How to treat very sensitive skin, home remedies that actually work!

how to treat reactive, very sensitive skin

Do you think you have sensitive skin? You feel that your cutis is easily reddened by the environment's external aggressions, feeling itchy or red; you should know then that you have a reactive skin, also known as sensitive skin.

The most important thing to calm a sensitive or reactive skin is to have correct hydration both inside and outside. That helps to reduce the number of outbreaks without the need for medical treatments. In addition to maintaining a healthy diet, take care of the stress level, and use hypoallergenic products instead of the normal ones.

But do not be alarmed because, in this article, we will teach you how to calm this sensitive skin, the care you should have, and what products not to use to improve reactive skin.

Table of Contents

What does reactive skin mean?

Reactive skin is an inflammatory disease of the skin that presents redness and dryness, which causes itching and scratching; it is not malignant. Neither is it contagious, although, with time, it can become a chronic condition in some instances.

The intolerant or sensitive dermis reacts to environmental factors such as: 

  • Contamination.
  • The wind.
  • Cosmetics.
  • Exfoliant creams.

This so sensitive skins can also react to the physiological aspects like: 

  • Stress.
  • The nervousness.
  • Some illnesses.

What causes reactive, very sensitive skin?

The common signs or indications of reactive skin are tightness, redness, the sensation of tingling or itching, rashes or hives, and dryness. When these symptoms start to be noticed, it is advisable to go to the dermatologist to diagnose and treat appropriately.

Causes of skin reactivity

causes of reactiva, sensitive skin


Sudden temperature changes can cause reactive skin, heat, cold, wind, sun, and air pollution are common causes too. These can cause itching, burning sensation, redness, or a heating feeling.


When the skin has contact with products containing a poorly tolerated ingredient, reactive skin comes up, leaving the skin reddened or tight. You must choose products that suit your skin type.

Also, the chemical composition of some cleaning products, which are used in different places of the house, is usually a cause or worsening of the skin. Many of these products destroy the natural protection of the skin, leaving it sensitive to damage.


Some internal factors cause a weakening of the blood vessel walls, such as temperature changes, eating spicy foods, alcohol, or tobacco intake.


The state of our skin is affected when we are under stress, producing changes in the skin, so that your body is in optimum condition, dedicate enough hours to sleep.

The feeding

To have good skin health, you must take care of yourself from the inside, and for this, you must follow a balanced diet. When you eat spicy foods or drink alcohol, they help your reactive skin get red.


For women, there may be a hormonal imbalance that makes sensitive skin worse. The menstrual cycle causes these imbalances—also, menopause, pregnancy, and puberty.


When people are allergic, they are more likely to have reactive skin. These allergies can appear with animal contact or a reaction to food consumption such as dairy or gluten.

What are the consequences of reactive skin?

Reactive skin can lead to other problems such as asthma, food, and respiratory allergies. It can also cause reactivity in the respiratory system or the digestive tract. One study has shown that a child with controlled reactive skin is less likely to have such complications.

The doctors that carried out this study were F. Kong, C. Galzote, and Y. Duan, and they published it in the Archives of Dermatological Research.

Habits for calming reactive, sensitive skin

how to treat your delicate dermis

Short baths

It is necessary to use specific products for reactive skin in the bath, thus preventing the skin from becoming dehydrated. It will have to be a few baths of short periods, not exceeding 10 minutes, and the water should be warm, between 30 degrees and 35 degrees. Avoid using sponges and rubbing the skin.

Dry your skin with a cotton towel

For proper drying, gently lay a cotton towel on your skin without rubbing, focusing on the skin's folds.

Hydrate well

Proper hydration will help reduce outbreaks and medical treatments. Use emollient creams in the areas where you have more problems, and in the rest of the body, use moisturizing lotions. You must moisturize the skin 1 or 2 times a day, both on the body and the face, with hypoallergenic products.

Avoid clothes with synthetic fibers.

Avoid using wool or synthetic fiber clothing. Cotton or linen clothes are ideal; wash them, use a mild detergent, rinse with enough water, and avoid fabric softeners.

Ventilate your home

Keep your home regularly aired, so the environment is more pleasant, and the temperature is cooler to avoid skin rashes. Eliminate dust mites because they can aggravate atopic outbreaks.

To avoid these mites, clean the elements that retain dust, such as the carpet, clothing, feathered bedding, or stuffed animals.

