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Do You Know If You Sensitive Skin?

If your skin is the type that adversely reacts to even above normal conditions of heat or cold, chances are you have sensitive skin. A person with sensitive skin is literally “thin-skinned” because the thickness of his skin is relatively less than other skin types. Sunburns (and windburns) are normal afflictions of someone with sensitive skin, who is also quite reactive to several types of allergens. Many things that normal skinned-people take for granted are on the “avoid” list of a person with sensitive skin; e.g., temperature swings, most cosmetics and skin-applied alcohol and alcohol-based products, strong chemical detergents, insect bites, smoke, etc.

There is strong medical evidence to prove that sensitive skin and dry skin are closely related. When the skin becomes dry it starts to deteriorate, beginning first with cracks in the skin. These cracks allow the entry of skin irritants into the deeper skin layers, thus resulting in more severe skin irritation.

How to Tell if You Have Sensitive Skin

If the presence of the following factors causes tightening or reddening of the skin or itchiness, then you are most likely someone with sensitive skin:

  • flaky skin
  • fabrics like wool, rayon, or nylon
  • blotchy skin
  • alcohol-based skin care products
  • adult acne
  • stress
  • household cleansers
  • work stress


Since a person with sensitive skin is always at risk to prolonged exposure to the sun, the first line of defense is to protect the skin with hypoallergenic sunblock creams and lotions. Also, since sensitive skin is characteristically dry, it is good to apply non-alcohol based moisturizers.

If you want to wear perfume/cologne or make-up and have sensitive skin, test these first by applying some on the inside of your wrist to check how it would react. Unfortunately, the truth is that it is quite rare for someone who has sensitive skin to wear most forms and brands of cosmetics and perfumes.

When washing your face, make sure that you are not using soaps that have so many artificial ingredients as anyone of these could cause a severe reaction to your sensitive skin. Do not use rough towels to wipe your skin and do not vigorously rub your towel on your skin; rather, just dab the wet parts of your body with a smooth and absorbent towel.

Wear clothing that does not contain synthetic materials. Opt for pure cotton materials that do not irritate the skin and absorb sweat. Avoid clothes with tight garters because these tend to leave marks on sensitive skin that could quickly turn to a rash. During hot days, wear clothes that are loose and promote the circulation of air across all parts of your skin. On cold days, wear clothing that can be sealed at the extremities and maintain normal room temperature. Avoid wearing too much clothing during cold days as these may trap too much body heat which may not be beneficial to sensitive skin.

Having sensitive skin need not be so uncomfortable if you know how to treat it. It just takes a bit of patience and common sense.