How to Care for Sensitive Skin

What you can do, and how the products you use can affect your sensitive skin.

Sensitive Skin Explained

People with sensitive skin may have reactions to ordinary skincare products. After applying a skincare product, a person with sensitive skin may experience burning, stinging or itching. They may also have visible reactions such as redness and rash. There are a variety of factors that can lead to sensitive skin. Some evidence indicates that it may be related to genetics. Weather and environment can also play a role. There are things you can do to reduce the chances for irritation if you have sensitive skin. Be sure to use gentle skincare products designed especially for sensitive skin. Make sure to avoid sun exposure. Finally, don't cleanse your skin more than twice a day and avoid scrubbing.

Be Sensitive to the Skin Around Your Eyes

A lifetime of smiling, frowning, and squinting may eventually result in the formation of fine lines as well as deeper wrinkles, commonly known as crow's feet. Fortunately, taking care of the delicate skin around your eyes can help minimize these signs of aging.

The skin around your eyes is thinner than anywhere else on your body -- about ten times thinner than the skin on the rest of your face.1 As you get older, the collagen and elastin fibers that work to support the skin around your eyes begins to break down thereby reducing the skin's strength and elasticity.2 Sun damage and smoking can speed the process.3 What's more, the skin around your eyes contains very few of the oil glands that help keep the rest of your skin naturally moisturized.

Because the skin around your eyes and your eyes can be sensitive, it's important to choose products made specifically for the eye area. Look for gentle moisturizers, serums, and creams that contain effective anti-wrinkle ingredients, such as:

  • Retinol: A form of vitamin A, retinol has been proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.4 In order to avoid irritation, only use retinol products that have been specifically formulated for the eye area.

  • Hyaluronic acid: This active ingredient works by binding to water molecules. Its lubricating and plumping properties may make formulations with HA ideal for smoothing skin.

Finally, remember to take care when removing eye makeup. Use an oil-free eye makeup remover with a soft sponge, washcloth, or cotton ball. Avoid scrubbing and tugging as this may irritate your skin, introduce substances into your eyes, and contribute to sagging.

We recommend that you consult your dermatologist or physician for proper diagnosis and treatment.5,6

  1. Goodman R. Ophtho Notes: The Essential Guide. 2003. ISBN .3131357819/1588901718. Thieme Medical Publishers. New York, NY.
  2. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Wrinkles. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/wrinkles/DS00890/DSECTION=3
  3. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.Smoking: Does it cause wrinkles? http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/smoking/AN00644/METHOD=print
  4. AcneNet. American Academy of Dermatology. 2008. http://www.skincarephysicians.com/acnenet/prescriptmeds.html
  5. Cosmeceutical Facts & Your Skin. American Academy of Dermatology. 2008. http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/general_cosmeceutical.html
  6. Skin care: Top 5 habits for healthy skin. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/skin-care/SN00003
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