“If at first you don’t succeed, [wipe it all off, let it air out] and try again.” Or something like that.
Is it surprising that women are more likely to suffer from sensitive skin than men?... Not really huh. On average, 37% - 48% of women reported dealing with skin sensitivity, in contrast to 27% of men who reported this skin condition.
In previous blogs, I referenced external factors attributed to skin-related problems. One unspoken factor is hormonal fluctuation.
Hormonal imbalances peak leading up to puberty, menstrual cycles, stress, and baby incubation, then decline as women make it over the big hump, a.k.a menopause. However, as stated in Maturing Gracefully, our skin thins as we age which also increases the likelihood of skin sensitivity.
Though most of the symptoms are universal, such as facial tightness, inflammation, irritation, acne, and dermatitis, the variation in triggers experienced by women and men is what gives this skin type eccentricity.
Studies have found that skin sensitivity is a growing concern among women, but why?
Could the numbers be a result of women being more conscious of their image than men? The current stresses around being perfect and flawlessly beautiful at any costs? Maybe men are less attentive to their skin health. Or, maybe men don’t place as much weight on their skin health as women.
With various skin-related diagnoses being subjective and a factor of self-diagnosis, there is room for error and a lot of room for self-criticism.
What if your skin sensitivity was self-induced?
A common determinant of skin sensitivity in women is the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol tends to thrive late at night, thus resulting in overnight blemishes, itching, and burning. No wonder we’re able to go to bed with flawless skin and wake up to the biggest zit you have ever seen in life! But, I digress.
Night air may also pose a problem. At night, the air tends to be drier and either cold or hot. This mixture of dry-hot or dry-cold air is the perfect breeding ground for enhanced skin sensitivity.
Chemicals, Retinoids, anti-bacterials, fragrances, and water-resistant products are also among the things to steer clear of when treating sensitive skin. Also, try to stay away from all forms of alcohol. They tend to dry the skin out even more, and result in skin inflammation.
Instead of using soap products, opt for mild cleansers with little to no fragrance. When wearing make-up, never wear water-resistant products, and go for more silicone-based cosmetics.
Before slathering on that cool new product, be sure to test it out on a small, discreet area. Apply it in an area where you experience the most sensitivity, and repeat this for a few days until you are able to get a good feel for the product. If no reaction takes place, then have a field day.
FYI, skin sensitivity should not be an ongoing issue. If you are experiencing extended periods of breakouts, itchiness, burning or any other discomforts, this may be a sign of a deeper issue. For that, and other dermal related questions, be sure to seek the care and instruction of a licensed dermatologist. Of which, I am not.
If you enjoyed our 5 part, skin care blog series and you learned something new, leave me a comment below! And don’t forget to share this with others who may be struggling with the same issues! If you have any questions that weren’t covered, leave a comment, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!