[By Alicia Liu]
Spring is probably the best and liveliest of the four seasons, with its promise of clear blue skies and vividly coloured blossoms. Oh, what a wonderful season! It probably excites most, however for some less fortunate people, it may be coupled with dreaded allergies such as runny nose, puffy eyes and itchy, inflamed, sensitive skin. Fear not! Although allergies aren’t pretty, it doesn’t mean you can’t be! Here are some tips to help those with sensitive skin put up a fight against those allergens, to keep your skin calm and flawless throughout springtime!
Wash ‘Em Allergens Off!
We know that during spring, skin is exposed to airborne allergens such as pollen. In recent years however, the expected spring allergy situation seems to be escalating as time goes by, partly due to climate change. It has been postulated that due to rising concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, the release of allergen levels such has pollen and certain fungal growths like mold and the spores they release have also increased. When these allergens set off the release of histamine in susceptible individuals, the skin becomes inflamed and vessels dilate. What this simply means is that the skin becomes red and itchy.
Hence one easy measure is to wash your face as soon as you are home so that the allergens don’t sit on the skin. Be careful during selection of your face wash as those who have sensitive skin should not be using anything which is astringent. In particular, stay away from soaps which contain alcohol or antibacterial elements. I personally like The Sloane Inc. Vanilla Silk Cleanser. As its name suggests, this super silky, ultra-gentle facial cleanser lifts away dirt and impurities without stripping the skin’s essential lipids. As it provides a thorough cleaning while still maintaining the integrity of the skin, this facial wash is perfect for those with sensitive and irritated skin.
Moisturise to Protect
In general, moisturising your skin helps it hold on to moisture hence resists damages from drying and abrasion. However for people with sensitive skin, topical creams and lotions may sometimes make things worse by aggravating a contact dermatitis caused by allergens and irritant in the products. Therefore, it is important to select a moisturiser which works to restore the skin’s natural barrier without harming the skin with added artificial fragrances and preservatives.
This is a situation when less is more, and the less ingredients there are in a product, the less chances one would be allergic to any one of them. The Sloane Inc. Perfecting Dew contains squalene, hyaluronic acid and green tea extracts and seems minimalist in terms of ingredients, but does its task well to soothe and protect dry, troubled skin gently without causing irritation. Besides forming a protective barrier, squalene, a natural extract from olives, also has amazing anti-oxidant properties to further protect your peau from the harmful free radicals which lead to premature aging.
Keep Stress at Bay
Let’s face it, stress is not always unavoidable and almost sometimes necessary in our daily life as it fuels us in our daily learning, survival and even creativity. When it becomes overwhelming though is when it starts to harm our overall health. Stress has also been linked to worsening one’s response to allergens further. So if you already have skin conditions such as rosacea, acne or psoriasis, overt stress will further dehydrates the skin and permits allergens and pollutants to seed further damages.
Hence it only makes sense that stress reduction indeed is a one-step anti-inflammatory skin treatment. With this, it definitely gives you good reason to treat yourself to a relaxing spa outing, all the better with your group of besties, while you surrender your tense muscles into the hands of a trained masseuse! Aside from that, try holistic meditation, deep breathing or rhythmic exercises such as yoga, all of which are activities to channel stress away while boosting overall energy, mood and skin health.
Tissue Quality Matters
Christmas was quite a while back but your nose is still as red as Rudolph the Reindeer. Inflamed nasal passages causes stuffiness and sneezing, but much of the redness, skin peeling and cracks are actually due to frequent nose wiping, which further dries and irritates the skin.
So always remember to be gentle when you blow your nose and use soft, high-quality tissues. Also, try to resist rubbing at your nose, despite how itchy or irritated you may feel, as this further aggravates the inflammation and set up a never ending vicious cycle!
Your Eyes need Care too
Okay, so some of us have red noses, while others have panda or goldfish eyes. As the eyes may be itchy due to an allergic reaction, rubbing them can darken skin over time as well as hasten the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. The inflammation may also lead to further retention of fluid and lead to under eye puffiness. Great.
Fortunately, there are ways to combat these problems. Talk to your local doctor about eye-drops which may help alleviate the itch and eye redness so you’re less likely to rub at them. Also try soothing eye gels such as The Sloane Inc. Oxygen Eye Serum, which contains hyaluronic acid and Co-enzyme CoQ, a powerful anti-oxidant in its own right. This formulation is safe for all skin types and especially gentle for sensitive skin types to help calm the thin skin under the eyes and also work to brighten dark circles and smooth out fine lines.
With these great tips in mind, I’m sure you will be more than ready to welcome and enjoy spring with open arms!