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Sensitive Skin – Summer Survival Stratagem


Standing up to the wrath of harsh Middle Eastern summer, even the toughest quail with beads of sweat trickling down the spine, but for the sensitive skin brood this extreme heat, humidity, and sun can translate into redness, discomfort and irritation that can linger on, exacting punishment for months. Sensitive skin is a subtype of skin that can present itself along with any skin types (oily, dry and combination) with sensitive patches that can involve certain parts of skin or the whole body ranging in severity from mild, moderate to severe. Today I’d like to draw your attention to some simple adjustments in your daily skincare routine and lifestyle during summer, which will empower you to keep your skin calm, comfortable and irritation free.

Know Thy Skin-emy

• Skin irritations start when the barrier function of your skin is compromised. To keep your skin protected and calm, minimize your exposure to moisture depleting elements like: low humidity, harsh winds, dust, dry heat, and sun.
• Avoid long hot baths and stripping soaps loaded with harsh detergents as they rob skin of its natural oils. Switch your regular soap with a detergent free gentle cleanser with ingredients like oatmeal and aloe.
• Steer clear of products loaded with strong fragrances and avoid spraying perfume directly on your skin.
• Refrain from using products with retinoids, fruit acids, alcohol, antibacterial, strong antiperspirant and deodorants.
• Make an active list of any household or skincare products that you think are responsible for triggering your skin irritations and avoid contact with them.
• Avoid sunscreens with chemicals like para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), dioxybenzone, oxybenzone, or sulisobenzone, alcohol, fragrances, or preservatives.
• To narrow down the culprits responsible for skin flare ask your dermatologist for a Patch test; a specialized skin test that can help you pin point what household products you might be allergic to.

Specialized Skincare

During the summer months, any skin can become dull because of excess sebum and sweat overload, but for sensitive skin this translates into more irritation. To keep skin exasperations under control, follow a gentle skincare routine that includes mild cleansers, toners and moisturizers that are formulated specifically to calm sensitive skin. As a general rule if you have sensitive skin, look for skincare products and makeup that are especially formulated for sensitive skin and labeled hypoallergenic and fragrance free. Aderma, Physiogel and Babe are of some of the skincare brands that produce excellent products especially focused for sensitive skin.


Combat Plan

1. Wear soft, lightweight and natural fabrics like cotton during the hot weather.
2. UV rays can be really damaging for sensitive skin, wear a SPF50+ sunscreen. Look for a sunscreen with physical blocks like: titanium dioxide and Zinc oxide suitable for sensitive and intolerant skin while being outdoors.
3. Mild hydrocortisone butyrate 0.1% lotion (Locoid) coupled with an antihistamine can help calm the skin in case of mild flare with itching and redness. Physiogel AI cream or lotion is another great product that is very effective in relieving mild cases of skin irritations, it exerts a cortisone-like action on calming down the skin sensitivity, but the formula is actually corticosteroid- free.


If you suffer from skin irritation with extensive patches of strong itching, redness, or burning visit a dermatologist as soon a possible.


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