying to find a possible solution to the issue of sensitive skin, it’s best to get on with the day’s routine. Involve yourself in positive activities that make you feel good rather than obsessing about your skin condition. Probably the stressed skin condition is an internal issue and requires self-care. Lifestyle changes like slowing down and eating healthy food is more likely to resolve the skin irritation than over-treating the condition.
Skin care products
Take inventory of your skin care products and examine the ones that seem to be working for you and the ones that definitely needs to be relegated to the dustbin. Distressed skin conditions like consistent redness or sensitivity may be caused by excessive exfoliation, affecting the skin’s moisture balance. To start with, take an exfoliation break or limit it to once a week. But it’s advisable to put a break on exfoliation if the skin feels dry, flaky, tight and looks red. Adopt sensitive skin products from reputed brands that are known for their quality. Additionally, try using products from the same brand as you need not worry about the products’ ingredients that may clash and stress the skin. And, it’s best to keep your face free of makeup as much as possible, and let the skin breathe and glow.
Follow the classic rule of wellbeing – let go, but be mindful of your being. Try to assess the factors that may be causing skin distress, change your habits and adopt practises that optimizes inner peace and wellbeing. Most important – stop obsessing about the skin condition. If you are relaxed, your skin might also be. So, breathe and let go of skin worries after adopting a few remedial actions.