November 15, 2012

Is your skin sensitive or not? Test it!

About 50% of the people around the globe claim they have sensitive skin, but sometimes this is just the etiquette some might put, to name different other skin problems. Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, codirector of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, D.C. believes this “it’s an overused phrase.”

Jessica Wu, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Southern California medical school says “Sensitive skin is characterized by redness, itching, stinging, swelling, and flaking.”

When skin compromises its protective function, and is not able to block irritants from entering the body, it becomes sensitive. Many times, people are just overusing cosmetic products that irritate the skin. In the cooler months skin is also more susceptible to get an irritation. Understanding if you have sensitive skin or not, it’s the first step to improve your complexion. So, is your skin really sensitive or not?

Joanna Vargas, facialist, says brushing your fingers across the side of your face with light to medium pressure will test if you have sensitive skin or not. If the skin turns red, it’s sensitive.

Also, if the majority of the products you use, starting from face washers and moisturizers, to makeup, cause redness, you probably have this skin issue. “If you have an immediate reaction to several brands of soaps, cleansers, and fragrances, you very likely have sensitive skin,” says Joel Schlessinger, MD, president emeritus of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery. This happens due to the fact that skin is thinner and allows ingredients to penetrate easier and deeper.

If your skin is itching, it might be the sign your skin is sensitive. A thin skin not only that lets all the ingredients penetrate the face, but also allows water to get out, leading to dehydration. Dryness is often the cause for itching.

Also, sensitive skin can’t retain moisture and gets flakes that shed continuously, without any obvious reason.