Sensitive skin is believed to be hereditary and there is no real way to cure it. You can reduce the irritation caused by harsh products and irritants. Many people react to ordinary products. You may feel itching or burning soon after application. Other common irritants are skin care products, soaps, laundry detergents, fabric softeners and cosmetics. Choose dye and fragrance free varieties of all these products to reduce allergic reactions and irritation.

If your skin reacts easily to products, you will need to choose your soaps and skin care products very carefully to avoid reactions. Look for hypoallergenic products that don’t contain harsh chemicals. Any products you use should be fragrance free, as the fragrance is a common irritant.

You should choose cosmetics carefully. Most cosmetics contain a wide range of chemicals, in addition to coloring and fragrances that cause irritation. Chemicals are used to preserve make up and increase the shelf life. Look for all natural ingredients and make up that is made for your skin type. Mineral make up is an excellent choice. It contains no artificial ingredients that can cause a reaction.

Dry skin is a common complaint. If the skin is very dry, it may show the signs of aging sooner. Fine lines are a common complaint and can be treated in a variety of ways. Keep the skin moist with an oil free moisturizer that is made for your skin type. As with other products, look for a lotion that contains all natural ingredients, rather than a lot of chemicals. Apply moisturizer twice each day, in the morning and before bed. An occasional facial peel can help reduce wrinkling and other signs of aging.

Many people with sensitive skin also suffer from acne. This presents a challenge as many products made for break outs contain harsh chemicals. These can be very irritating and make the condition worse. Look for natural products that don’t contain harsh chemicals. Use only cleansers that are gentle and made for your skin type. Avoid washing the skin too frequently, which can cause irritation.

To soothe irritated skin, you can apply an ice pack on the inflamed areas twice each day. Don’t pick at blemishes, as this irritates the skin and spreads pimples to other areas of your face. Drink plenty of water to flush the skin and help keep the pores clean. Stay out of the sun whenever possible. When you are out in the sun, always wear a non oily sun block to protect yourself from overexposure.

For bad cases of acne, gentle skin care products may not be enough to clear the blemishes and improve the condition. You may need deeper exfoliation, such as in a facial peel. Esthetician’s Choice is the perfect product for sensitive skin. This product contains TCA, a non toxic chemical that has been used for the past 30 years by estheticians and dermatologists. In addition, this product can be diluted for a gentler, surface peel.

Nowhere more than the beauty industry have we seen the greatest shift with new products springing up all over to match the demands of an increasingly aware public. And with momentum being added by a long list of celebrity it seems things are set to continue. But why should we bother with organic skin care, and who says it’s any better that the usual list of suspects?

“The fact is that around 60% of the products we use on our skin are absorbed deep into the system so we’re being affected as much by what we rub on or rinse through as we are by what we eat or drink” says Pur Natural Skincare director Linda Jones. “Our skincare, like our food, is often imbued with a cocktail of ingredients that offer nothing but a cheaper alternative to the natural ingredients they replace”.

Studies have shown that these little nasties can build up and store themselves in parts of the body you’d really rather they didn’t! But how does organic skincare work?

Linda explains: “In simple terms, if we’re keeping the toxins out and introducing the right mix of naturally beneficial compounds we’re improving and enhancing the skin’s natural repair and renewal rhythm”. So by opting for organic are we fighting a winning battle? Unfortunately things are never quite that simple.

All great breakthroughs have their imitations and with a lack of strict controls on labeling many ‘organic’ pretenders are finding a lucrative niche. It seems that in many cases it doesn’t ‘do exactly what it says on the tin’. So how can we be sure that what we’re buying is the genuine unadulterated article?

“Organic certification is a good place to start” says Pur’s marketing director Simon Ford, “but even here we have to be cautious because by their own admission many certification agencies check paper trails for organic ingredients rather than the actual product”. But unless you have a Caesaresque talent for Latin, reading the label won’t be much help.