Be careful with the heating.

During winter, when the cold weather comes, we start using the heating. That makes the reactive skin worse, making the symptoms more noticeable. We recommend that you keep the house's temperature between 20 and 22 degrees and that you moisturize your skin daily.

Beware of the sun

When the summer season arrives, the reactive skin improves a little with the sun and the beach. Bathing in the sea brings benefits to the skin, but you must be careful with sun exposure, using creams with SPF 50+.

If you are going to bathe in a pool, make sure you do it for a short time since chlorine dries out the skin more. Rinse in the shower once you get out and apply a moisturizing lotion.

How to care for reactive, sensitive skin

For good care of reactive skin is needed:

Visit the dermatologist once a year

It would be best if you went at least once a year to a dermatologist's office to take care of your skin. These experts can correctly diagnose how the state of the skin is and are the ones to recommend adequate treatment if you need it.

Practice a cleansing routine

Carry out a daily cleaning routine with products that are gentle and not aggressive to the skin. You must remove all traces of dirt and pollution left on the skin daily since one of the causes of reactive skin is pollution.

 Moisturize your skin

Reactive or sensitive skin needs hydration. For your epidermis to be in excellent condition, you can't forget to moisturize your skin after cleaning it.

It is imperative to moisturize 1 or 2 times a day, both the body and the face using hypoallergenic products. If the outer layer of your skin weakens, the protective barrier loses water more efficiently. This weakening causes your skin to become dry, making your skin even more sensitive and weaker.

Protect yourself from solar radiation

It would be best if you used protection for sensitive skin. Always protect your skin from sun exposure. You should do this in summer and winter, even when you are just going out and exposing yourself to the sun. Avoid the day's central hours, using sunscreens with a high protection factor, and use umbrellas and hats.

Follow an adequate diet.

To take care of extremely sensitive or reactive skin, you must also do it from the inside with a good diet. Choose foods that reduce cortisol and adrenaline. These foods are 

  • Salmon.
  • Sardine.
  • Mackerel.
  • Walnut oil. 

To avoid stress, try to consume foods that contain magnesium as: 

  • Spinach.
  • Broccoli.
  • Banana.
  • In addition to dark chocolate that is full of antioxidants and magnesium.

Opt for fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C like: 

  • Cauliflower.
  • Kiwis.
  • Peppers, these protect you from oxidative stress.

Exercise 30 minutes a day

Move around, exercise at least 30 minutes daily, five times a week so that your anxiety decreases. With physical activity, your body releases hormones that promote your well-being, these being endorphins and dopamine.

Consume probiotics and prebiotics

According to a study by Dr. M.M. Kobera and Dr. W.P. Boweb published in the International Journal of Women's Dermatology, probiotics and prebiotics help strengthen the skin balance the intestinal flora. The solution for this skin type starts from the inside so you can look good on the outside.

Consume Omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids

Make a nutritional plan that is rich in Omega 3, 6, and 9. A study carried out by doctors A. C. KendallM. Kiesel-TsugunovaL. C. BrownbridgeJ. L. Harwood, and A. Nicolaou determines that they improve the state of the epidermal barrier. That will allow your skin to fight the external agents of the environment.

Beware of stress

Stress causes most outbreaks. Do any relaxation exercise that will help reduce anxiety, which causes the itching sensation that some rashes cause.

Be careful with exfoliants.

Avoid chemical exfoliants with hydroxy acids and physical exfoliants (products with granules). Instead of using these, choose enzymatic exfoliants, which are less aggressive to the skin. To exfoliate the skin correctly, you should do it every two weeks.

You may be interested in "Five benefits of skin exfoliation and how to do it."

Use masks

It uses soothing masks for sensitive skin, helps to calm and moisturize this type of skin, giving back the feeling of tranquility; you can use it 1 or 2 times a week.

You may be interested in "How can I treat my sensitive skin at home?

Reactive skin in children.

This type of skin is present in 5% of the world's population. In 20% of school-age children, 60% of cases are children under one year. Between the ages of 0 to 5 years is in 85% of cases.

This type of skin is present in 5% of the world's population. In 20% of school-age children, 60% of cases are children under one year, and between 0 to 5 years is in 85% of cases. To alleviate this condition, we should not prolong the baths and use warm water and fatty soaps without surfactants.

