by Deion Clifton
Your skin helps to provide clues for your overall health. Though it sits on the outermost layer of the body, it can act as a mirror at times, reflecting the problems we may be experiencing on the inside – but then again, it is the largest organ in the body, after all.
The skin acts as our first line of defense against the outside world, protecting us from allergens and irritants. There are many things that act as stressors to the skin, some of which can actually be beneficial. These stressors include sunlight, change in temperature, soaps, household chemicals, lotions, cosmetics, fragrances, and clothing.
Some people have naturally sensitive skin, which is more reactive to stressors. Those with sensitive skin have to be cautious of what they’re exposing themselves to. Irritants can cause a range of reactions, such as itchiness, flakiness, peeling, cracking, redness, inflammation, acne, bumps, rashes, hives, burning, or even changes in pigmentation.
As we age, our skin grows weaker: pigment changes, elasticity is reduced, oil and sweat production decreases, and growths are more likely to occur. The health of your skin plays a significant role in your overall health. This is why it’s super important to care for your skin and ensure it remains healthy.
What does healthy skin look like?
There are so many factors that can affect the skin you live in. Have you ever heard the phrase, “you are what you eat?” Your diet affects the health of your skin as well. Samaritan Health Service recommends eating a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and lean meat. What’s good for your body is also good for your skin.
Cleanliness is key to maintaining good hygiene and a healthy lifestyle. Bathing regularly, keeping your hands clean, exfoliating, and moisturizing consistently ensure bacteria are unable to sneak
into the body.
Healthy skin doesn’t always mean flawless skin. One can expect to find some blemishes and uneven tone on even the healthiest of skin. Healthy skin should have minimal or no redness without soreness or irritation. Unexplainable moles or bumps are an indication that you may need to try a different product or consult a doctor.
The skin on your face is up to 10 times thinner than that on the rest of the body, making it more sensitive. This means separate products should be used for the face and body. You may own or have seen face moisturizers and cleansers in stores. This is because there are different ingredients for each that provide benefits for that specific skin type.
The face doesn’t experience the wear and tear that the rest of the body endures, but it is more exposed to environmental stressors. Thinness and environmental stress combine to develop wrinkles over time.
Facial skin also produces more oil than the rest of the body. This is because oil glands are more prevalent on the face. There are a number of reasons a person could develop oily skin, whether it be genetics, hormones, or humidity. The oil glands work to provide natural lubrication for the face as well as help protect us from stressors, such as the sun. However, a build-up of oil on the face can lead to acne and skin irritation.
Irritants on Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin can be difficult to care for. It can feel like everything you do and every product you use always sparks a negative reaction. Sensitivity to makeup, lotion, and even laundry detergent is a common, very real thing that a lot of people deal with. I’ve even broken out in hives after washing clothes with Tide before. The reality is our skin isn’t able to handle every product we apply to it.
For example, body soaps and lotions aren’t meant to be used on the face, and vice versa, due to the differences in skin type explained above. Therefore, it may be the products you’re using on your skin that are causing skin sensitivity. Some popular ingredients to stay away from are:
- Benzoyl Peroxide
- Alcohol (or Ethanol)
These five products are famous for causing irritation and allergic reactions. They are typically used in skin care products ranging from mascara to hand soap.
HAC Facials & Products
The Hockessin Athletic Club Massage Center will offer facials to members and non-members with plans to start in the summer of 2023.
The facials will include a mix of cleansing, exfoliation, red and blue light therapy, moisturization and hydration, and a hydrating moisturizer to seal all the benefits of the facial in place and protect the face from environmental stressors. All products used are part of the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare line. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare products offer options for sensitive and irritated skin and reveal effective and visible results. These skincare products are dermatologist created and contain the vitamins our skin needs to be rejuvenated and restored to its naturally glowing, soft feel.
Before your facial, you’ll have the opportunity to voice your skin concerns and goals to our licensed esthetician. She’ll do an in-depth analysis of your skin and will select the best treatment option for you. Options are ultra-gentle, universal, or extra-strength cleansing peels.
- The ultra-gentle daily peel provides people with dry, dehydrated, or sensitive skin the opportunity to revive their skin without the risk of irritation. It’s also safe for pregnant women. This is recommended for first-time peelers.
- The universal daily peel works well with any type of skin. It is a tad bit stronger than the ultra-gentle peel because of the 5 alpha/beta hydroxy acids (AHA/BHA) that are used in it. This peel is ideal for balanced/combination skin with moderate signs of aging or blemishes.
- The extra-strength daily peel carries 7 AHA/BHA making it the strongest of them all. This peel is best for combination/oily skin, advanced aging, or skin with blemish concerns.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta hydroxy acids (BHA) are known to increase skin sensitivity to UV radiation after application for up to one week. Please be sure to apply sunscreen with adequate SPF as a means of protection from harmful UV rays.
We will also be selling all kinds of products for home use such as facial peel wipes in all three options and exfoliating body treatment wipes so that you’ll have the opportunity to treat your skin from the comfort of your own home.
Tips to Achieving Healthier Skin
- Stay away from multi-purpose products. Don’t skip the extra steps. It may be more time efficient to apply but only hurts your skin in the end. For example, Three-in-one body wash/shampoo/conditioner may contain irritants not meant to be applied to the body or scalp.
- Keep your hands away from your face. Our hands carry dirt and bacteria from touching and carrying things, such as money and cell phones, all day. Wash your hands before touching your face. Don’t spread those germs to your face.
- Try going fragrance-free. Fragrances in soaps, detergents, and lotions could be what’s causing irritation in the skin. Try using fragrance-free products to cleanse, hydrate, and moisturize.
- Drink water. Water intake helps the skin stay hydrated and avoid drying out. Although water will not help revitalize the skin on its own, it plays a large part in improving elasticity, making it less likely to crack and get irritated.
- Focus on your mental health. I’m aware, it’s easier said than done telling others to reduce their stress levels. However, your skin gets just as stressed as your mind. Try developing a routine to help deal with stress levels in your everyday life. According to Everyday Health, exercise is proven to help manage those stress levels. Or take a soothing Epsom salt bath for a mental and skin health double whammy.
Keeping the skin clean and healthy is important because, as the largest organ of the body, the health of your skin plays a significant role in your overall health. Performing a daily skincare routine, bathing regularly, exfoliating, moisturizing, and eating a healthy diet are all imperative to achieving healthy skin. But be mindful of the products you’re using, and the skin type you’re using them on.