“If you want to be sure of what you’re getting you have to read the label” says Simon. “We spend a lot of energy translating our labels into plain English, but if you’re still not sure about something you can phone our ingredient helpline listed on the label and we’ll happily advise you”.

Seasonal skin care differences

Normally the winter months tend to be much colder and much more dry when compared to the summer season when the heat and humidity levels are significantly higher. When our skin is continually exposed to the harshness of winter weather, our skin takes the brunt of this beating, becoming excessively more irritated, chapped and dry. Although the clothes we wear protect most of the skin on our body, many times we often forget to provide protection to our facial area. Don’t assume that just moving indoors is significantly better for your skin. With many people continuously running their home heating system and many also using dehumidifiers, we end up sapping a large portion of the moisture from the surrounding air.

Now if we take a look at the summer months, the temperatures start to warm, our skin is now more exposed to the elements from the simple fact we wear less clothing. Next combine the warmer temperatures with the increased humidity levels. Our natural response to these environmental changes is an increased amount of sweat that our body begins to produce as it tries to cool it self off. The consequence of these environmental and bodily changes is that our skin starts to become much oilier and we also end up more prone to the formation of pimples and other skin blemishes.

For many, swimming is a great way for us to find relief from the heat and easy way to cool off. However it is easy for us to forget that when we swim in a pool we are also exposing ourselves to harsh chemicals and when we go swimming at the beach we have to deal with the affects of salt water exposure which can lead to excessive dryness in our skin.

How to protect our skin during the winter months

It is important to use a sunscreen regularly regardless of what season it is. Many don’t realize that we are just as likely to sunburn in the winter months as we are during the summer. We should use a sunscreen and moisturizer combination or a facial make up product that has a minimum SPF rating of at least fifteen. Make sure you also protect your lips by wearing lip balm or a lipstick that includes sun protection.

We should try and maintain a consistent level of moisture within our skin and in our home or work environments. We can add moisture to the air inside of our home by using a simple humidifier. If you do not happen to own a humidifier you can just place a metal pan filled with water near the radiator or what ever heat source you have near by. It’s a good idea to keep a few plants in your home or office since they naturally help to moisturize the surrounding air. As for adding moisture to our bodies, we can easily do so by using an emollient based soap, cream or lotion.

Another simple thing we can do to help out our skin is to take shorter warm showers. If you use hot water while showering or taking a bath, you end up striping away your bodies natural oils. Taking long showers or bathes also causes us to lose even greater amounts of our natural body oils because we stay submerged in water for to long. If you take bathes frequently it would be wise to add a simple moisturizer to your bath water.

We should attempt to reduce how often we our apply toner after using our facial cleansers. Only use a toner product that has no alcohol or a low level of alcohol content. We also need to gently exfoliate our skin using a simple washcloth or soft scrub in order to remove any dead skin cells as well as stimulate the formation of new skin cells.

How to protect your skin during the summer months

We need to ensure that our skin is receiving significant protection from the effects of the suns ultraviolet rays which contain harmful radiation. We can do so by simply applying a sunscreen product with an adequate SPF rating. We can also wear sun protective clothing which has been specifically designed to protect against UV rays. You should also seek shade whenever possible while outdoors. Lastly it is important to note that the sun is at it’s strongest, between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. Anywhere between those hours is when we should take extra precautions for protecting our skin from the sun while outdoors.

Our excessive sweating also means we have an over abundance of realize oils which can clog our pores. When can combat this by using a cooling cleanser containing salicylic acid to help keep any skin blemishes under control. We should also use cleansers containing eucalyptus or menthol extracts since they feel good to the skin and also help keep our pores clean and open.

Skin care diet for winter:

  1. Drink plenty of water to keep the skin hydrated. Drinking warm water in winter prevents vitiation of vata and diseases which arise from vata.
  2. Soups which are sour and salted – balance vata.
  3. Include honey in the diet.
  4. Avoid Consumption of junk foods, too much of sweets and oil food as these lead to weight gain.
  5. Your diet must ideally comprise of Cane juice, milk and clarified butter (ghee) during winter.
  6. Stay away from cold and refrigerated foods like ice creams, milk shakes as they vitiate vata.
  7. Gorge on warm and heavy food to fulfill the requirement of increased body fire.

