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Skin care article: Sensitive Skin

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ost cosmetics skin care Article: Sensitive Skin

"What is sensitive skin?", that is being complained about more often, that is being written about in newspapers, discussed in congresses and has special cosmetics (skin care) produced for it. The term "sensitive skin" has, apparently, taken permanent position in our lives. But the answer to the question: "What is sensitive skin?" is still not clear for many people.

The following could be the signs of "sensitiveness": irritation, redness or skin peeling. They may appear after use of cosmetics or skin care products. Other people might have signs of "sensitive skin" after changing weather conditions (heat, cold, in the strong wind). Irritations may appear due to alcohol use, some food, during stress, or change of climate. Feeling of tense, burnt or redness of skin may appear in windy or air-conditioned places. Similar signs as well as red spots may appear after washing with soap, during period or menopause.

Such skin reactions are very often taken for allergy or dermatological disease. Nevertheless, if such symptoms appear unexpectedly, for no discernible reason, during a certain period of time most probably this is the case of sensitive skin.

  Main mechanisms of skin protection.

Skin barrier. Corneal layer of our skin fulfils this function. It is one of the most important functions of this layer because without it we would have got very dry peeling skin in case of increase of moisture loss. Such skin is not only vulnerable to different external factors (mechanical injuries, impact of chemical instances etc.) but can also open gates to infections. For this reason dry skin with a low skin barrier are mainsprings of sensitive skin.

Skin lipid.Skin lipid secretion is another protective mechanism of skin. It creates lipid layer that prevents skin damages and microbes penetration, significantly softening skin at the same time. Shortage of lipid also makes skin dry and vulnerable. But its excess can cause increase of skin sensitiveness as its components - squalene, fatty acids, when abundant, can cause irritation.

Skin acidity level. Healthy skin has got ph 5.5 acidity level. It is reached due to normal activity of perspiratory glands. Perspiration serves as a protective mechanism as it washes away dirt from the skin and also neutralizes some types of disease causing microbes. But shift of ph to the acid side leads to keratolysis and irritation.

  Skin care for sensitive skin. What are the causes of such skin's "whims" ?

Decreased resistance of skin to external factors impact (upper corneal layer, which serves as a barrier between the outer world and deeper skin layers, is damaged), natural peculiarities of the skin (the work of perspiratory and sebaceous glands as well as content of immune cells).

But the skin can become sensitive due to our conscious actions towards it. Wishing to quickly rejuvenate skin, we sometimes make use of chemical peelings, concentrated skin care products, and masks with active acids and retinoids, but they result in irritations and redness that last long.

Retinoids. They are equivalents of vitamin A that are used in dermatology and cosmetology for treatment of some skin diseases and skin structure enhancement. But they often cause side-effects such as redness, peeling and dryness of skin. When used for a long time the skin may become sensitive. This can also happen due to popular alpha hydroxyl acids and salicylic acid.

Many components, included in some cosmetic and skin care products, may cause allergic contact dermatitis, which in its turn may provoke signs of sensitiveness. These can be, for example, the following floral ingredients: rosemary extract, arnica, calendula, sandal-wood oil. As for chemical ingredients, they can be flavoring agents, preservatives, emulsifiers, propylene-glycol, lanolin, vitamin E etc.
Thus, we can ourselves change our type of skin to sensitive. Thin skin anatomically suffer most of all (nosolabial region and region around eyes).

Finally, we would like to emphasize the following: sensitive skin is neither a diagnosis nor a disease. Though, it complicates the lives of those who have it. People with sensitive skin are in a risk group of some dermatological diseases. Nevertheless, we shall repeat again that sensitive skin is not a disease. That is why the only way out is proper care and choice of skin care products.

You shouldn't change cosmetic or skin care brands often and you need to buy them carefully. When changing skin care brand make a "pause" (do not use any skin care products at all if possible) of 5-7 days. Stay away from peeling, mesotherapy etc., especially in hot climate and active sun. Sensitive skin must be properly moisturized and protected.

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