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Happy Valentine Gift Ideas

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Looking Young Secrets That Work

Drotumdi O


Older Woman Looking Younger

Start With Primer

If you're old enough for laugh lines, a skin care makeover can give you a fresher, younger look. Our skin dries and thins with age, so products used five years ago may look quite matronly today. A better routine calls for skin primer, according to Robin Rylant, a celebrity makeup artist who's worked with Celine Dion. A high-quality primer fills in small wrinkles, making them less visible.

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Woman Wearing Too Much Foundation

Forgo Thick Foundation

If you still slather foundation directly over aging skin, you're likely adding years to your look. That thick top coat tends to break into deep cracks, which look far worse than the fine lines you're trying to hide. Instead, apply moisturizer, primer, then a light liquid foundation for additional skin-plumping moisture. Ryland suggests tapping it in gently with a sponge, rather than rubbing it in.

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Woman With Clown Eyes

Avoid Clown Eyes

Applying flattering eye makeup requires precision. Unfortunately, eyesight tends to decline with age. "If you don't see as well, you may not get the makeup on correctly," Ryant says. The results can include clownish amounts of eye shadow or crooked eyeliner. The solution: "Get yourself a good magnifying mirror."

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Woman With Good Eye Makeup

Enhance the Shape of the Eye

As we age, the eyelids tend to droop, so the goal is to draw attention away from the lid and toward the actual eye. Eyeliner is the key. Apply it in a thin streak along the line where the lashes begin, top and bottom. This will enhance the shape of your eye and create the illusion of thicker lashes. Use soft shades and a light touch when applying eye shadow.

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Woman Brushing Eyebrows

Put Eyebrows Back On

"Eyebrows are extremely important because they frame the face," Ryant says. But the brows tend to grow thinner and grayer with age. To "put eyebrows back on," Ryant recommends using eyebrow pencil that complements your hair color. Placing powder over the pencil will help it stay put. Some people choose to have eyebrows permanently tattooed, but the FDA and Consumer Reports has raised safety concerns about this practice.

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Bleeding Lipstick

Don't Let the Lips 'Bleed'

Few things draw attention to wrinkles like bleeding lip color. This happens because lipstick is a cream, and it tends to slip into any low spaces -- including the lines around your lips. To keep color from traveling, use moisturizer, then coat the lips with foundation before applying lipstick.

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Woman Plumping Lips

Plump Up the Lips

Ryant offers three steps for creating plumper, younger-looking lips. Begin by coating the lips with foundation. Next, line the lips and fill them in completely with pencil. Finally, use a lipstick brush to apply a lip-plumping lipstick. Ryant sees good results, though Consumer Reports suggests the plumping may be modest. Choose a color with enough pigment to enhance the lips without being over-the-top bright.

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Woman Holding Lip Balm

Keep Lips Moist

Even the best quality makeup will have a tough time concealing dry, flaky lips. For this reason, it's essential to moisturize often. Lip balms with shea butter, petroleum jelly, or vitamin E work well, says Ryant. Look for a product with sunscreen to protect against the sun's drying effect. If you use extended-wear lipstick, be sure to let the stain dry completely before applying lip balm.

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Woman With White Teeth

Whiten Stained Teeth

Whitening toothpastes can help remove surface stains so your teeth look about one shade lighter. To go deeper, try peroxide-based whitening gels or strips. These products bleach the enamel of your teeth to change your natural tooth color. For the most dramatic results, an in-office treatment with your dentist can make the teeth visibly whiter in less than an hour. Several treatments may be needed to get the desired shade.

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Cucumbers Help Rejuvenate Eyes

Rejuvenate Tired Eyes

If your eyes look tired, the most obvious solution may be to get more rest. Sleep triggers the release of hormones that help the skin remain thicker and more elastic. To reduce eye puffiness, cut back on salt and stay well hydrated. You can also try soothing swollen eyes with cool cucumber slices or moist tea bags.