Skin care life styles for winter

  1. Always wear warm clothes which are made of wool, silk and cotton.
  2. When you are wearing clothes in layers wear cotton clothes next to your skin as they do not cause skin allergy. Moreover they absorb sweat. Where as synthetic clothes fail to do so. Unabsorbed sweat harbors microorganisms which cause skin infections.
  3. Avoid long hot showers and bath.
  4. Quick three minutes bath is advisable.
  5. Twenty to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week can give your skin a healthy glow.
  6. Avoid repeated washing of face. This washes off natural oils from your skin and makes the skin dry, scaly and wrinkled. Use Luke warm water instead of hot water to wash face.
  7. Use an indoor humidifier to place moisture in the air.

Skin care accessories for winter

  1. Massage your body with oils which are infused with vata balancing herbs.
  2. Apply moisturizing lotion liberally all over the body.
  3. Smear lip balm on lips to prevent chapping of lips.
  4. Take care of your skin on heels with balms and moisturizing products.

Australia’s Gift to Skin Care

Tea tree oil is the skin-care lotion for troubled times. Traditionally used by aboriginal tribes of Australia, the properties of this plant seem endless: antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory-the list goes on. Tea tree oil helps heal broken skin, fights infection, and encourages healing by forming new tissue. Dry cracked lips respond readily to lip salve containing tea tree oil. Try adding a drop of tea tree oil to your regular moisturizer for added healing and toning benefits.

Exfoliating Foods

Apples, grapes, milk, and yogourt not only make a healthy breakfast, they are the source of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). These food-based acids are the skin cleansers of the cosmetics industry, and are used in many skin creams, lotions, and facial masks. AHAs safely and gently remove greyish dead cells from the surface of the skin, revealing a fresh, healthy complexion. AHAs are the miracle rejuvenators. It’s easy to make an AHA mask or scrub with everyday kitchen items-combine yogourt with a bit of honey and some mashed fruit, such as strawberries. Slop on your face and leave for 10 minutes, then rinse. Following exfoliation with AHAs, the skin is susceptible to sunburn; a sunscreen should be used even on a cloudy day.

Silica for Smooth, Silky Skin

Horsetail is never welcomed by gardeners, but don’t expect to get rid of it soon. This plant is a member of the Equisetaceae family, which formed the primitive forests that covered the earth millions of years ago. Horsetail is one of the plants richest in silica, which is essential for strong cell structure. Collagen supplements containing horsetail bring strength and elasticity to skin tissue. Silica is available as a liquid supplement and in tablet form. Shampoos and moisturizers containing silica are less effective because silica is difficult to absorb through the skin.

Oats & Aloe Vera Exfoliant for your skin

1 tablespoon finely ground oats 1 tablespoon finely ground almonds 1-teaspoon honey 1-tablespoon Aloe Vera gel Combine ingredients in a bowl and stir until well mixed. Apply to face and neck skin after cleansing and before toner is applied, using gentle circular motions. Rinse well with warm water and gently pat excess moisture from face. Follow with facial mask.

Aloe Vera Face Mask for Healing and Soothing

(Great for sensitive and dry skin, especially after sun bathing) Ingredients: -3 TBS pure and certified organic aloe Vera juice -1 drop Helycrisum essential oil -1 drop Rose essential oil Combine all ingredients and apply mixture evenly on face and neck. Leave it on for at least 7 minutes and rinse with warm water. Pat dry, and apply the following “healing and soothing” aromatic blend, prepared in advance in a 10-ml bottle filled with vegetable oil: -1 drop Neroli essential oil -3 drops Lavender essential oil

Aloe Vera Skin Toner

Soak a cotton pad with pure aloe Vera gel and use it to freshen your skin and remove excess oil. Use daily, following with moisturizer. This is especially good for normal and oily skin and is a great overall toner. Dilute the gel 50/50 with spring water if you have sensitive skin. You can also use the juice of a leaf from your aloe plant. Cut off the amount you are going to use, and put the remainder of the leaf in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. The leaf will keep for about 3 days.

