7 Tips for Making Your Sensitive Skin Stronger

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Elizabeth Beasley on August 11, 2021
  • Woman smiling
    Don’t Be So Sensitive
    Trying not being so sensitive is easier said that done when it’s your skin. Many of us experience dry and dehydrated skin, but sensitive skin can be a real challenge because your nerves are more sensitive, your skin may tear or bruise more easily, you suffer frequent breakouts and rashes and it can limit the skin care products you use. The most effective way to make your sensitive skin stronger is to create a strong barrier which enhances your skin’s ability to protect itself. Here are some sensitive skin tips that can power up your skin care regimen and make your skin fierce.
  • Woman in the sun
    1. Watch Out for the Sun
    “Wear sunscreen” is common advice these days, but sun protection is especially important for people with sensitive skin. Sun exposure can damage your skin, making it dry and aging it prematurely. Be sure to wear a good sunscreen that protects you from UVA and UVB rays and contains zinc oxide or titanium oxide. Also, avoid being out on the sun during the peak hours between 10am and 3pm. Remember, the sun isn’t the only skin irritant on a summer day. Heat can bother sensitive skin, so stay in the shade to keep cool and avoid getting overheated.
  • Woman drinking water
    2. Drink Lots of Water
    When your skin is dry it can make it thinner and more sensitive. An cost-effective addition to your skin care regimen is drinking at least 32 ounces of water a day. When your skin is hydrated, it’s plumper and healther. This becomes even more important as we age. When we’re born our body is 75% water and that decreases as we get older. Drinking more water will keep your skin from thinning so much as you age, plus its good for your other organs.
  • Washing Dishes using gloves
    3. Avoid Detergents and Astringents
    Detergent cleansers and astringents may make you feel clean, but they’re actually breaking down the fats that help your skin cells provide a strong barrier. Freshen up your sensitive skin care routine by using fragrance- and detergent-free cleansers. Also keep in mind that other detergents that you use to wash your hair, your dishes or your laundry can irritate your skin. So opt for the least harsh version of those products, as well.
  • shower-head
    4. Keep Your Cool
    As we mentioned, heat can irritate sensitive skin, so look for ways to keep your body cool. Though a hot shower or bath feels good, a cooler one will keep your skin from getting dry and irritated. You can also use cooling mists or serums throughout the day to soothe your skin. A drop of peppermint oil on the back of your neck is a quick way to cool your body when you’re overheated. Even a simple spritz from a water bottle will do the trick!
  • woman-putting-moisturizer-on-hand
    5. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
    Your living skin cells are held together by lipids, also know as fats. Giving your skin more fat, in the form of moisturizers and oils, will create a tighter bond between your cells and make it less vulnerable to irritants. If your skin isn’t too oily, try using a face oil instead of a moisturizer at night. Coconut oil is a light, all-purpose oil that works well all over your body. For oily skin, use silicon-based moisturizers. They’re usually labeled as non-oily or light moisturizers. One more tip for dry skin is to lightly pat yourself dry after bathing and immediately apply oil or moisturizer while your skin is slightly damp.
  • Green Tea
    6. Strengthen Your Insides
    Your diet plays a big role in how healthy your skin is and you can repair your skin from the inside out. It’s important to eat fruits and vegetables, at least 5 servings a day, to give your skin the antioxidants it needs to be tough. The minerals and vitamins in healthy foods can also boost collagen production to keep your skin firm and youthful. Sensitive skin is often irritated by inflammation, so an anti-inflammatory diet can help strengthen your skin’s barrier. Eating oats, drinking green tea and limiting sugar are just a few ways to reduce inflammation.
  • senior woman meditation in yoga class
    7. Manage Stress
    Most sensitive skin tips are focused on what you put in and on your body, but we can’t forget how important your immune system is to keeping your skin healthy and strong. Your skin is your largest organ and stress can slow down the healing process, leaving your biggest barrier in a weakened state. Whether it’s meditation or watching your favorite comedy on TV, try adding stress-relief to your sensitive skin care regimen and see what kind of results you get over time. Chances are you’ll feel better inside and out.
7 Tips for Making Your Sensitive Skin Stronger
  1. Recognizing the mind-skin connection. Harvard Medical School. http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Recognizing_the_mind-skin_connection
  2. Protecting Yourself from Sun Damage. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/protecting-yourself-from-sun-damage
  3. Aging & Painful Skin. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/aging-painful-skin
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Last Review Date: 2021 Aug 11
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.