Is Your Skin Irritated? These Tips Can Help
Skin is a sensitive organ that requires a certain amount of attention to look and feel its best. It can also be a bit unpredictable. Once you feel like you’ve got everything under control, you could have a nasty breakout or experience sudden irritation with no apparent rhyme or reason. While any sort of visible irritation is a sign that something is amiss, it shouldn’t cause panic or fear. Ahead, we’ve listed our top tips for soothing skin irritation.
Tip #1: Turn Down the Water Temperature
You shouldn’t bathe, cleanse your face, or wash your hands with scalding hot water to begin with, and especially not when your skin is visibly irritated. This could definitely make matters worse, and probably won’t feel all that soothing or relaxing. Make sure all water that makes contact with your skin is comfortably lukewarm.
Tip #2: Moisturize Your Skin
When your skin is irritated, you’ll want to avoid it coming into contact with anything harsh or abrasive. Perhaps that means skipping exfoliation until your skin has calmed down, and using gentle skin care products with soothing formulas that include ingredients like aloe vera and skip ones with fragrances or alcohol. For a moisturizer, we recommend gel-based products that can be equally cooling and hydrating to help soothe irritated skin. We’re sharing a handful of our favorites moisturizers here!
Tip #3: Protect Against UV Rays
Your skin is already irritated, so don’t make matters worse by exposing it to harmful UV rays without protection. In addition to a painful sunburn, UV rays can damage skin cells and accelerate signs of aging. Prior to heading outdoors, apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher and wear protective clothing. Where possible, avoid the sun by seeking shade.
Tip #4: Triple Check Product Labels
If you’ve ever bought a new skin care product without reading the packaging, then you probably aren't alone, but it’s probably not the best idea when it comes to your skin. Some products are formulated with ingredients that may be too harsh—or even ineffective—for your skin type. What’s more, applying any product onto your skin without knowing what’s in it could lead to irritation. If you’re not sure how to decode product labels the right way, click here for a refresher!
Tip #5: Use Less Products
Minimalism in skin care can be a good thing, and when your skin is irritated it certainly is. Take a look at how many different skin care products you’re applying each day. If it’s more than you can count on your fingers, consider cutting back a bit until your skin calms down.
Editor’s note: If you notice mild to moderate redness or swelling, an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory cream may help ease symptoms. Talk to your dermatologist if you’re having trouble finding relief.