Floral Aloe Vera Gel

1/2 cup Aloe Vera gel (available in most natural food stores) 1 tbsp. dried lavender flowers or 3 tbsp. fresh. 1 tbsp. dried calendula flowers or 3 tbsp. fresh. 1. Mix together the aloe Vera gel with the lavender and Calendula flowers in an ovenproof glass container, then heat the container gently by sitting it in a hot water bath on the stovetop. 2. Let the mixture cool completely, and then pour it through a clean, fine strainer (to remove all of the solids) into a clean container.

Exfoliating Foot Mask

1/2-cup oatmeal 1/2-cup cornmeal 1/2-cup coarse salt 1/2 cup unscented body lotion 4 tablespoons Aloe Vera gel in a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Slide feet into mixture and rub, beginning at toes, working up to heel and ankle. Do one foot at a time, rinsing in a separate bowl of warm water.

Exfoliating Aloe Vera Face Mask

4 Tbsp. Pumpkin puree 1 Tbsp. Honey 4 tsp. Cornmeal 2 tsp. Aloe Vera gel 2 tsp. Pineapple, diced 1 tsp. Green tea 1/2 tsp. Sunflower oil 6 drops frankincense essential oil (optional) 4 drops cinnamon extract (optional) Directions Steep green tea in boiling water. Set aside to cool. In blender or food processor puree pineapple and place in medium-sized mixing bowl. Add pumpkin, honey and aloe. Mix well. Stir in sunflower oil, green tea and cornmeal. Discard the remaining green tea. Add frankincense and cinnamon. Stir. Apply small amount of pumpkin mask to cheeks, forehead, chin and neck. Massage in circular motions gently buffing skin. Repeat. Apply more product as needed. Leave a thin layer of pumpkin mask on face and neck for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with tepid or cool water and pat dry with soft towel. Follow with appropriate moisturizer. Store remaining mask covered in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Benefits: Pumpkin enzymes dissolve dead skin cells while the cornmeal sweeps them clean. Honey has antimicrobial properties as well as moisturizes and softens. The result is a beautiful glowing complexion. Use this mask as often as you like.

Cleansing

Cleansing the face before going to sleep is essential. Don’t make the mistake of paying more attention to putting on your makeup than you do to taking it off. With the array of facial soaps, gels, milks, and lotions that are on the market today, selecting a cleanser is just a matter of personal choice. Whatever you do choose, apply it with a clean, white washcloth dampened in warm water followed by an alcohol-free toner. A toner will remove any excess residue from the skin without taking away the moisture. Don’t confuse a toner or refresher with alcohol-containing astringents which are used mostly for problem skin that has a tendency to develop blemishes.

It is best to remove eye makeup with a gentle product made specifically for that purpose. If the skin beneath the eyes is puffy, apply a cotton ball saturated with cold chamomile tea to the area. Chamomile is a natural soother which will help reduce any swelling. It should definitely be a part of your skin care routine.

Moisturizing

Apply a night cream. Night creams are not the same as day creams. Night creams for the skin contain higher concentrations of humectants which are ingredients that attract moisture from the air and hold it against the skin. Whereas day moisturizing creams are made to be used with makeup without interfering with it, night creams are intended to be used on skin that is free of makeup. It is formulated to be richer than day creams and work to your best advantage for the entire night. For the optimum benefit, mist the face with an atomizer since slightly damp skin absorbs moisturizers better than dry skin can.

Restful, Relaxing Sleep

A night of good, restful sleep is also an important part of overall skin care and the appearance of your skin. Many beauty and skin care companies advocate the use of aromatherapy for this purpose. Lavender, sandalwood, rose and geranium plant oils are said to relax and calm the brain. They are often used in bath products, oil lamps and candles. Other scents you might want to try for promoting relaxation include, chamomile, sage, orange, lemon grass and seaweed.

