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Sense and Sensitivity: 20 irritating truths of living with sensitive skin

October 30th 2014 / Judy Johnson Google+ Judy Johnson / 3 comments

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Fancy dress, baths, dates - all are ruined thanks to sensitive skin...

It’s not easy being me. Or you, probably. Living with sensitive skin on a daily basis is a surprisingly difficult task, as anyone suffering regular rashes and reactions will know - but throw in the element of fancy dress and you really do have a problem. Halloween, and other such opportunities, should be fun and inventive, a chance to show off your face paint artistry and make your Facebook profile look far more interesting.

But the mere suggestion of fancy dress sends me into a panic - depending on the theme, I have to think of impressive ideas that avoid face paints, fake blood, body paint, fake tan or any kind of skin-changing product. Props have become my friend; if I can throw on a pair of wings or a crown, perhaps even a Hawaii-style lay or some cowboy boots I can almost get away with it. But where’s the fun in that?

A certain incident this weekend when trialling a tube of seemingly harmless fake blood from the Pound Shop (don’t do it. Even my Bioderma struggled to remove it and now I have red, itchy skin) led me to think of all the day to day problems we with sensitive skin face; the inequalities, if you will. I thought of 20 - see if you can add any more...

(And P.S. the trick to using fake blood for Halloween with sensitive skin? Put it on bandages and wrap those around your arms/legs. Your skin is safe but you still look broken.)

1. You give away all your presents of bubble bath and smellies. Therefore, you never get to smell nice.

2. Baths are incredibly boring.

3. One spritz of perfume on your skin instead of your clothes results in a rash that lasts at least 3 days (but at least you smell nice for once).

4. You have to choose your outfit based on which reactions need covering up. It makes dating, and hot weather, difficult.

5. The department store spritzer girl is a threat. You hate her.

6. The doctor gets annoyed every time you ask for more steroid cream because they know it means you didn’t just stick to that giant tub of aqueous cream they gave you last time.

MORE GLOSS: The best fragrance-free products for sensitive skin

7. You do not trust the words 'for sensitive skin’ and have a strong hatred of the word ‘hypoallergenic'.

8. Sales people will try to sell you things 'for sensitive skin' that you know full well are not for sensitive skin.

9. You buy said things 'for sensitive skin' in the hope that they suit you, because you really don’t want to use the aqueous cream again.

10. Puffy eyes are a standard part of your daily life.

11. You can't get rid of your spots because spot treatments irritate your skin, giving you more spots or a rash around the spot. You forget this every time a huge one crops up.

12. A spa day is the least relaxing thing ever, because the treatments involve potent oils and lotions, and therapists are either too scared to touch you with them or tell you 'the tingling is perfectly normal’.

13. Tingling of the skin is in fact terrifying and requires immediate action.

14. You wash your lovely blow-dried hair after a trip to the hairdressers in case the shampoo is too perfumed.

15. You have a very real and necessary fear of perfumed toilet paper and sanitary products.

16. You get very angry if someone sprays a deodorant in your vicinity.

17. Forgetting to pack cleanser for a night away sets you off in tears.

18. You take antihistamines on a daily basis and are in a constant haze of drowsiness.

19. Calamine lotion is your hero.

20. You've spent a zillion pounds on skincare but still haven't found what works with you because your skin decides to react whenever it damn well feels like it, even if you’ve used something before. And so you buy something different…

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  • maria watson
  • November 10th 2014

My sensitive skin has always prevented my from trying out new products. Of late I came across the Sakare store at Neal Street and tried its solutions for sensitive skin.

Of those available, the Problematik Skin Mask did the job for me. After using it for few days I can see visible difference in my skin and it looks way better than before.

Thank you Sakare

  • Judy Johnson
  • November 3rd 2014

Hi Fiona

Thank you for your comment - love that you can see the positive side! Sensitive definitely equals sensible in my case too... and on the occasional spontaneous slip-up, there's always Piriton!

Judy x

  • Fiona Knight
  • November 2nd 2014

I sympathise and share the problems of all of the above. Sensitive skin is a crying shame - quite literally. But there are a few positives (ok, I'm going to have to work hard at this!)
1) You'll never leave the house overdone, over sprayed and over made up. What is actually caution on your part everyone else will mistake for considered chic.
2) Covering up is not all bad. At any one moment I too have a part of my body that is under wraps because my skin has decided to go mad (psoriasis in my case). While my head still thinks I have the fabulous body of a 20 year old my sensitive, eruptive skin dictates against short skirts, bikinis and any kind of cut out. Trust me aged 40 plus, this is a very, very good thing.
3) I have never got naked in front of just anyone. Skinny dipping, chocolate body paint, mad *cough* impetuous moments have to be thought out. So in many ways my nemesis has kept me on the straight and narrow.
Sensitive, yes, sensible most definitely. So for that alone I'll love the skin I'm in....

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