how to calm sensitive and inflamed skin
It's the dry, flakey red patches for us
Our skin can be a temperamental little biatch sometimes. To prove my point, I've included an actual excerpt of the conversation I had with my skin the other day, see below.
Kate from Buttnaked: I can see you're unhappy due to the pimples forming on my chin but why?!? I've been treating you so good lately.
Kate's skin: Yeah but you're not trying hard enough.
Kate from Buttnaked: Should I change up the facial oil that I'm using? Would that help?
Kate's skin: Wait and see.
K from BN: What about if I did a face mask once a week to help get rid of the dirt & grime on my face?
K's S: Can't guarantee nothing.
K from BN: Ugh, you're so annoying.
K's S: Cool.
Like why does skin have to be so damn frustrating all the time? Just when I think I'm getting the hang of this whole skincare routine shiz, something sets my skin off and it flares up again until I'm left lookin' hella red and super inflamed, and even though I'm currently still in lockdown (hang in there Vic peeps), it's definitely not the vibe I'm going for.
The only good news is I know I'm not the only one.
Maybe you've gone a bit crazy revamping your skincare routine because you're not going outside as much and no can see you under mask so you figure why the hell not try out some different products?
Or maybe you were having a rummage around in the cupboard under the sink and found the almost definitely expired moisturiser your partner's family got you for Christmas last year and thought 'may as well give that a go'?
Whatever the reason, you're here because currently your skin's havin' a temper tantrum and you're lookin' for ways you can fix it. Sit down, grab a cup of tea or an alcoholic beverage (honestly, no judgement), and let's get your 'off the rails' skin back on track. I never thought I'd be making a joke about trains to describe skin but it's day 289 of lockdown and here we are.
identify the problem
The best way to make sure your skin goes back to normal and doesn't remain a mess of redness is to try to figure out what the problem is. Now we know this may be hard to do because not every skin bout of dryness can be attributed to a definite cause but having a deeper understanding of why your skin is acting out will go a long way to clearing it up.
Have a think about the new products you've introduced into your routine, or other environmental factors that might be causing your skin to have a hard time. Perhaps you've spent too much time letting the heater blow hot air onto your face because you live in Melbourne and it's always raining and/or cold? Or perhaps you've spent a considerable amount of time blushing every time you see your cute next door neighbour take his bins out and now you and your skin don't remember how to be normal?
Or maybe you've started taking a new multivitamin because most of us haven't seen the sun in what feels like 84 years and there's an ingredient that's clashing with your skin as hard as that time you wore a polka dot skirt with a gingham top?
Once you can pinpoint the exact cause, it's easier to fix, and once you've figured that out then it's smooth sailing all the way to clear skin island, population: you.
stop what you're doing
Okay, if you're currently reading this blog while watching an episode of SATC for the 100th time then definitely don't stop doing that but when it comes to loading a whole heap of products on your face and hoping one works its magic then put the products down and step away from the mirror. Seriously.
It's time to go back to the basics. Simplify your skincare routine and cut out all the creams and oils that aren't vital to your skin's health. Now that your skin's all nice and inflamed, it really only needs a good cleanser, a thick moisturiser, a facial oil (try out our lavender cleansing body + face oil) and maybe some vaseline. Okay here us out on that last one.
Did you know that Vaseline can actually help soothe sensitive skin? I kinda did and I kinda didn't. Vaseline helps to create a protective barrier around inflamed or irritated areas so that your skin can rebuild and heal so, after you pop on a skin repairing cream, dab a layer of vaseline over any super sensitive areas and then wait it out. Your skin cells renew every 28 days so don't get too worked up if you're not seeing improvements overnight. Give your skin the time and space it needs to heal and we can guarantee you'll be enjoyin' fresh and youthful lookin', baby butt feelin' skin in no time.
give your skin time to heal
We know it might sound impossible when you just want to peel off the bits of dry, flakey skin on your face (you're welcome for the visual), but the best thing you can do for your face is to leave it the hell alone. That's right, don't even go to pop a pimple.
In other words, time and patience are your new best friends.
The goal here is to not irritate and anger your skin more than it already is which means putting down and stepping away from the harsh cleansers, toners, scrubs or acne treatments. Opt for a gentle, cleansing face wash instead if you wanna do some much needed damage control.
If there are any areas of your face that are particularly inflamed, maybe that one cystic zit above your left eyebrow that you just spent the better part of half an hour trying to squeeze, grab an ice cube, wrap it in some paper towel and place it on the area for 10 minutes. Once the time's up, literally keep your hands off it from now until forever.
make some lifestyle changes
Sometimes getting rid of redness on your skin is as easy as making some changes to your diet.
If you wanna try that out, then an anti-inflammatory diet is the way to go. This includes eating heaps of leafy vegetables, fish, essential oils, and low-glycemic fruits like apples and bananas. Also pre and probiotics are a must and you can't go wrong with having a little extra Vitamin D.
On the other hand, there are definitely some foods that you should avoid, namely the ones that have high acidic content. This could mean saying goodbye to spicy curries and citrus fruits for a while.
Some other lifestyle changes?
- decrease your UV exposure.
- stop smoking (duh).
- stop drinking hot beverages (okay this is a hard one. Opt for an iced coffee or an iced tea next time you're craving a caffeine hit).
- drink cold water when you're exercising.If your skin is persistent in its bid to be red and inflamed, like all the time, then it's a good idea to go see your local GP or dermatologist. TY and much love.
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