When you are suffering, the easiest question to ask is “Why Me?” This is applicable more than ever if you have sensitive skin. Why is trying a new cosmetic for you a gamble with your skin when you have a friend that switches cosmetics on a weekly basis just because they can? Why can’t you wear that great foundation that really does make your skin look radiant and perfect like they say in the advertising? Because it gives you hives, that’s why! Let’s be honest, having sensitive skin isn’t fun.
If you have had sensitive skin for a long time, by now you have probably just learned to live with it. Maybe you gave up on certain types of makeup because you never found one that doesn’t irritate, or maybe you have stuck with the same exact brand for years in fear of what might happen if you change. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer as to why you, and maybe no one else in your immediate family, have sensitive skin. However, there are a few common culprits. If you are really lucky, they might just help you ease your sensitivities.
Causes of Sensitive Skin
Allergies – This is one of the most common, if not the most common cause of sensitive skin. Even if you don’t have cosmetic allergies, even a food allergy can trigger your sensitive skin after just being ingested. Luckily, allergies are also the easiest to confirm as well. If you believe allergies are to blame for your sensitive skin, you could keep a log of what you are using when the breakouts occur and have a doctor do an allergy testing panel to confirm the culprit.
Poor Genetics – Unfortunately, the other most common cause of sensitive skin is just the fact that you lost the genetic lottery in this regard. Do any of your family members have skin problems? This can go beyond your immediate family to your aunts, uncles, and grandparents as well. It has also been suggested that those with fair complexions will be more likely to have skin problems than darker complexions, but no skin color is completely immune.
Thyroid Problems – Both underactive and overactive thyroid glands can be responsible for skin problems. However, thyroid issues also come with a huge list of other symptoms that can be hard to pinpoint. Symptoms other than skin irritation include dry skin, hair loss, fatigue, weight gain or loss, and irregular body temperatures like warm or cold hands and feet.
Poor Digestion – To be honest, poor digestion doesn’t often directly cause sensitive skin. The thing is, if you aren’t digesting food properly, you aren’t getting as many nutrients and undigested food tends to cause inflammation. While most of the time this irritation will be limited to your digestive system, what happens in there can echo out throughout the body. This can include your skin as well. However, you will notice irritation not so much in conjunction with putting on makeup, but more randomly.
Poor Toxin Removal – This can mean your body is having problems properly removing toxins in your digestive system or out of your pores in general. Either situation can mean a bad time for your skin. Like with poor digestion, if your body is having issues removing toxins in the digestive system, it causes inflammation, and that inflammation radiates outwards. However, more commonly if your skin isn’t removing toxins, or worse yet, you aren’t washing your makeup away each day, it can be the perfect storm for skin inflammation.
Preventing Skin Irritation
I feel like you already know what this section will say because all sensitive skin advice says basically the same thing. The shortened way to say it is thus – Get your life together, girl. (Or boy, of course!)
If your skin irritation isn’t caused by allergies and you don’t think it was cosmetics, the easiest thing to do is to clean up the way you live. This is easier than you think. Start by including fruit or vegetables (potatoes shouldn’t count) into every meal. Then increase your intake of probiotics since it can be digestive issues. Finally, you should limit your intake of sugars, alcohol, and even coffee which can all trigger digestive issues that can radiate into skin problems.
In addition, if you aren’t already, you should be cleaning your face before and after using cosmetics. It can make a huge difference, and if your skin is sensitive, it can help prevent breakouts. However, you want to make sure you are also using a gentle, non-alcoholic cleanser.
Of course, if your sensitive skin is caused by allergies, as many are, the only choice you have to find the ingredient and cut it out. Pinpointing can be done on your own by finding the common ingredient in triggering cosmetics, but it is often faster to see a doctor, explain that makeup is what triggers you, and have them test the common irritants in an allergy panel.