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10 Commonly Asked Questions About Sensitive Skin

How to handle sensitive skin: triggers, prevention, tips from an expert

Do you have sensitive skin? Know how to keep it healthy

Are you tired of getting reactions on your skin right after applying skincare products? Have you been dealing with erratic zits since a teenager while your friends flaunt flawless skin? Well, having sensitive skin is not uncommon. However, many of you do not even know if you have a sensitive or combination skin which triggers your skin problems more. From having skin reactions to breaking out easily, there are a plenty of things you should know if you are having a sensitive skin. That is why to clear all your doubts with this skin type and its reactions, we have comes up with expert advice. Dr. Geetanjali Shetty, who contributes as a dermatologist on behalf of Cetaphil India, has shared her inputs on commonly raised questions about sensitive skin.

(Also read: How To Make Skin Glow: Expert Tips On Keeping Your Skin Radiant)

The Most Commonly Asked Questions About Sensitive Skin

1. How To Identify Sensitive Skin? How Is It Different From Other Skin Textures?

Dr. Geetanjali Shetty: The most important step in caring for your skin comes in understanding your specific skin type and how it adapts to certain circumstances or seasonality. You can visit a dermatologist to identify your skin type or do that yourself by a simple skin test - With a clean facial tissue, wipe your face in the morning when you have just woken up and checked the results below to know what skin type you have. There are mainly 5 types of skin - normal, oily, dry, combination, and sensitive.

If you have a normal skin, the tissue will show no traces of oil making your skin feel very vibrant, elastic & supple. You are blessed since it is the least problematic of all skin types.

Oily skin will have spots of oil on the face, especially around your cheeks, nose & forehead which causes a lot of problems like open pores, greasiness, breakouts etc.

If dry skin, the tissue will be clean but your face skin will feel dry and tight. This type of skin is very prone to premature ageing, wrinkles and fine pores.

Combination skin is the most common skin type. The tissue will have traces of oil coming from your nose and forehead, but the areas that touched your cheeks will be clean. This skin type requires different types of care with respect to different facial areas.

The tissue test may not work for the sensitive skin type as it is extremely tender and becomes inflamed and irritated easily. It also develops reddish & scaly areas and is prone to breaking into spots.


Do you get reactions after applying any skincare products?

2. People With Sensitive Skin Are Prone To Get More Reactions From Products. What Causes These Reactions?

Dr. Geetanjali Shetty: Sensitive skin is extremely tender to products it is more prone to rashes and bumps and can aggravate due to dry patches as well. Having a spicy meal or drinking alcohol can trigger these reactions hence this type needs excessive hydration during the winters. Apart from this, ingredients like fragrances, colours, retinol, menthol, occlusive emollients and preservatives are known to cause allergic reactions.

3. What Are The Common Mistakes People With Sensitive Skin Commit? How Does That Affect In A Negative Way?

Dr. Geetanjali Shetty: People normally opt for a branded product ignoring the ingredients in the product while on the other hand, it's always said that exfoliating is the best way to get deep into your skin but most people exfoliate to far often which then results into reactions. A few more common mistakes include, wearing makeup 24/7, using very hot water while cleansing the skin & overdoing skin masks.

4. Women With Sensitive Skin Often Complain About Sun Damage. Can You Shed Some Light On This?

Dr. Geetanjali Shetty: With an impaired skin barrier and a tendency for redness and rashes, it's no wonder that sensitive types find the heat of the summer months problematic. Wearing sunscreen, covering up with clothing and seeking shade will help protect you from the sun and keep the sensitivity at bay.


Scrubs for sensitive skin?

5. Let's Talk Scrubs For Sensitive Skin. Yay Or Nay?

Dr. Geetanjali Shetty: Yes, exfoliation/scrubbing for all skin types should be a part of the skincare routine. But every skin type needs to be exfoliated in a specific manner. Likewise, for sensitive skin there are products compatible with acne-prone & other sensitive skin types. The key is to not overdo it. It is advisable to opt for a mild exfoliator like Cetaphil Daily Exfoliating Cleanser is distinctive as it exfoliates gently resulting healthy & glowing skin while improving the overall skin texture.

6. How Should Women With Sensitive Skin Approach The Use Of Products For Their Face? Are There Any Ingredients We Should Be Looking Out For?

Dr. Geetanjali Shetty: Women with sensitive need to watch out for products & ingredients that prompt skin irritation & allergy. They need to follow the basic C-T-M (Cleansing, Toning & Moisturising) formula as a daily ritual. If you have sensitive skin, look out for products that include aloe vera, calendula, chamomile and marshmallow extract.

7. Are There Any Types Of Cosmetics That Are Gentle On Sensitive Skin?

Dr. Geetanjali Shetty: Yes, women with sensitive skin can rely on face cleansers, body moisturisers, scrubs/exfoliators, makeup removers and sunscreen for sensitive skin.

8. Are Skin Products Labelled 'Hypoallergenic' Gentler On Sensitive Skin?

Dr. Geetanjali Shetty: No, products labelled hypoallergenic are not necessarily safer for sensitive skin. It also depends from product to product. Hence, it is advisable to consult a dermat before using/buying any particular product for sensitive skin.


Sensitive skin requires special care

9. Are There Any Diets That Are Ideal For Sensitive Skin?

Dr. Geetanjali Shetty: A healthy and rich diet is the key to keep the skin nourished and hydrated, and provide all the vitamins and minerals it needs to perform its functions. Research suggests that antioxidant-rich foods have a protective effect on the skin. Food nutrients containing asparagus, red onions, tomatoes and broccoli should be included in every meal.

10. Is Sensitive Skin Hereditary Or Can It Change As We Grow Older?

Dr. Geetanjali Shetty: No, not necessarily. It can change as we grow older since everyone leads a different lifestyle and follows a different routine altogether. However, in some cases a number of skin diseases are inherited or believed to run in families. They include eczema, acne, psoriasis and rosacea.

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(Also read: 10 Home Remedies For Pimples: Keep Your Skin Flawless Naturally)