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Good Eye Makeup On Woman

Reduce Dark Circles

Getting enough sleep can also minimize dark circles under the eyes. But in some people, the discoloration comes from too much pigmentation in the skin. In that case, creams containing lightening agents such as retinol, hydroquinone, green tea, or vitamin C may help. To camouflage dark circles, use a concealer one shade lighter than your skin and yellowish in tone. Wear SPF 30 sunscreen daily.

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Womens Sunglasses

Wear Sunglasses

Sunglasses do triple-duty in the quest to look younger. A good pair will protect the delicate skin around the eyes from sun damage. It will also keep you from squinting, a motion that can create additional wrinkles over time. Finally, sunglasses may help delay cataracts, cloudy areas on the eyes' lenses that can diminish your vision. Long-term exposure to the sun's UV rays can increase the risk for cataracts. Make sure they have UV 400 lenses.

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Making Thin Hair Look Fuller

Boost Thinning Hair

You can give thinning hair the illusion of more body with some simple styling tricks. Use a large round brush to lift the hair and add volume. To set the style, use the cool button on your hairdryer. Styling with hot rollers is another good option. If you're looking for a low-maintenance way to add body, Ryant suggests a perm.

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Smiling Gray Haired Woman

Don't Fret Over Grays

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Exfoliating Gel


Exfoliation gets rid of dead, dry skin cells to reveal the fresher skin underneath. You can use a washcloth, along with an exfoliating cleanser, to gently scrub your face and body. Exfoliating regularly will help remove dull, flaky skin. But be careful not to scrub too hard or you could leave the skin raw and irritated.

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Woman With Forehead Wrinkles

Target Wrinkles With Retinoids

These chemical relatives of vitamin A can reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles for a more youthful look. Creams that require a prescription have the best track record, including tretinoin, tarazotene, and their brand-name versions. A less potent, OTC form is available too, called retinol. The best results come from regular use over several weeks or months. All can cause redness, irritation, peeling, and can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

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Woman With Crows Feet

Fight Crow's Feet With AHAs

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are found in fruits, sugar cane, milk, and other foods. When applied topically, they exfoliate and remove the outer layer of dead skin cells, which may help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The results may be most apparent in the thin skin around the eyes. Mild skin irritation and redness can occur, and your skin may be extra sensitive to the sun while using AHAs.

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Woman With Age Spots

Fade Age Spots With Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is the active ingredient in popular bleaching creams. It interferes with the skin's production of melanin, the pigment that gives age spots their color. Hydroquinone is available over the counter or in stronger concentrations by prescription. Kojic acid is another skin lightener available in OTC products or by prescription.

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Mixed Berries

Fight Damage With Antioxidants

Antioxidants are vitamins and minerals that can counter the damage caused in your body and skin by free radicals. You can eat foods rich in antioxidants or apply antioxidant creams directly to the skin. Studies suggest that topical vitamin C maybe especially helpful to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Check with a dermatologist for products that contain enough vitamin C to be effective.

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Fillet Of Raw Salmon

Eat Salmon for Smoother Skin

Salmon offers a treasure trove of nutrients for the skin. It's packed with protein, a critical building block of healthy skin. And, along with other fatty fish, it's rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s may help fight wrinkles by keeping the skin plump.

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Applying Hand Lotion

Pamper Your Hands

The skin on the hands has very little fatty tissue underneath and can easily become crinkled when dry. Applying moisturizer throughout the day can draw water into the skin to help hands look plumper and more youthful. Look for a moisturizer that contains glycerin, hyaluronic acid, shea butter, or safflower seed oil. You can also use lightening creams to fade age spots on the hands.

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Applying Nail Polish

Strengthen Your Nails

Prevent brittle nails by avoiding harsh soaps and moisturizing with thick creams or petroleum jelly. Vitamin B7 supplements, also called biotin, may help soften brittle, breakable nails. Ask your health care professional what amount is right for you. To avoid unsightly hangnails and ingrown nails, be sure to trim your nails correctly. Look for nippers that are shaped to follow the natural curve of the nail.

