Sensitive skin is one of the hardest types of skin to maintain especially if you are unsure of what triggers the sensitivity. Often sensitive skin is genetic, but can be managed as long as certain foods and products are avoided and careful choices are made in skin cleansing and hygiene. Sensitive skin is primarily characterized by the amount of redness in the skin. It often has dilated or broken capilleries and may be slightly warm or hot to the touch. Sensitive skin may also be prone to allergic reactions that can cause the skin to appear puffy or at worst can cause the skin to break out in hives and welts causing itchiness and discomfort. Other common conditions that can cause redness and sensitivity in the skin include; Rosacia which is a type of redness accompanied with some acne that is more common in adults. Also dermatitis which can include skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis as well as chapped and cracked skin. Sensitive skin is very common in babies and children, but can happen anytime in your life and is sometimes harder to clear up as an adult. The degree of sensitivity can vary from redness and irritationl all over the skin to periodic irritations or redness in just some areas of the face and body.
Treating sensitive and irritated skin with essential oils and herbs
For essential oils that treats sensitive skin one of the best choices is chamomile essentential oil. Chamomile oil helps to sooth and calm the skin and reduce redness. There are two types of chamomile oil Roman and German. They both are anti-allergetic, and anti-inflammatory. Other oils that help sensitive skin include; Geranium oil, Lavender oil, Neroli, Sandalwood and Rose. Depending on the cause behind the redness and sensitivity in the skin a few other oils can be mixed in to help the skin. For example if you have a lot of dialated or broken capilleries, add the essntial oils of Cypress to Lavender, chamomile and a drop of rose to a base oil such as Hazelnut, or Apricot Kernal oil. If the skin sensitivity is from acne such as Rosacia add a few drops of lemon or mandarin essential oil and mix in some chamomile and Sandalwood oil. This combination is also good for combination skin that is both oily and dry. For sensitive skin that is dry and cracked such eczema or psorisis add benzoin to chamomile with sandalwood and rose. Chose a base oil such as Apricot Kernal, Macadamia nut or Almond oil.
The best herbs for sensitive skin include: chamomile, comfry, calendula and elderflower. If the skin irritations and sensitivity are on more than just the face use a base oil such as grapeseed oil or fractionated coconut oil and add to it some specialty oils such as Calendula oil which is created by infusing olive oil with calendula flowers. For very dry skin add 10% avacodo oil to a base oil such as grapeseed or almond oil. If the skin is particularly irritated with a rash or hives soothe the skin by soaking in a warm bath adding a bath bag of the following herbs and emoillients: a handful of each of: oatmeal, ground almonds, chamomile flowers, lavender, and elderflowers. Soak for at least fifeteen to twenty minutes in warm, not hot water and gently pat the skin dry. Moisturize the skin after with one of the base oils with some calendula oil added to the base oil as well as some vitamin E.
Other Advice for Sensitive Skin
Avoid exposure to extreme weather conditions such as extreme sun and wind. Chemical exposures can also irritate the skin. Avoid hot water and keep the temperature warm instead. Also,be cautious when using steamrooms or saunas that can cause damage to skin capilleries or even break them. With food avoid alcohol, caffeine and hot and spicey foods that can cause the skin to heat up and become red or irritated and cause the capillaries to swell. Remember that skin allergies can come from a number of sources and products including: skin care products, deodorants, shaving cream, soaps, hair products, cosmetics, house hold products and laundry detergents. Shop and buy hypoallergetic products whenever possible. Look also for products that say “fragrance free” as opposed to just “non-scented”. You may also want to investigate further into your diet and see if you have any food allergies that can cause the skin to become irritated. Common food allergies that affect the skin include: wheat, dairy, processed sugars as well as nuts especially peanuts.