If we want to dry the sensitive and reactive skin when coming out of the water without damaging it, it should be done with small touches and avoiding rubbing.

It is also fundamental to avoid wool and synthetic fabrics. You should prioritize the use of soft cotton fabrics.

What products should I use for reactive skin?

You have to use soothing products, help relieve irritation and redness.

Some recommended products for reactive skin are thermal waters rich in selenium (acts as a skin anti-inflammatory), micellar waters, and moisturizers containing chamomile, aloe vera hamamelis. Also, active products that strengthen the epidermal barrier and antioxidant protection to prevent future outbreaks.

Another great product that we can apply to sensitive skin is the oat extract. That contains a concentration of active molecules (saponins and flavonoids), which give the skin a natural anti-inflammatory defense immunomodulator.

You may be interested in "What is aloe vera good for?

Skincare routine for reactive, sensitive skin

  1. Cleanse. Clean very gently. This type of skin is almost always sensitive. For this reason, the routine should be gentle, with a neutral cleaning product. That should be removed with warm water and then dried with a soft and clean towel. Keep in mind that these cleaners cannot contain fragrances because they are the most common irritants for reactive skin.
  2. Soothe by moisturizing. The moisturizer you choose should be specific for reactive skin. When you select an excellent soothing ingredient, it will give your skin immediate relief, thus decreasing reactions over time. The way to use these creams is to warm it between your fingers and press it gently on the skin.
  3. Disguise redness. To hide the redness on your skin, use a facial powder with yellow tones. This powder visually disguises redness, making the skin look softer and more relaxed. To make this product less aggressive on the skin, use a disc or pads to distribute it.
  4. Makeup. When applying makeup, choose products and formulas that are hypoallergenic, do not contain perfume, and are specific for sensitive skin.

What should reactive, sensitive skin avoid?

  • Scorching baths and showers, because high temperatures produce more redness on sensitive skin.
  • Avoid contact with hard water. The lime in the water is an irritant to sensitive skin, so avoid products with rinsing and reduce the shower time.
  • Do not use cosmetics with irritants such as AHA, retinol, alcohol, perfumes.
  • Sudden changes in temperature cause irritations and some reactions in sensitive skin.
  • Clothing with synthetic fabrics and wool garments.
  • Smoking and alcohol.
  • Also, spicy foods that worsen skin sensitivity.
  • Cleaners containing anionic surfactants are too aggressive for this type of skin.

Homemade masks to care for reactive and sensitive skin

Honey and Carrot Mask


  • 2 or 3 cooked carrots.
  • Two spoonfuls of honey.


Put the carrots and the honey in a container.

  • Mix until obtaining a homogeneous paste.
  • Then apply this cream directly on the skin. 
  • When it begins to dry, rinse with enough water and finish drying the skin with small touches.

Oat and yogurt mask


  • Three spoonfuls of yogurt.
  • Three spoonfuls of oats. 


  • Mix the two ingredients in a container until forming a paste.
  • Apply on the face leaving it to act for 10 to 15 minutes or until it dries.
  • Rinse or remove the mask with a warm towel.

Almond and Egg Mask


  • 4\5 of oats.
  • One egg.


  • The first thing you have to do is to grind the almonds until they form a paste.
  • Then add the egg and stir very well.
  • Put this mixture on your face, letting it work for 20 minutes, and rinse.
  • Use this cream before sleeping since the egg will nourish the skin.
  • You can use it regularly.

Turmeric and lemon juice mask


  • One spoonful of lemon juice.
  • Three spoonfuls of milk.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric.


  • In a container, mix milk and lemon juice.
  • Add in the mixture a pinch of turmeric.
  • Then apply this mixture to the face until dry, then rinse with cold water.

Egg white, banana, and cottage cheese mask


  • 1/2 banana.
  • One egg white.
  • 1/2 spoonful of cottage cheese.


  • In a recipient, grind the banana very well without leaving lumps until you form a homogeneous paste.
  • Apply on the skin, leaving it to act for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse with abundant water.


Don't suffer any more for having a reactive skin because following all the recommendations we described in this article will change this annoyance that affects both children and adults.

The most important thing to calm a reactive skin is to have correct hydration both inside and outside because it helps reduce the number of outbreaks without the need for medical treatment.

Maintain a healthy diet and take care of your stress level; besides changing the care routine for hypoallergenic products, your skin will improve by following these recommendations.