One of the most common skin types and problems is that of sensitive skin. Sensitive skin products can help alleviate some problems. Sensitive skin can affect any part of a person’s body, however this condition usually affects the face, hands, arms and legs and its symptoms can include:
The reddening of the skin in blotches as a reaction of some shaving and skin care products – but mostly due to poor shaving technique, using cartridge type razors and using blunt razor blades.
Painful rashes can appear as a result of certain foods or fragrances.
Irritating and general itchiness of the skin in reaction to certain products.
Broken red veins may appear on the cheeks and nose.
The skin may suddenly become red and tight when exposed to heat or direct sunlight.
In this type of skin, the sebaceous glands in a persons skin that produce the skins protective oil layer are weak and not creating enough sebum to protect the skin from irritants.
The lack of this protective layer also makes sufferers of sensitive skin particularly prone to dry skin problems and can result in the following symptoms: stinging, itching, breakouts, patchy redness and rashes. Other symptoms to note can include skin that is dry, flaky, sore and tight.
There are many factors that can affect and cause sensitive skin, these include:
Stress - Never underestimate the effects of stress on your body, in recent research 35% of all visits to a doctor were found to be involving stress related conditions.
The weather - Constant changes or extreme changes in the weather (especially during the winter or summer months where there is less moisture in the air) can disrupt the balance of the sebaceous glands that produce your skins protective oil layer.
Air Conditioning - Air-con tends to draw the moisture from the air which can lead to itchy eyes, sore throats and dry skin problems.
Age - Age can have an immeasurable effect on your skin as different ages can trigger different hormone reactions that affect the amount of oil your skin produces (think spotty teenagers).
Dyes and fragrances - Dyes and fragrances contain a lot of chemical products that can irritate and harm the skin.
Heavy pollution - Pollution has a fair effect on the skin and with heavy pollution, dirt and dust from the environment can build up on the skin and inhibit the sebaceous glands, either limiting the amount of protective oil produced or blocking the glands completely causing oily skin.
Cosmetics - Certain cosmetic products can block skin pores and restrict the sebaceous glands restricting the skins protective layer from regenerating. Other cosmetic products can also aggravate a mild pre-existing sensitive skin condition and make it much worse.
Having an excessive amount of baths and showers - This is bad for your skin as after prolonged periods of time the water breaks down the lipid barriers in your skin which help it maintain moisture and protective oils.
Bad dietary habits - a poor diet and inadequate fluid intake can leave the skin dehydrated and un-replenished.
Pre-existing genetic skin conditions - such as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, or ichthyoids.
There are a number of ways a sufferer of sensitive skin can reduce and care for their condition, these include:
1. Whilst having sensitive skin may not directly be a disease, if there are any major reoccurring signs or symptoms there may be an underlying skin condition that you are unaware of such as: dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, or ichthyosis. Many of these skin conditions are treatable if not manageable and can be helped with over-the-counter medications or advice from a dermatologist.
2. Many guys claim to suffer from sensitive skin caused by shaving – in fact shaving is not the problem, the real problems include shaving with blunt and or dirty blades, shaving with modern cartridge type blades such as Mach3 and Fusion which dull quickly and lead to the user pressing harder on the face to get a close shave. Switch to a Double Edge (DE) Safety Razor which is far kinder to the face, use only sharp blades and only apply the lightest pressure when shaving. Apply an after shave soothing balm on the shaved area NEVER apply an alcohol based after shave or cologne onto your face unless you enjoy pain and desire a picked prune complexion.
3. If your skin is particularly affected by extreme weather conditions always use the highest strength sun block available during sunny periods. Also try to use a relatively thin moisturising lotion or cream during the summer periods and then switch to a thicker more oily ointment during the winter if you do not react badly to these products.
4. Use as little cosmetics and other extra skin care products as possible, as these may cause constant irritation. If you must use cosmetics or skin care products you must ensure that they are all natural hypo-allergenic products, which irritate and inflame the skin less.
5. Keep your skin hydrated by drinking at least 6 glasses of water a day as this will prevent the skin from drying out too much which actually stimulates the skin into producing more oil.
6. Keep your skin as clean as possible using a good quality facial cleanser twice a day as this will often help to unclog the pores and reduce the amount of dirt on the face. Couple this with a facial scrub three times a week and an oil and wax free moisturiser that will leave the skin moisturised and fed, twice a day and your sensitive skin problem will reduce itself significantly.
7. Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties, which may aid and help to prevent sensitive skin reactions.
8. Try to minimize contact with your face; this is due to the fact that people suffering from sensitive skin tend to pick up dirt and grime easily causing reactions. This has the effect however of adding additional chemicals to your skins natural balance and causing blotchy outbreaks.This is especially true with your face as this is the most sensitive area of your body.
9. If you suffer from sensitive skin all over your body, try to wear clothing made of cotton. This is due to the fact wool and synthetic fabrics can cause skin irritation.
10. Get the right amount of sleep. They don't call it beauty sleep for nothing, having the correct amount of sleeping time is vital to help your skin regenerate. This is also the time when the skin is allowed to breathe, if you have worn make up all day.
Finally, look after your skin, remember some golden rules – always wear sun screen when it’s sunny, always moisturise and guys – buy a Double Edge Safety Razor!
Please find below some products we have tried and tested and found to be effective in treating some sensitive skin problems relating to shaving:
Executive Shaving Intensive Moisturising Balm alcohol and paraben free this moisturiser constitutes a rich and soothing moisturiser, perfect for the skin after shaving.
Executive Shaving Water Soluble Pre-Shave Oil an all-natural, vegetable oil-based pre-shave that delivers exceptional lubrication and razor glide. Disperses in water, so no oily residues left after use.
Executive Shaving Natural Shaving Cream packed with essential oils, coconut acid and glycerine which deliver exceptional razor glide and cushioning it is suitable for all skin types.
Proraso Pre and Post Shave Cream For Sensitive Skin, alcohol free, lovely scent packed full of lubricants and soothers, amazing value for money.
Proraso Shaving Cream Tub For Sensitive Skin (150ml) Just like the pre and post shave cream - alcohol free, lovely scent packed full of lubricants and soothers, amazing value for money.
Taylor of Old Bond St Herbal Shave Gel A popular pre shave herbal gel, essential for sensitive skin, allows razors to gently glide across the face whilst shaving.
Castle Forbes Shaving Range all harmful chemicals and parabens and alcohol have been removed, (highly recommended). Made in Scotland. Much commented on by bloggers on the popular online shaving forums.
Aloe Clear Ingrown Hair and Razor Rash Treatment, a clear, skin firendly roll on gel that treats ingrown hairs, shaving rash, razor burn and cools and soothes irritated skin.
Our own branded range of Executive Shaving products have been created to be used on all skin types, including sensitive skin.