Heal Sensitive Skin, Naturally
By Myra Michelle Eby
According to a recent survey, 70 percent of women feel they have sensitive skin. There is no question we've seen a dramatic increase in this skin type over the past several years. But what exactly is sensitive skin?
Is This You?
Sensitive skin is not a medical condition. Rather it's a subjective description of a skin type. Sensitive skin is generally defined as easily irritated skin. Sensitive skin can become red, flushed, inflamed, dry, and/or itchy. An individual with sensitive skin will often experience wind or sunburn more quickly and sometimes have allergic reactions to skin care products and make up. The pores and texture of the skin are fine and with some people the blood vessels and capillaries are visible on the skin's surface. To find out if you have sensitive skin, take the quiz at the end of this article.
The reason people develop sensitive skin is because the epidermis (outer layer) becomes impaired. The skin's outer layer protects us from a wide variety of outside assaults. If the barrier function of our skin becomes compromised, irritants can penetrate it and disrupt nerve endings and blood vessels. This compromised layer also causes water loss that can lead to dehydrated skin, which causes further irritation. External skin irritants can come from the environment (pollution, wind, climate) or from the products we use on our skin (cleansers, creams, make up). Heavily scented products are especially irritating. Even municipal water can irritate the skin.
There is a spectrum of skin sensitivity that ranges from mild irritation to severe rosacea. Rosacea is a sensitive skin condition that causes inflammation of the small blood vessels in the capillaries of the face. One of the first tell-tale signs of rosacea is a red rash primarily on the nose and cheeks. People with rosacea can also experience bumps that resemble classic acne on their cheeks and nose. If left untreated, rosacea can progress to include a bulbous nose, similar to W.C. Fields. It is estimated that about 14 million Americans have rosacea. Unfortunately, a recent Gallup survey found that 78 percent of Americans don't know what rosacea is, how to recognize it, or how to treat it. Proper diagnosis is critical so be sure to see your doctor if you feel you may have rosacea.
Accurately identifying sensitive skin can be difficult because there are so many factors influencing it. Our skin type can also fluctuate. Key issues that help determine our skin type include:
* hormonal activity = specifically menstruation, menopause, pregnancy
* weather =dry, humid, cold, or hot
* stress levels =high stress typically makes skin conditions worsen
* diet = avoid foods that trigger allergic reactions
* lifestyle = exercise frequently and don't smoke
* sun exposure = too much sun can be especially damaging to those with sensitive skin
* genetics = if your mother has sensitive skin, it is likely you will too
* medications = some prescription drugs such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatory agents, and diuretics can make your skin more prone to sun burn and skin sensitivities
Having sensitive skin can be troublesome and hard to manage. To heal sensitive skin naturally, use nontoxic, specially formulated skin care products.
It's absolutely critical that people with sensitive skin avoid skin care products that contain toxic ingredients including phthalates, parabens, chemical fragrances, artificial colors, propylene glycol, EDTA, and ureas.
The goals of an effective sensitive skin care routine are three-fold:
1. re-establish, strengthen, and protect the barrier function of the outer layer of the skin
2. ease inflammation and soothe irritated nerve endings and blood vessels
3. consistently moisturize and hydrate the skin to regain the skin's balance
If you have sensitive skin, test all new skin care products on a small part of your skin before using it liberally. People with sensitive skin need to be vigilant about the ingredients in their skin care products, much more so than the average individual. Even natural fruit pulps and peels should be avoided until the skin becomes more balanced.
The specialized sensitive skin care protocol offered by MyChelle is specifically designed with the previously mentioned goals in mind. This is a four-step approach that includes the following:
Step One = cleanse in the morning and evening. Choose Unscented Honeydew Cleanser <http://www.mychelle.com/honeydewcleanserunscented-21oz-new.aspx> because it lubricates, moisturizes, and replenishes the barrier function. This product contains natural melon fruit extract to enhance the skin's immunity, honey because it's a natural antibacterial and antifungal, and other bioactive healing ingredients.
Step Two = use serums in the morning and evening. Choose Ultra Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum and/or Capillary Calming Serum. Use Ultra Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum first because it contains squalane from Spanish olives, organic rose hip seed extract and other bioactive ingredients for optimum moisturizing and moisture retention. Then layer with Capillary Calming Serum for relief of redness. Capillary Calming Serum contains specialized extracts and nutrients to ease inflammation, improve circulation, and remove toxins.
Step Three = mist throughout the day. Fruit Enzyme Mist helps ease inflammation while keeping the skin hydrated. This product contains heavy water, a unique natural water from deep in the ocean that has intense hydrating properties. This mist also contains pectin (fruit enzymes), which are great for exfoliating dead skin cells, sodium hyaluronate to prevent water loss, and other ingredients to help strengthen the skin.
Step Four = use a nourishing cream in the morning and evening. Unscented Deep Repair Cream contains highly therapeutic nontoxic ingredients such as Kambuchka TM and Venucean TM to heal the skin. It also contains Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), oils from goji berry, black currant, and rapeseed, as well as other nutrients to assist with cellular repair and help strengthen the barrier function of the skin.
By using a comprehensive skincare routine, you can heal sensitive skin. The products you use on your skin are absolutely critical. Bioactive ingredients for sensitive skin types represent the best of nature and science. The simple four-step approach described will help ensure the success of your sensitive skin regimen. Ask about MyChelle products at your local natural health store or visit us online at www.mychelleusa.com.