5 Ways to Calm Irritated Skin
Just like us, our skin can become aggravated and upset, here’s how to provide some relief.
It’s true, every skin type is prone to irritation. Whether it presents as redness and itchiness, tiny bumps, flaky dry patches, or all of the above, skin irritation can pop up for a lot of different reasons. When it comes to what causes skin irritation, there can be many aggressors, and the best ways to calm it down will be dictated by what exactly is causing it in the first place.
To best ascertain what it is that may be happening when irritation is present, we need to first unpack the difference between someone with a sensitive skin type, and someone with sensitised skin.
Sensitive Skin vs Sensitised Skin
If you have sensitive skin which can often be linked to conditions like eczema, dermatitis, or rosacea, then you're likely to be more prone to irritation and inflammation because your skin barrier is naturally weaker and more fragile. These conditions are often chronic and likely something that you’ve already been dealing with for quite some time. Luckily, a holistic treatment and skincare plan devised by a professional can help manage these conditions exceptionally well.
On the other hand, sensitised skin is a temporary skin condition that can happen to anyone and usually occurs in response to an internal or external factor. This response to a topical or internal irritant often leads to irritated, inflamed, or hypersensitive skin. Common signs of irritated skin can appear as redness, itching or flaking, dryness, breakouts or stinging after applying products that don't usually sting.
But why is my skin so irritated?
Over-exfoliation is without a doubt the most common issue we see in clinic, and the culprit is typically a client who has gone overboard with active serums that contain vitamin A (retinol), vitamin C or exfoliating acids.
Dehydration or drying out the skin is also very common when it comes to someone who is experiencing irritation. Again, perhaps your skin barrier has been impaired due to using too many products or the wrong products for your skin. Another common misconception driving dehydrated skin is when oily skin types avoid the use of moisturisers due to misinformation (please oily skin types, you MUST use a moisturiser to help the balance of your skin). Another more obvious cause is from a client not adequately hydrating with enough water throughout the day. That’s an easy one to fix, around 3 litres a day is the recommended amount, folks!
Lifestyle factors can also cause skin irritation
Things like wearing face masks, environmental irritants, sun exposure, seasonal changes, excess heat, hot foods, hormonal changes, some medications and failing to remove your makeup properly at the end of the day can all be factors in irritating the skin.
Now that we know how many different things can upset our skin, let’s get chatting about how to calm it down again...
FIVE WAYS TO CALM IRRITATED SKIN
- Strip your skincare routine right back to the basics: cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen. These are the holy trinity when it comes to skincare and a safe space to come back to if you’re ever feeling irritated or lost!
- Analyse the products you're currently using and ask yourself if there might be anything in your routine to blame. Have you incorporated something new recently? That is a great place to start when adopting a process of elimination.
- Ensure you're using skincare products designed for your skin. For example, if you have a dry skin type, using a gentle cream cleanser and a thicker moisturiser can help to keep skin feeling comfortable and adequately hydrated. You can shop our collection of skincare according to skin concerns here.
- Ensure you're hydrating your skin adequately, yes, even if you have oily skin. The addition of a serum containing hyaluronic acid will help your skin retain water to stay hydrated.
- For immediate relief, look to products with calming, soothing and hydrating ingredients. Our go-to products for skins showing signs of irritation are Calming Relief Balm by Société and Rescue by Cosmedix.