So what can you do if you have sensitive skin? Avoid irritants as best as possible. “This is easier said than done, as everything from the sun, skincare products, and even our jewelry can irritate our skin,” says board-certified dermatologist Ife Rodney, MD, FAAD, of Eternal Dermatology and Aesthetics. “So the most important step is to know your triggers and look for ways to reduce exposure. Your skin also needs a routine to keep it clean, hydrated, and moisturized. The right moisturizer will help to reinforce your protective skin barrier, making it more difficult for irritants to penetrate your skin.” You can also get a patch test from a dermatologist or allergist to see which ingredients could be causing a reaction.
And don’t go overboard with products. “With numerous products and formulations on the skincare market today, we are seeing a definite increase in skin sensitivity, commonly from product overload, i.e., using too many products at once in our skincare routines,” explains Coppola. “There are wonderful products on the market today that can help improve the many concerns we may have with our skin, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and acne, but you want to approach adding these products to your routine slowly and cautiously.”
When introducing a new product to your routine, start slowly. You might want to reduce the frequency of use first as well. Rodney recommends testing it out first on a small patch of skin, like behind your ear or near your armpit. “Remember that it can take up to eight weeks after you start using a new product before irritation or a skin reaction may appear, so give it some time before deciding to incorporate a new product into your regimen,” Rodney adds.