How to Solve Dry, Sensitive Skin Issues at Any Age

Chances are, at some point you’ve suffered from redness, itching, flaking, and stinging. Uncomfortable? No doubt. And, let’s face it, not so pretty, either.



Even if your skin was once a total sport no matter what you subjected it to—harsh climates, ingredient-du-jour creams, even (God forbid!) tanning beds—times have likely changed. Chances are, at some point youve suffered from redness, itching, flaking, and stinging. Uncomfortable? No doubt. And, lets face it, not so pretty, either.

Truth is, sensitivity—which affects 56% of us—increases with age. Skin becomes, on average, 10% drier each decade after the age of 20, according to Doris Day, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. And dryness and sensitivity are often intimately linked. “The cells that form your skins outermost layer work as a two-way barrier, keeping moisture in and the outside world out,” Dr. Day says.

The less moisture your skin retains, the weaker the cellular barrier and the more irritants that muscle their way in. It doesnt help that, as we get older, we tend to add more—and more powerful—ingredients into our skin-care mix. Any one of these products may cause irritation, but used in concert, theyre all the more likely to do so.

Theres no need to toss all your antiaging products, though. These simple tweaks to your beauty routine should make your skin a whole lot more resilient. And whichever at-home measures you choose, see a dermatologist if irritation persists for more than a few weeks.
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Abbie Kozolchyk
Last Updated: February 13, 2009

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