Being a resident of a tropical country like India, you probably belong to the 40% of people who have oily skin or the 38% of people who have sensitive skin. Oily skin is fairly easy to deal with as a wide range of products are available to care for it, and it is less prone to wrinkles.
However, Sensitive skin is a skin type where skin is acutely prone to irritation, itching and obviously (and sadly), damage. This tricky skin type requires special attention and care as neither products for dry skin suit it nor those for oily skin. Various effects are seen on different people triggered by different factors.
Main Factors that Trigger Sensitive Skin
- Exposure to pollution
- Harsh weather conditions (too hot or too cold)
- Excessively dry skin
- Skin disorders (such as eczema, dermatitis or allergic reactions)
Whatever the factor, sensitive skin in difficult to live with as skin becomes rough, dry, cracked and with open pores, the person might give a ‘browned’ or ‘flushed’ look and blemishes are not uncommon, either. One must take utmost care of sensitive skin, especially if it is caused by the first two factors listed above.
General tips for sensitive skin care
a) Be regular: A proper daily routine must be fixed, and time set apart for skin care
b) Cleanse and Moisturize: Most skin sensitivity is mild and can be handled well by a proper daily cleansing and moisturizing with the right products.
c) Go non-fragrant: While selecting skin care products, pick ones that do not contain added perfumes. They might irritate the skin.
d) Go simple: Your skin care products need not have a laboratory full of chemicals. The lesser the ingredients, the better.
e) Go pure: Avoid products containing alcohol, anti-bacterial agents and retinoids. These will do more harm than good by making the skin dry.
f) Go hypoallergenic: Look for the ‘hypoallergenic’ mark on the product before buying it.
g) Go fresh: Buy fresh cosmetics frequently and throw out ones older than a year.
h) Go the silicone way: No, not implants! Rather look for silicone in the ingredients of cosmetics. It soothes sensitive skin.
i) Go with natural shades: The more natural the shades of eye color, lipsticks and eye liners, the less irritation they will cause.
j) Go for non-waterproof: Avoid waterproof cosmetics as they require harsh makeup removers.
Top Products for Sensitive Skin
- Olay Complete All Day UV Moisture Cream: This revolutionary product from the world’s most loved skin care brand takes ample care to soothe and protect sensitive skin from harm caused by environmental factors. With an SPF of 15, this is a UVA and UVB sunscreen that is also loaded with Vitamins B3, C and E. It is Non-Comedogenic, meaning that it does not clog pores. These factors make it one of the best products for sensitive skin care.
- Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser: Owing to the fact that sensitive skin requires round-the-clock gentle care, Neutrogena’s daily cleanser uses the mildest formula to cleanse, unclog and refresh sensitive skin. It is completely hypoallergenic and oil-free. It has been recommended by dermatologists to care for very sensitive skin.
- Lotus Herbals Nutramoist Skin Renewal Daily Moisturizing Cream: With Plum and Grapes as the active ingredients, this sure gentle cream has an SPF of 25. The plum extracts act as soothing and moisturizing agents, whereas the grape extracts are natural anti-oxidants and astringents. Its daily use on cleansed skin will give sensitive skin the intensive care it needs.
- Kaya Skin Clinic Face Cleanser for Sensitive Skin: Though a bit on the expensive side, this radical product has been created with the Indian skin and weather conditions in mind. It is a non-perfumed, non-drying and non-irritant cleanser. It uses all hypoallergenic ingredients and can be used in combination with the Kaya Skin Clinic Sun Defense sunscreen which is specially meant for sensitive skin.
- Vichy Aqualia Thermal Light: This lotion when used regularly makes skin hydrated, less sensitive and fortified. It is one of the lightest lotions that gives long lasting moisturization and protection to sensitive skin. It contains Activ HyaluronineTM which makes the lotions diffusion over the epidermis most effective.
- Shahnaz Husain Black Diamond Advance Formula Skin Regenerating Serum: Almost a household name in India, Shahnaz Husain’s products have become synonymous with beauty treatments. This radical, new serum contains natural extracts of ginseng, aloe vera, green tea and essential skin vitamins. Its application provides better skin elasticity and suppleness to sensitive skin. It also provides nourishment to the deeper layers of the skin.
- Everyuth mild scrub for sensitive skin: With extracts of papaya and apricot, this mildest of scrubs will not irritate sensitive skin, but will leave it cleansed and unclogged. It smoothens and rejuvenates the skin gently and exfoliates in the mildest manner. People with sensitive skin who normally avoid scrubs must give this product a try.
- Biotique Red Sandalwood Cream: A whopping SPF of 50, sandalwood, saffron, wheatgerm, honey and Arjun tree bark make this cream a wonderful concoction for sensitive skin care. Each of the ingredients is hand-picked to soothe the irritation and itching of sensitive skin and to protect it from harm from environmental factors.
- Fair and Lovely Ayurvedic Care cream: Perhaps India’s favourite skin care brand, Fair and Lovely’s cream for sensitive skin contains Ayurvedic elements like Lodhra and Manjishtha in combination with fairness enhancing elements. For those who have sensitive skin and have always wanted to use a fairness cream, this is the much awaited answer.
- Amway Artistry CTM (Hydrating System): This is a combo pack containing a cleanser, toner and hydrating lotion all meant for sensitive skin. The products should preferably be used in this same sequence over regular intervals. All three contain hydrating and rejuvenating elements that are best suited for sensitive skin, although other skin types can also use them. Amway products are renowned for their genuineness and efficacy and this combo pack is surely worth a try.
- Aroma Magic sensitive skin oil: Pure essential oils make up this unique blend for sensitive skin. The oils used in this product are all hypoallergenic and non-irritants. It is also beneficial for people with allergy prone skin.
All the above skin care products are easily available over-the-counter and online. Owing to the special nature of sensitive skin, it would be unwise to settle for products made for oily, normal or dry skin. By doing this you could possibly harm your skin permanently. These products are from various firms that represent various price brackets and uses. Pick the ones that suit your budget and requirement. Make sure to test any new product on a small patch of skin for at least five days before you actually use it. In case, you experience an allergic reaction, immediately discontinue use of the product and consult a dermatologist.
Remember, sensitive skin may experience harsher allergic reactions than other skin types. Therefore, it is best to choose a product from a well-known brand that is explicitly devised to suit your particular skin type. Apart from these products, remember to eat healthy, get proper sleep, maintain skin hygiene and hydrate the skin by drinking lots of water.