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Woman Using Pumice Stone

Soften Your Heels

After decades of walking, most people develop thick layers of skin on the heels and balls of the feet. While you're unlikely to regain the soft soles of your youth, you can take steps to shrink the calluses. Begin by soaking your feet in hot water. Once the dead skin is moist, you may be able to remove some of it by scrubbing with a pumice stone.

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Woman With Smokers Lips

Don't Smoke

One of the surest ways to protect against skin damage is to avoid cigarettes. Studies of twins suggest smokers have skin that is more wrinkled and up to 40% thinner than nonsmokers. Researchers believe tobacco smoke releases an enzyme that breaks down collagen and elastin, compounds that are vital to the skin's structure and elasticity.

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Woman Applying Sunscreen

Use a Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

You probably know that sunscreen can ward off wrinkles by blocking the sun's harmful rays. But did you know that SPF refers only to protection against ultraviolet B rays? It turns out that ultraviolet A rays may play a larger role in causing wrinkles. To block both UVA and UVB rays, look for a broad-spectrum or multi-spectrum sunscreen.

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Woman Considering Botox

For More Dramatic Results ...

If your home-care regimen doesn't give you the look you want, cosmetic procedures can yield more dramatic results. A dermatologist can plump up laugh lines with injectable fillers. Those derived from the botulinum toxin are popular for the brow area, and are not toxic, despite the name. Chemical peels and dermabrasion can soften fine lines and age spots. And laser resurfacing is effective for reducing wrinkles and discoloration.

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Special Care for Nails

Special Care for Nails
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Special Care for Nails 1:23

Nail down what you can do to keep psoriasis under control.

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on 10/03/2017 Sources
Ashley Curtis, MD
Dermatology Associates of Atlanta
WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition that can affect the skin, the nails, and even have systemic or internal involvement as well. The nails can show a variety of different things when you have psoriasis. Some of the most common things we see are discoloration. You can have pitting or what looks like depressions in the nail. You can have lifting of the nail off of the nail bed, crumbling of the nail, or even just abnormal outgrowth of the nail. These things can be very distressing to patients. The problem is psoriasis of the nails is very difficult to treat. The psoriasis is normally affecting either the nail matrix-- which is really the nail factory where your nails grows, and that's deep under the skin-- or it's affecting the nail bed-- which is what your nail lays on top off. Depending on the severity of your psoriasis, we may start off with milder treatments like topical medications. But if it's already very severe, we may already go to oral medications or other meds that are possibly injectables. So a lot of patients ask me how can I make my nails look better with psoriasis? I don't recommend a lot of manicures. That can cause some trauma to the nail and make the psoriasis worse. However, you are welcome to use some buffing, which can help smooth it out and give you a little shine. You can use some clear polish. And you can even keep the nail nicely trimmed.

Nail down what you can do to keep psoriasis under control.

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Pull Together a Strong Network for Support


Best Products for Sensitive Skin

Drotumdi O

By Rachel Reiff Ellis

Skin that’s quick to blush, itch, bump, or rash, or defaults often to dryness, needs careful care to stay moist, calm, and healthy. You can give your sensitive skin a boost by choosing products designed to cater to its needs.

Before You Buy

It’s a good idea to check with an expert like a dermatologist first before you add products to your skin care routine, especially if your sensitive skin symptoms can be severe. She can help figure out what your triggers are (so you can try to avoid them) and what problems you’re hoping to prevent or solve. Once you have a better idea of the cause, you can pick products that will best care for the skin you’re in.

Be label-wary. Often, products that say “for sensitive skin” don’t have official approval to do so. Instead, test products on a tiny area of skin. Watch for any reactions or redness. If your skin tingles, burns, or turns red within 72 hours, that product isn’t for you.


