A scientific definition for “sensitive skin” is a bit difficult to find, as many differing, measurable criteria for the term exist. However, “normal” skin can develop a higher sensitivity when exposed to the following stimuli:
- Heavy skin-peeling
- An increased exposure to water, alkalis, and solvents
- Internal illnesses such as the increased sky dryness seen in diabetes, or the general itching that can accompany kidney diseases
- Psychological factors like stress
Dry skin is especially common in children under 10 and older people over 60. Between 10 and 50 years of age, the number of women with dry skin is markedly more than in the case of men. The common characteristics of dry skin are light scaling, tightness, and sometimes itching. Basically, two types of dry skin—normal dry skin and extreme dry skin. In both types, the cause is essentially a deficit of natural moisturizing factors. A rarer form of dry skin is atopic dry skin, in which a disturbed fatty acid metabolism of the skin contributes a major role.
[Related: Six Simple Steps to Clear Skin]
Cleaning and Care of Dry Skin
To restore your dry skin to its normal physiological condition, pay close attention to your cleansing and skin care routine. In choosing cleansing products for dry skin, keep the following in mind.
Use Mild Cleansing Complexes
Make sure the cleansing preparations are made up of mild cleansing complexes with re-oiling agents that remove fat-soluble (lipophilic) dirt particles.
Ensure Your Cleanser Has Replenishing Lipids
The cleansing substances’ supply of lipids should promote and ensure an intensive replenishing of skin oils.
Cleanser Should Have Proper Re-Oiling Agents
The fatty-acid constituents of the re-oiling agents should also be similar to the skin’s natural oils to blend especially well into the skin’s tough stratum corneum, thereby restoring the protective lipid film during washing, and helping to maintain your skin’s natural pH balance.
[Related: How to Treat Scars]
Choosing Skin Care Products for Dry Skin
Choosing skin care products that contain various active ingredients that reinforce the skin’s own protective functions is important. Here are pointers and ingredients to watch out for:
Skin care products that contain the antioxidant vitamin E are effective in preventing—or at the very least delaying—skin aging. Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that hinders the oxidation of poly-unsaturated fatty acids, thus helping to firm up the cell membrane and delay cell-aging.
Vitamin C in Citric Acid Form
Vitamin C in citric acid form is also a popular skin care substance that is used mainly because it helps with healing wounds and regenerating cells.
Choose skin care products that protect the skin from damaging environmental influences such as dryness and colds. Where the skin condition has been disturbed, choose skin care products that contain moisturizing against and substances that will help normalize the skin, heal it, and prevent diseases. For example, a vitamin B derivative, Dexpanthenol, is said to enhance wound-healing and cell-formation.
[Related: Why Some of Us Have Oily Skin]
Products for Deodorant-Intolerant Skin
Those with especially sensitive skin or skin affected by neuro-dermatitis should choose skin care products suitable for deodorant-intolerant skin.
The skin care products’ efficacy should have been objectively and comprehensively evaluated and then confirmed in clinical studies.
Healthy skin, for the most part, results from a balance of moisture and oils, and the physiological pH-value of the skin’s surface. Always remember to choose cleansing and skin care products that are quickly absorbed into the skin and activate the various regenerating metabolic processes of the skin cells.