Do you have sensitive skin? More than 1/2 of women in the USA suffer from “sensitive” or “very sensitive” skin conditions according to survey of the International Society of Dermatology. Does the healthy, moist appearance of summer skin disappear in the ‘off season’? Here are 5 tips I recommend for keeping your skin looking it’s best when the cold wind blows.
1- Avoid Hot Water- Many believe that taking a hot shower can increase the circulation and make the skin more healthy. The problem is that the hot water removes the important oils on the surface which are essential to keep your skin healthy. This protective layer is especially important for those with sensitive skin. Hot water can lead to skin irritations and rashes as well. Keep it tepid.
2- Don’t overdo the prescription skin products- I have been managing skin problems and anti-aging management since I began in practice since 1989. I am not a big proponent of prescription-strength retinoic acid, and I have never written a prescription for that with my patients. The lower strength products containing retinol provide a more mild mixture which will cause less irritation. Patients always think more is better, but irritation is our enemy when it comes to the skin. Be patient in your rejuvenating home treatments to slowly turn the clock back.
3- Mind your fruits and vegetables- Just like grandma always told us, “eat those fruits and vegetables”! They help to promote good digestion and are powerful antioxidants to reduce inflammation and irritation of the skin. This can help with those that suffer with acne breakouts as well.
4- Lymphatic massage- When you wash your skin, take 30 seconds to stimulate lymphatic drainage. Gentle massage in a downward direction can decongest the skin by stimulating the lymphatics. By promoting lymphatic drainage, one can reduce redness and inflammation thus calming the skin.
5- Scrub the Scrubs!- When I see irritated skin on my patients, my first question is, “how often do you exfoliate with scrubs?” I can tell right away when I look at their skin that something is causing irritation. I usually recommend using these scrubs no more than once or twice a month. Rather than using these home scrubs, which push the debris into the skin and create irritation, consider mechanical exfoliation with microdermabrasion at the doctors office. This will lift off the dead skin cells and debris, leaving you with healthy skin receptive to the skin products you apply.