Check labels, too. Avoid products that exfoliate. They might have small, rough ingredients, either natural or manmade. (You might see terms like "microbeads.") They remove dead skin cells with friction. Skip brushes and washcloths made for the same purpose. You don’t need to exfoliate skin to get it clean. You could irritate it instead. Avoid cleansers with chemicals that exfoliate, like salicylic acid or alpha and beta hydroxy acids.

Look for products that are:

  • Not soap
  • Fragrance-free
  • Alcohol-free

Typically, the fewer ingredients in a product, the better the chances it won’t irritate your skin.


Locking in moisture is key for battling dry skin, which can often be the cause of eczema flares or other sensitive skin reactions. Moisturizers that create the best barrier for skin include:

  • Petroleum jelly
  • Mineral oil
  • Ointment
  • Creams with added oil, like olive or jojoba

Avoid dyes and fragrances in your moisturizer. Thick creams work better than liquid lotions when it comes to keeping skin’s moisture in. To soothe as you seal, pick creams with calming ingredients like:

  • Green tea polyphenols
  • Chamomile
  • Aloe

You can also look for moisturizers with ceramides, which are fatty acids, or lipids, that help your skin hold onto moisture.


Sun protection is important all year. Aside from preventing skin damage, good sunscreen can shield you from sunburn, which often makes sensitive skin problems worse. The best blocks are SPF 30 or higher, and include:

  • Zinc oxide (has complete UVA spectrum coverage), titanium dioxide, or both
  • Broad-spectrum protection

Check the ingredients for fragrance. If your sunscreen has added scent, it’s better on the shelf than on your skin.


Whether you’re a full-face makeup wearer or just brush on a little blush, choose products that won’t bug your skin. Follow these guidelines.


  • Alcohol
  • Camphor
  • Dye
  • Fragrance
  • Glycolic acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Menthol
  • Sodium laurel sulfate (common in some soaps and shampoos)

Look for products labeled non-comedogenic. This label means a product won’t clog your pores and perhaps kick off a rash or reaction.

Shower Tips for Sensitive Skin

Drotumdi O

By Rachel Reiff Ellis

Showering can often leave sensitive skin itchy, tight, red, or dry. But a few tweaks to your routine could make it a more skin-friendly experience.

Close the door. It’s a simple tip, but a good one: Shutting yourself in when you shower helps build up steam in the bathroom. Pump up the humidity and give your skin a chance to soak in that extra moisture.

Keep it quick. A shower can feel great while you’re in it, but spending too much time under the jets can trigger skin troubles later. “Staying in too long washes the oils away from your skin,” says Carolyn Goh, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

This means the protective layer that keeps moisture locked in is gone. Water leaves your skin more easily once you’re dry. Goh suggests you limit shower sessions to less than 10 minutes. The same goes for baths, even though they’re a soak and not a spray. “The amount of time you spend in the water is more important than how the water touches your skin,” she says.

Be soap savvy. Sensitive skin and soap aren’t great friends, so the less you lather up, the better. If you can’t see dirt, water will do for cleaning most of your body. “Keep the soap to the dirty areas -- armpits and groin,” says Suzan Obagi, MD, director of the Cosmetic Surgery & Skin Health Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “Harsh soaps can dry your skin out more and make sensitive skin worse.”

Cool it down. Hot water also strips away your skin’s natural oils. There’s no ideal temperature to shoot for, Obagi says. Lukewarm -- not too hot and not too cold -- is the most soothing. Find the coolest temperature you can stand and leave it there. Speedy showers help here too, she says, because people tend to turn the temperature up the longer they’re in.

Pick the right products. Watch out for harsh soaps or body washes that have fragrance, dyes, or are deodorizing. Avoid alcohol-based and antibacterial options. All these are more likely to irritate your skin and leave it itchy, tight, and dry. Instead, go for gentle cleansers or shower gels with added oils or fats. “Look for soaps and cleansers that say ‘moisturizing,’ ‘hypoallergenic,’ or ‘made for sensitive skin,’ ” Obagi says.

