No one enjoys having red, flaky, and irritated skin, but the sad truth is that most of us experience it at some point or another. Whether it’s a change in weather or a new product that’s upset our skin, the universal goal is to restore it to its usual glowing self ASAP. So without further ado, here are 10 top tips for calming irritated skin and preventing future flare-ups.
1. Drink plenty of water
Our skin is approximately 64% water. As such, if we’re not drinking enough water throughout the day, our complexion is likely to suffer. Dehydrated skin can appear dull and flaky and can feel tight and itchy. It’s recommended that we drink at least eight glasses of water each day (approximately 2 litres). However, the weather, your size, your activity levels, and what you’ve munched on throughout the day can affect how much water you need. Some days, you may find you need to consume around 3 litres of water instead of 2. Listen to what your body’s telling you, and your complexion will thank you for it later.
2. Eat a balanced diet
Cake for breakfast and pizza for lunch might sound great, but your skin thinks otherwise. Whilst the occasional treat is completely fine, it’s important to make sure you're fueling your body up with the right nutrition so that you can look and feel your best. Whilst incorporating lots of fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins into your diet can improve the appearance of your skin, too much fat, sugar, and alcohol sadly has the opposite effect. Excess sugar is known to aggravate skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. Too many fatty foods are commonly linked to acne. Alcohol is known to dehydrate the skin and does rosacea-suffers no favours.
3. Get plenty of sleep
Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. And they don’t call it “beauty sleep” for no reason. As we sleep, our skin repairs itself, so whether you’re suffering from a rosacea flare-up, a bout of acne, or a damaged and irritated skin barrier, sleep will help things to clear up much quicker. Plus, getting plenty of sleep prevents you from being sleep-deprived. Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling stressed, and we all know stress does our skin no favours. For a good night’s rest, enjoy a cup of camomile tea, dab some lavender oil on the underside of your pillow, and switch your phone, laptop, or tablet off at least an hour before bed.
4. Squeeze in the exercise
Regular exercise can give the skin a glowy boost. By increasing our heart rates and improving blood circulation, more oxygen and essential nutrients are delivered to our organs (the skin being the largest organ of them all). As such, exercise can promote collagen production in the skin and promotes the formation of new skin cells. From a quick walk around the block to an hour on the treadmill, exercise is great for calming irritated skin and restoring a fresh-faced glow.
5. Wear SPF everyday
We all love some time spent in the sunshine. However, the sun’s UV rays are the primary cause of damaged skin. When the skin’s natural protective barrier is damaged, the result is red, dry, and irritated skin. As such, you should wear an SPF of at least 30 every single day. If it’s a particularly hot day, consider wearing a sunhat as well as sunglasses, and try to stick to the shade as much as possible.
6. Pinpoint your triggers
Whilst it isn't the case for everyone, some people find that their irritated skin is actually caused by an allergy. This could be anything from a certain fabric that causes your skin to flare up to a particular food type. Rosacea-sufferers, for example, often find that spicy foods cause their rosacea to worsen. Keeping a diary can be a helpful step in pinpointing any particular triggers that you might have.
7. Patch test new skincare products
Before you use a new skincare product all over your face, patch test it first to make sure it isn’t going to irritate your skin. The underside of your jaw, behind your ear, or the top of your forehead are all good places to do a patch test.
8. Avoid touching your face
Aside from when you’re doing your skincare routine, you should avoid touching your face as much as possible. If your hands aren’t clean then touching your face can spread dirt, oil, and bacteria to your face, which is likely to cause acne. If you have sensitive skin, frequently touching your face is also likely to cause irritation and redness.
9. Cleanse with lukewarm water
When it comes to cleansing your face, lukewarm water is best. A splash of hot water might feel nice and relaxing, but it is likely to cause damage to your skin’s protective barrier, resulting in dryness, redness, and irritation.
10. Use natural skincare products
Natural skincare products are perfect for calming irritated skin. This is because natural ingredients are incredibly gentle on the skin and often have brilliant healing properties. At KiteNest, all of our products are 100% natural. Unlike many big companies, our products are free from any harsh and nasty chemicals that may cause further flare-ups and irritation for your skin.
Waking up to red, flaky, and spotty skin is never a great feeling. Not only can it affect your self-esteem, but it can also be really painful and uncomfortable. But, from getting out for a brisk walk to applying an SPF and using natural skincare products, there are plenty of steps that you can take to calm irritated skin.