Written by Tenley Haraldson.
Medically reviewed by Board-Certified Dermatologist Dr. Julie Jackson MD, FAAD.
From stress to the foods we eat to the topical products we apply, nearly everything can affect sensitive skin. Anyone with eczema , contact dermatitis, or sensitive skin knows that these issues present intense physical and emotional challenges.
We’ve worked with Dr. Julie Jackson, MD, FAAD to outline sensitive skin remedies that will help you take care of your skin – naturally – before flare-ups even occur.
1. Keep Reactions from Worsening
If you’re currently experiencing an adverse skin reaction, apply ice or cold compresses to affected areas. This will help freeze itching in its tracks. A colloidal oatmeal bath is also known to help soothe different skin ailments – and it’s also extremely easy to make yourself.
2. Determine Your Triggers
If you notice that your skin reacts to specific products, try isolating potential culprits. Allergies and sensitivities can develop suddenly, so you might find yourself allergic to something that's never bothered you before.
Some of the most common skin irritants and triggers include:
- chemical solvents and detergents
- synthetic perfumes & fragrances
- latex (e.g. disposable gloves, condoms)
- metals (especially nickel)
- plant extracts
- food sensitivities & allergies
3. Develop a Healthier Shower Routine
A healthy shower routine can make a massive difference in your life. First, turn down the dial and use lukewarm, not hot water.
Choose a pH-Balanced, Natural Body Wash for Eczema
Your showers products really make a difference, so reach for the best body wash for eczema and other sensitive skin types. Loaded with nourishing coconut cleansers and clinical-grade moisturizers, our hypoallergenic, pH-balanced formula is free of sulfates, cocamidopropyl betaine, formaldehyde, parabens, synthetic fragrances, and more.
Get the best tips from the cleaning obsessed.
Puracy crafts cleaning & care items that work really well. Our obsession with natural cleaning performance is our profession, and we're here to share it with you.
Pay Attention to Your Scalp
The scalp often gets ignored, but it's an incredibly important part of your skin health. While your hair has a pH level of around 3.5, your scalp's is 5.5 – and it's extremely sensitive to changes. That's why Puracy formulated our Natural Shampoo (pH: 5.5) and Natural Conditioner (pH: 3.5-4.5) to gently cleanse, balance, and nourish your skin and hair.
Remember: Hair products trickle down your body whenever you rinse your hair! Make sure they're formulated with natural ingredients that don't contain irritants or allergens.
4. Limit Your Skin Care Products
One of the major reasons we've developed our unscented, 99.3% natural Face & Body Lotion (pH: 4.5-6.0) is to keep your skincare routine as simple as possible. After stepping out of the shower, pat your skin dry. and lock in moisture with a hypoallergenic, unscented body lotion. Feel free to use this product whenever you need added hydration.
We've intentionally included the best ingredients for eczema in our nourishing, non-greasy formula. That's why you'll never find silicones, parabens, dyes, perfumes, phthalates, petrochemicals, nut-based ingredients, or gluten in this product.
Pro Tip: Reducing your number of skin care products can go a long way towards helping people with sensitive skin determine whether certain products are causing negative reactions.
5. Use Natural Laundry Detergent for Sensitive Skin
Most laundry detergents contain artificial fragrances, harsh surfactants, and dyes that can do a number on sensitive skin. That’s why it’s important to find one that’s gentle but still hard-working.
Our Free & Clear Laundry Detergent consistently lands on “best of” lists – and for good reason: We worked with PhD chemists and pediatricians to develop a 99.4% natural formula that lifts stains and odors without sacrificing your comfort.
6. Stay Hydrated
Water is one of the most straightforward sensitive skin remedies. In addition to a slew of health problems, even occasional dehydration can heighten sensitive skin issues (leaving dry and itchy patches behind).
How Much Water Should I Drink?
According to the Mayo Clinic, we should be consuming more than the “8 glasses per day” we’ve been told about:
- Men: 15.5 cups (3.7 liters)
- Women: 11.5 cups (2.7 liters)
Pro Tip: If you live in a hot climate or exercise/sweat regularly, you’ll need to drink more than that!
7. Stop Scratching!
Keeping your fingernails and toenails short can limit potential damage done by itching. If you’re dealing with an eczema flare-up, try keeping your hands busy with activities like filling out an adult coloring book or squeezing a stress ball. Wearing gloves and socks at night can also keep you from scratching these areas while you’re sleeping.
8. Wear Natural Fabrics
Your wardrobe can have a serious impact on skin health. Avoid scratchy fabrics like wool (unless it's pure cashmere) and synthetic materials like nylon, rayon, and polyester. Opt for looser cuts in pure cotton, silk, and fine-grade linens. Though these higher-quality fabrics may require a small investment, they're often a wise choice for individuals with sensitive skin.
9. Avoid Synthetic Fragrances
Synthetic fragrances are often chemical blends simply listed as "fragrance” that aren’t regulated by the FDA. It's often impossible to know precisely what's used in these types of products, and perfumes can cause serious side effects in certain individuals. If you suspect an allergy to perfumes or artificial fragrances, it's best to avoid them entirely.
To delicately scent our products, Puracy uses plant-based essential oils (never perfumes or artificial fragrances).
10. Turn on a Humidifier
Eczema is often worse when the humidity drops (especially in the colder winter months). And though there is no definitive scientific link, many people report relief associated with using a humidifier. Benefits should, however, be weighed against the disadvantages: cost, portability, and the potential increase in levels of dust mites.
11. Get a Shower Filter
12. Combat Stress
Stress is a common instigator for skin conditions. Therefore, one of the best remedies for sensitive skin is to be proactive with healthy outlets like regular exercise, yoga, meditation, and even counseling.
13. You Are What You Eat
Certain nutritional deficiencies can lead to skin disease, so it’s important to eat a well-balanced diet that contains all of your macro and micronutrient requirements.
Recently, there’s been a scientific focus on the relationship between skin diseases like psoriasis and the standard Western diet. Food in the US tends to be more calorically-dense, nutrient-poor, and often consists of highly-processed foods (which contain preservatives and chemical contaminants from fertilizers).
Though no single diet or food choice can be touted as a "cure for sensitive skin", it’s thought that a well-balanced diet of fresh, non-processed foods helps to support healthier skin function.
14. Consider Medical Testing
Ask your dermatologist about patch testing, which can help pinpoint contact allergens.
In rare cases, chronic itchy skin is a symptom of greater problems like iron deficiency, thyroid issues, and certain diseases. If the scratching is persistent and lasts longer than 6 weeks, you should absolutely consider seeking medical attention.
15. Choose Eczema Safe Hand Soap
Not enough attention is paid to hand eczema, even though this is an incredibly common location for itchy, dry patches to occur. During a time when frequent handwashing is the norm, you need the right hand soap for sensitive skin.
Our 98.6% Natural Foaming Hand Soap is a gentle, effective cleanser sourced from plants, minerals, and water. No triclosan, no sulfates, no residue, and no drying ingredients. Your hands will feel clean yet deeply hydrated.
Nourish Your Skin with Puracy's Entire Product Line
We've worked with dermatologists, PhD chemists, and physicians to develop all of our product formulas. Whether you’re using our award-winning Laundry Detergent or extremely gentle Natural Body Wash on eczema prone skin, you can count on gentle cleansing – and incredible comfort.