Skip the scrubs. There’s no shortage of products designed to help remove the top layer of dead skin cells while you wash. But Obagi says products that exfoliate will only make already sensitive skin worse. Washcloths are OK as long as they aren’t too rough. Choose one made from a soft fabric. Toss it in the laundry after every use to be sure it isn’t housing bacteria or mold.

Dry off gently. When it comes to toweling off sensitive skin, gentle motions are key. “Patting dry is recommended over air drying or rubbing,” Goh says. Too rough, and you’re at risk of irritating skin. But don’t ditch the towel altogether or water will leave your skin too quickly. “Air-drying skin allows the body to lose the water moisture to the environment,” Obagi says. Blot your skin carefully, and keep ointment or cream on hand to seal in moisture.

Finish off with moisturizer. Right after a shower or bath, your skin is full of water. You can lock it in by slathering on cream or ointment right away. “As soon as you pat dry, apply a thick moisturizer to skin that is still moist,” Goh says. “This helps keep some of the moisture on the skin and helps replace the natural oils in the skin.”

When it comes to products, think thick. Ointments like petroleum jelly work best, followed by creams or shea butter with moisturizing ingredients like jojoba oil or olive oil.

A product’s label says it’s made just for sensitive skin, or it’s hypoallergenic, or it’s extra gentle. Can you believe these claims? Do you need to buy special products if your skin is sensitive? Not necessarily.

The back of the package may tell you more than the label on the front. Check the ingredients list, not the marketing claims, before you buy, says Annie Chiu, MD, a dermatologist in Redondo Beach, CA.

Avoid things that could irritate your skin, Chiu says. Watch out for harsh ingredients often found in cleansers, moisturizers, or anti-aging creams. These include fragrances, dyes, exfoliants like alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids or salicylic acid, sulfates, and preservatives.

Don’t feel like you have to search for moisturizers, cleansers, or other products that claim to be made for sensitive skin. It may take some trial and error to find products that don’t bother you, Chiu says. But inexpensive, over-the-counter items designed to be extra gentle and fragrance-free are a good place to start.

Are Label Claims True?

While many labels say they’re made for sensitive skin, gentle on your skin, or even hypoallergenic, there’s no guarantee these claims are true.

The FDA doesn’t regulate makeup or skin care products that claim to clean, moisturize, or beautify. It may require proof for products that claim to treat skin problems like allergies. Sometimes it sends warnings to manufacturers that make claims they can’t support.

Even skin care products that say they’re hypoallergenic or made for sensitive skin could cause problems, Chiu says. Labels can be misleading. Some cosmetics contain formaldehyde releasers as preservatives. Even though they can irritate your skin, you may not see them on the list of ingredients.

Labels that state a skin care product is fragrance-free or unscented may not be true, according to the FDA. That goes for shampoo, body lotion, shaving cream, and bath gel, too.

The FDA doesn’t regulate scents in products unless there’s a claim that the ingredient benefits your health. Some skin care products that claim to be unscented may still contain fragrances. They’re just used to mask other odors, not to change how the product smells.

What Products Help Sensitive Skin?

Healthy skin acts as a natural barrier for your body. It keeps moisture in and irritants out. Sensitive skin may just be a poor barrier for some reason.

It isn’t always a condition your doctor can diagnose, Chiu says. It usually means your skin gets easily inflamed or reacts to certain ingredients. Cosmetics and skin care products are common triggers for a sensitive skin flare.

To keep your skin healthy, clean, moisturize, and protect it with sunscreen every day. If you have sensitive skin, creams or lotions with glycerin, hyaluronic acid, petrolatum (mineral oil jelly), ceramides, or lipids may be good choices. These products help your skin hold in moisture and act as a barrier.

Lotions with chamomile, aloe, and green tea polyphenols may soothe sensitive skin. Use cream-based moisturizers on dry skin to ease irritation. You only need to cleanse or wash your face once a day.

