Friday, March 13, 2009

Skin Care: Get tough with sensitive skin

The skin on your face is, on average, five times thinner than the rest of your body, so it's important to know how sensitive your skin is. Use our checklist to find out.Lady with a metal brushDoes your skin...

* Sunburn easily?* Go red when you touch it or after drying it with a towel?* Break out in blemishes when you're stressed?* Get red, irritated and dry when the temperature changes?* Feel tight and itchy after cleansing?* React to sunscreens or other skincare products?

If you answer 'yes' to two or more of these questions, you have sensitive skin and should treat it with care. Our guide below can tell you how to do just that.Feed your skin
Cleansing with a mild, PH-neutral soap, ideally an isethionate-based product such as Dove that's light on lipid- and protein-damaging alkalines and rich in moisturisers will prevent your skin dehydrating and cracking.

Hydrate your skin with a moisturiser once or twice a day, depending on the weather. During the winter, when the air humidity tends to be lowest, you should bump up your moisturising regime.
Use a toning product to kill bacteria and remove any residual make-up. Natural ones such as tea tree oil and witch hazel are good - they have antiseptic and astringent properties.

Exfoliate: get rid of those dead skin cells that stubbornly cling to your skin and stimulate the production of fresher, younger cells. Make sure you don't exfoliate too harshly, for instance with a pumice stone or products with ingredients such as glycolic acid, as this could damage your skin's underlying structure. Don't forget your sunscreen!

Avoid polluted environments pollution is packed with damaging free radicals.
Eat foods rich in anti-oxidants anti-oxidants zap those nasty little free radicals and can be found in a variety of foods, including fruit and nuts.
Washing your clothes in non-biological detergents that include skin-friendly ingredients such as aloe vera will help you to cut down on your skin's exposure to potentially irritating chemicals.