Red, itchy, flaky and irritated skin is a common complaint, especially among people with sensitive skin. Irritated skin can be caused by any number of factors, including allergies, genetic factors, environmental irritants such as overexposure to sun or wind and poor facial care routines. You may be over-scrubbing your face with exfoliants or using a cleanser that is too harsh. According to Teens Health, you may have a condition such as facial eczema, which causes red, irritated, oozing bumps. If you suspect that facial eczema or another underlying medical condition is at the root of your problems, you should consult your doctor.
Use a weekly cooling homemade cucumber mask. According to Janice Cox, author of "Natural Beauty at Home," grated cucumber makes a cooling and soothing mask for irritated skin. Shred 1/4 to 1/3 of a cucumber using a vegetable shredder or process it using a food processor. Apply to your skin and allow the juices to soothe your skin for 10 minutes before rinsing off with cool water.
Wash your face gently every morning and before bed using a cleanser formulated for sensitive skin. Sensitive skin cleansers are gentler and contain less irritating chemicals than those formulated for normal skin. Use warm to cool water when washing to avoid over-drying your delicate facial skin.
Apply a gentle astringent to your face such as witch hazel. According to Cox, witch hazel is not as drying to your facial skin as products that contain pure alcohol. Add a few tablespoons of rose water to equal parts of witch hazel to make a cooling, soothing astringent that is safe for sensitive or irritated skin. Apply gently to your skin after washing using a cotton ball.
Moisturize your skin with a moisturizer formulated for sensitive skin. Use only those products that specifically state that they are made for sensitive skin, as other moisturizers may contain greasy, irritating ingredients that can exacerbate your condition. Avoid anti-acne moisturizers, which can also cause further drying and increase irritation.
Use a humidifier in your bedroom. Humidifiers add moisture and prevent the air from becoming too dry, helping to keep your facial skin hydrated and moist. This is especially useful in dry or winter months, when your skin is more prone to irritation from environmental conditions.
- Teens Health: All About Eczema
- "Natural Beauty at Home"; Janice Cox, 2002
Ashley Miller is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist. She has also worked as an employee assistance program counselor and a substance-abuse professional. Miller holds a Master of Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnosis, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. She also has a bachelor's degree in music.