Could be something in the air -- like pollution -- or in the high-intensity products we slather on ourselves, but skin sensitivity is on the rise. Here, the simplest, most soothing solutions.
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Even after your skin crisis subsides, keep yourself out of the red for good by moderating use of the harsh hydroxy acids and abrasive granulated scrubs and steering clear of alcohol-based toners and battery-powered scrubbers. For those who have a genetic predisposition toward delicate skin, select from the many mild products with minimal active ingredients. And don't forget that products need to change with the seasons: A deep cleanser that helps control oiliness in the summer can also leave skin parched in the icy winter months. Drop it from your ski-weekend travel bag.
Of course, I learned the hard way that year-round vigilance is essential. After I finally soothed my full-on flaky skin, I re-inflamed it on a summer beach trip with alcohol-based sunscreen and overwashing. (Applying SPF every morning felt like running a cheese grater over my cheeks.) So I backed off big time on the toners, masques, and scrubs and went with a gentle fragrance-free moisturizer for a few weeks. Ah, relief. And clear, contented skin to boot. Sometimes what sensitive skin needs more of is less.