Test a small amount of any new skin care product on the skin of your arm or behind your knee to see if it bothers you. Another good tip is to stick with products you already use. You know they don’t bother your skin. New isn’t always better.

Just because a skin care product contains natural ingredients or plant extracts doesn’t mean it won’t make your skin inflamed or itchy. The term “all-natural” is misleading, Chiu says. Plant extracts and essential oils can irritate sensitive skin. Products marketed as “natural” or “green” aren’t certified or tested to make sure they’re less irritating.

Is Sensitive Skin a Myth?

Drotumdi O

By Susan Bernstein

Does your skin seem extra sensitive? Many people say they have sensitive skin, but it isn’t easy to define.

That’s because sensitive skin is a catch-all term, not one health condition. You may or may not have a problem your doctor can diagnose and treat. And your skin can act up for different reasons.

“Typically, these are people with more easily irritated skin, either with inflammation, redness, itching, or stinging sensations,” says Annie Chiu, MD, a dermatologist at The Derm Institute in Redondo Beach, CA.

But many people who say they have sensitive skin don’t have visible signs of a problem, like a rash or flakes. That doesn’t mean they’re imagining things. It just means we don’t fully understand why some skin is more likely to react, or how to diagnose it.

That’s partly because sensitive skin isn’t the same for every person. Your skin may not react to the same things or in the same way as someone else’s. So it’s hard for your doctor to know what’s going on.

Angry on Contact

People with sensitive skin often have contact dermatitis. Your skin may react to makeup, chemicals, your own sweat, too much sun, or tight clothing. You may think you’re allergic to these items, but dermatitis isn’t the same as a skin allergy.

“Sensitive skin is more about easily inflamed skin that’s more reactive to certain ingredients or products. Allergic skin reactions can happen to anyone, not just someone with sensitive skin,” Chiu says. “The classic example would be reacting to poison ivy. That’s a true allergic reaction. It doesn’t matter if you have sensitive, oily, or combination skin. It just causes an allergic reaction in the skin.”

If you feel like your skin is sensitive when you're exposed to certain things, your doctor can give you a patch test. He’ll mark off little squares on your skin and spread them with different chemicals or natural products to see if anything causes a reaction.

Often the problem is dry skin caused by hot or cold weather, or low humidity in the air. If you use lots of skin care products to treat dry skin, you might react to one of those too.

Hard-to-Find Clues

Why do some people still think sensitive skin is a myth? Even if your skin seems very sensitive, you may not have clear symptoms or signs of skin diseases that show up on tests.

You could tell your doctor that your skin stings, burns, or itches when you use a certain kind of makeup or soap. But it might not get red, swollen, scaly, or pitted even after a patch test. Women complain about sensitive skin more often than men, but patch test studies show that skin reactions affect men and women equally.

Your skin is a barrier designed to protect you. Its outer layer helps you hold in moisture so your body doesn’t dry out. Sensitive skin may be more permeable than normal skin. That means it doesn’t work well as a barrier. Things that irritate or inflame your skin get in more easily.

“People with sensitive skin typically have slightly compromised skin barriers either due to genetics, dryness, or baseline inflammation from conditions like eczema,” Chiu says.

It could be that your skin doesn’t have enough ceramides. These fatty acids help your skin act as a protective layer. People with low ceramide levels often have more sensitive skin reactions.

Your skin also responds to what’s going on in your life. People with sensitive skin often report more stress, anxiety, or tension. Your skin senses the extra stress and reacts to it.

One way to ward off a flare-up is to figure out what bothers your skin and remove it from your routine, Chiu says. Watch out for ingredients in soaps, shampoos, and over-the-counter skin products that might bother you. “Those with sensitive skin might want to be careful or consider avoiding common ingredients like alcohol, sulfates, benzoyl peroxide, and only use retinoids with caution,” she says.

Look for products that contain ceramides to help your skin act as a healthy barrier.

WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on January 29, 2018


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