Soak yourself: the best treatment for the dry skin is to have a good bath every night before going to sleep. This enables your skin cells to absorb water, since these cells are like sponge. You can also soak the affected body part for about 20 minutes in the warm water and then pat dry.

Apply petroleum products: once you are through with your bath, apply a coating of petroleum jelly product. Then put on a pair of socks for your feet or a pair of light cotton gloves for hands to seal the moisture. These petroleum products work far better than the commercial moisturizers, since they do not have the same sealing effects.

Stick the cracks: you can apply a glue to ease the pain caused by the fissures. This takes the air out of the nerve endings and thus sticks the slits. This procedure is completely safe for slits and minor cuts. However, avoid using this method on the deep wounds.

Avoid tartar toothpaste: if you suffer from cracked lips, minimize your usage of tartar toothpaste. This toothpaste contains compounds that irritate the mucous membranes and other sensitive tissues. These toothpastes leave the skin cracked and cause a rash which itches around the mouth.

Always use some type of exfoliation product, which will help to remove old skin cells and other debris and particles from your skin. This will expose the healthy cells and rid your body from the old ones.

If possible, avoid constant sun exposure and tanning beds. In addition to being dangerous where health is concerned, these may also lead to early signs of aging. Everyone loves a suntan, but there is no reason to sacrifice your skin or your health in order to achieve it. Therefore, many individuals opt for a self-tanning lotion instead. Back in the day, these products had a tendency to turn the skin orange, but that is no longer the case. Improvements have helped to give self-tanning products a more natural, streak-free look. Before applying the lotion to your entire body, apply it to a small test area just to make sure there is no irritation.

If your lips tend to become chapped in the winter months or wind burnt at other times, using lip balm or lipstick will help to protect the lips from nature’s worst.

Dry or cracked skin can be very unbearable. Not to mention the discomfort of tight red skin, it can be downright embarrassing. A container of Pacquin Plus hand & body cream will eliminate soreness, redness and help to add moisture back to dry skin.

Do not use products that irritate your skin in any way, including soaps that have harsh ingredients. If possible, use a moisturizing soap or that which is designed for sensitive skin.

Excessive exposure to sunlight causes the breakdown of collagen in the skin, and UV radiation contributes to the release of damaging free radicals, degrading connective tissue.

So, all that sun bathing you did as a teenager will catch up to you in your later years! Cigarette smoking is also one of the worst things you can do, because it diminishes the level of estrogen in women to cause dryness and disintegration of the skin. It also reduces circulation to the skin, and compromises skins ability to fight of damaging free radicals. Doesn’t sound too exciting, does it? As well it shouldn’t. In addition to this, rapid weight loss and heredity can play an important role in the formation of wrinkles.

In order for skin to dry out and fine lines to develop, the skin need only be poorly moisturized. That is why it’s important to moisturize daily in an effort to fend off the signs of aging. The older you get, the more wrinkles will appear; however, it is possible to slow down and minimize the damage by taking very good care of your skin NOW, rather than waiting until it’s too late to make a significant improvement.

Thankfully, there are some promising treatments for skin that is aging. For example, Argireline works to reduce facial tension, with all natural ingredients. Meaning, you don’t need a prescription for it. In addition to relaxing facial muscles, Argireline works to slow down the degeneration of collagen and elastin, which diminishes naturally with age.

Dermox SRC is another wrinkle product ingredient, designed as a serum to treat wrinkles and restore the surface of the skin.

Not all products are right for everyone, however, so keep that in mind when choosing an anti-aging skin care product. You may have to try several before you find the right fit for you.

By taking important steps now to reduce the signs of aging, you can ensure a radiant, youthful complexion when you’re older. What’s more, taking preventative measures (quitting smoking, eats lots of fruits and vegetables, and always wearing sunscreen when exposed to the sunlight) will ensure maximum effectiveness of any topical anti-wrinkle products you may use.