A few months ago Annet King, director of global education for the International Dermal Institute, tweeted the stat that about 50 percent of the population claims to have sensitive skin. But do they really? According to King, not necessarily. She said that while some people do have truly sensitive skin others might have sensitized skin, which is temporary and often brought on by environmental issues.
So, if you think you have sensitive skin, King recommends you ask yourself these questions:
- “What is my skin texture like? Is it delicate, fine, sometimes transparent skin, thinner than average?”
- ”Is my skin tight? Tightness indicates dehydration, which can lead to skin reactions from products/irritants [that are] able to penetrate the skin barrier.”
- “Does my skin look red or blotchy? This indicates capillary activity which maybe over reactive (i.e. you get red easily)!”
- “Does my skin flake or crack easily? This is common in dry, sensitive skin and is another sign of a compromised barrier.”
- “Do I blush easily? Blushing — another form of over reactive capillary action.”
- “Do I react easily to topical products? [This is a] common sign of sensitive skin and is generally an inherited trait.”
If you answered yes to pretty much all of these questions and you are fair skinned, of northern European ancestry and suffer from allergies, asthma or eczema, you likely have truly sensitive skin according to King. “What we call this is the atopic triad. [People that fit this description] have higher levels of histamine in the body and thinner, more reactive skin,” she says.
But, if you answered yes to the above questions — some or even all of them — but the symptoms seem to come and go, you likely don’t have truly sensitive skin. Sensitized skin, which is what this is, likely flairs up “after travel, periods of stress, too much sun or over exfoliating,” says King. Truly sensitive skin, which you’re born with, experiences the above issues constantly. And, unlike sensitive skin, “any skin type, race or age can be sensitized — it’s not restricted to fair skin,” she adds.
So tell me, do you have sensitive skin or does your skin just act sensitive from time to time? I’m in the truly sensitive skin category.
When emailing with my friend Breean yesterday (she’s the makeup artist featured in this smoky eye tutorial video) we got to talking about cystic pimples and how best to hide them when you have a special event or important occasion coming up. She shared a pretty handy trick that I thought I’d pass along to you.
If she gets a deep, underground pimple days before an important engagement, here’s what she does: “I take a heavy amount of omega fish oil pills, which are natural anti-inflammatories. If I saturate my body with omegas for a few days, the swelling goes down quickly! It works really well for cysts and [the oils are] good for your complexion in general,” she says.
I haven’t tried this myself, but I do get deep undergrounders like Breean does, so I think I’ll give it a try.
What natural beauty tricks do you employ to solve important skin issues? Tell me about them and I might just add them to my routine, too.
I recently visited esthetician Georgette Peralta at the Thibiant Beverly Hills Spa and she shared a great face scrubbing tip that I have since adopted.
She says to “put your face scrub next to your shampoo in the shower, and use it in between shampooing and conditioning your hair … .” If applied “towards the end of your shower as you condition your hair, [it] gives your shower time to steam up — [the steam] opens your pores and allows the product to give a more thorough and effective exfoliation. Plus, using it in the shower is less messy and less time consuming,” she says.
Do you usually scrub your face in the shower or just at the sink? Think you’ll try this?
Filed under Skin, Skin Care
Ever since the day I launched this problem/solution-oriented blog my husband has been full of beauty questions. His friends would love to know this fact.
But, his questions (well, some of them anyway) are pretty universal. For instance, a couple of weeks ago he asked me what he could do to make his pores less obvious. First off, I was thrilled he even noticed that his pores were somewhat obvious. I’ve clearly trained him well. And then I thought, that’s a great question, and one that so many men and women would like to know the answer to, right? I think so. That’s when I decided to have celebrity skin expert Kate Somerville weigh in on the topic.
When it comes to pores, “size is more or less genetic, and unless you do a series of pretty intense laser treatments and peels, it’s not realistic to get rid of sizable ones,” says Somerville. “However, even if you didn’t inherit large pores, they can get bigger as you age due to loss of elasticity,” and will also look more obvious if you have dead skin cells built up around them, she says.
That’s why it’s “important to clear them and tighten your skin to keep your complexion looking as smooth as possible,” she adds.
Filed under Skin, Skin Care