Before diving into it, what is sensitive skin and why does it plague so many of our skintellectuals out there? Especially in the winter!
Sensitive skin is not something that can be described as a single condition. In fact, it refers to the culmination of factors resulting in abnormal sensory perceptions. These can manifest in the form of tingling, pain, itching, stinging, burning, and low tolerance to certain personal care and beauty products.
The inner workings behind sensitive skin are not yet entirely understood, however, a number of underlying factors are thought to contribute to skin sensitivity, many of which relate to the substances that one exposes their skin to, but that isn’t the only thing. Skin disorders, lifestyle factors, environmental factors as well as genetics (although this one isn’t as dominant) all have an impact on skin sensitivity as well.
Environmental factors specifically can have an adverse effect on pre-existing skin sensitivity. If you are currently or have ever suffered from skin sensitivity and notice that it’s exacerbated during the winter months, look no further. These five tips will save you from a harsh winter!
#1 Restore Moisture In Your Environment
One of the most noticeable changes of winter months on the skin is the increase of dryness in the air. Whether that’s from you being outside and exposed to the biting cold winds or as a result of being in a centrally heated space that can feel amazing from the bitter cold but can cause as much dryness as being outside, regardless of where you are, dryness in the atmosphere can lead to reduced moisture levels in the skin. Aim to restore moisture into your environment through the use of a humidifier.
#2 Change Your Moisturizer
One of the biggest mistakes that individuals can make when it comes to their skincare routine in the winter is not adapting it to the change in weather. For the most part, you might need a thicker moire moisturizing product in the summer, which can drastically reduce the impact of your skin sensitivity, without too much effort. Search for products that contain ceramide ingredients, as these can be incredibly hydrating.
#3 Switch your Cleanser
It might be very difficult to read that your beloved cleanser might be just a little too harsh on your skin during the winter months, but there you have it. If you are using cleansers that strip your skin and leave you feeling squeaky clean and tight, you might want to reconsider and opt for a milkier, creamier cleanser. If your skin can survive it, it might even be a good idea to skip the step entirely and simply splash water on your face (at least when you wake up in the morning).
#4 Don’t Forget to Apply your SPF
You might think that because it's the winter and the clouds have rolled in leaving you without sun for days on end that your skin is protected from the impacts of sun exposure. Unfortunately, that misconception is unfounded. In fact, it might be a good idea to keep your sunscreen on the shelf where you can easily reach it during the winter months. The sun’s UV rays don’t take a holiday in the cooler months of the year. UV rays can still penetrate the skin’s dermal layers and cause damage, which is why it is crucial to wear a minimum SPF of 30 daily.
#5 Give your Skin a Boost with Masks
Your skin can become tight, dry, and flakey in the winter months with the drop in humidity in your environment making it harder for nutrients to penetrate the skin, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take that extra step to support it. Masks are a great way of giving your skin the good ingredients it needs in a short period of time. Sheet masks in particular with antioxidant benefits can really help. You should also keep an eye out for prebiotic and postbiotic ingredients as they support the overall health of the skin.
Skin sensitivity: refers to the culmination of factors resulting in abnormal sensory perceptions. These can manifest in the form of tingling, pain, itching, stinging, burning, and low tolerance to certain personal care and beauty products.
Chen, L. and Zheng, J. (2020). Does sensitive skin represent a skin condition or manifestations of other disorders? Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 20(7), pp.2058–2061. doi:10.1111/jocd.13829.
Do, L.H.D., Azizi, N. and Maibach, H. (2019). Sensitive Skin Syndrome: An Update. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. doi:10.1007/s40257-019-00499-7.
Misery, L. (2021). IRRITATED SKINS ARE NOT SENSITIVE SKINS. JID Innovations, p.100031. doi:10.1016/j.xjidi.2021.100031.