Skin Types

Your Skin Needs to Calm Down

Written by Dahvi Shira

Do you envy your friends who can essentially drench their skin in acids, or go to any type of facial treatment, and leave with zero signs of irritation?   Yeah, us too.  So, if you’re one of the (many) people with skin that reacts to just about anything, we promise you are not alone.

And we can genuinely say this, because the idea of using products that make your skin worse, rather than better, is exactly why Molly founded this brand.  She struggled with so many types of formulas that one day enough was enough.  So, she’s worked for years on developing products that produce real results, sans irritation.

​​Whether you’re dealing with pimples, redness, or flakiness, skin irritation and inflammation isn’t easy to handle. It can take a toll on your everyday self-confidence—and flare-ups can be triggered by even the most minor of experimenting.

The good news, though?  With some lifestyle changes (and maybe a few YSE products thrown in), you can manage your sensitive skin, reduce irritation and get glowing skin.

Skin Drama: The Inflammation

To begin, let’s address inflammation and how to make skin less reactive.   Normally, inflammation is part of the body’s response to threats, such as injury or invading microbes (think: getting a sunburn).  The body sends special cells to attack and isolate invaders, clean up debris, and heal tissue and organs.  It's an important system that kicks into high gear when needed, and returns to normal when health is restored.

But unlike a particular reaction triggered in “normal” skin, there are people who experience an immune response indefinitely, fueled by unhealthy lifestyle habits. A constantly active immune system can do more harm than good.  For this reason, it’s helpful to be aware of how to reduce body inflammation that may contribute to skin irritation.

The Lifestyle Changes

When experts refer to a “diet,” it often has nothing to do with weight loss. While yes, eating clean, whole foods and avoiding alcohol will help your figure, it can also clear up your skin and even aid your mental health.  So if your skin is extra reactive, it may be time to go on a “diet” for sensitive skin.

If your skin is constantly inflamed or breaking out, you may need to make some changes by implementing a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, maintaining good oral health, and reducing stress where possible.  If that feels like too much to tackle at once, start with the following small steps inching towards that overall direction.

1. Add Omegas

As we mentioned above, the word “diet” doesn’t always refer to weight loss. But in many instances, there are overlaps. In the case of best foods for sensitive skin, the recommendations just so happen to be also great for overall health.

Salmon and other fatty fish (ie. anchovies, halibut, sardines and tuna), for example, contain omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation. Omega-3s disrupt the production of chemicals that cause inflammation by certain immune system cells. They may even help lower the risks of stroke and the type of brain inflammation associated with Alzheimer's disease. Our body doesn't make omega-3s, so we need to get them from food or supplements.

2. Minimize Processed Foods

We’d also recommend minimizing processed food and added sugar intake where possible to help reduce inflammation. Swapping these harmful foods for fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, poultry, fish, and healthy oils (such as olive, avocado and coconut) will help calm things down.  Ah, sigh.

3. Elevate Your Beauty Rest

We don’t know about you, but we’re always looking for an excuse to upgrade where we sleep.  And if you’re experiencing any type of insomnia, it might be time to improve your bed, or even the bedding.

Even one night of disturbed, tossing and turning sleep can spark inflammation by increasing inflammatory substances in the blood.  And then if you’re regularly missing sleep, this only contributes to higher stress levels in the body. If you can’t invest in a totally new mattress, even a high-quality topper can sometimes do the trick. It’s also very important to aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night to manage stress levels, allow the body to heal and live a healthier lifestyle.

4. Move Your Body

Another way to elevate your health as a whole is keeping (or starting – we’d never judge) an active lifestyle.  Whether it be walking, jogging, pilates or HIIT classes, it’s important to find a fitness routine that works well for you.  Some bodies work better with lower impact workouts, such as yoga, while others’ work better with high-intensity styles.  

As you work your way towards implementing more activity into your routine, observe how your body feels.  Stick to the type of workout that makes you feel good, not more tired or stressed. 

5. Calm, Cool + Collected

You know how we said maintaining a healthy diet is a universally healthy habit? Well, the exact opposite can be said for enduring a stressful lifestyle. Stress affects literally everything, so if you’re wondering what to avoid for sensitive skin, well, that’s a great place to start. Sure, there are instances when traffic makes us late to appointments, or we deal with the occasional temper tantrum from our kids — but if you’re feeling regular rushes of stress or anxiety, it’s time to check yourself. 

Chronic stress promotes inflammation and is linked to several chronic inflammatory conditions, including skin irritations, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, depression and inflammatory bowel disease. To reduce stress, practice relaxation-promoting exercises, like yoga, meditation or deep breathing. Studies find that people partaking in these types of exercise have less stress and fewer inflammatory markers in the blood. 

Unsure where to start? We often turn to this easy deep-breathing exercise: Sit quietly, take a deep breath, and hold it for a count of three. Breathe out, then pause for a count of three. Continue for one minute. Make sure you feel your belly rising and falling with each breath, so you know you're breathing deeply.

5. Au Revoir, Allergies

Returning to the conversation of diet, one of the leading causes of skin inflammation is allergic reactions.  Outside of the normal type of allergies that comes from seasonal changes, you should also notice that your body is reacting to diet-wise.

Sometimes, removing common allergens like gluten, sugar and dairy can help.  By removing these from your system from 1-2 weeks, then slowly weaning them back in, you can notice how your body shifts (or doesn’t shift).  From there, you can figure out what works best for you.

Inflammation is Not Forever

Your sensitive skin shouldn't control you, and there are best practice tips + tricks tobest manage it.

  • Take short 5 to 10-minute showers with warm—not hot—water.
  • Avoid harsh astringents and exfoliants.
  • Use gentle, fragrance-free soap.
  • Use gentle, fragrance-free laundry detergent.
  • Use organic cleaning supplies.
  • Gently pat yourself dry after a shower (instead of rubbing) and apply moisturizer right away.
  • Test new products on a discreet area of skin at least once a day before trying a full application.

The topic of skin sensitivity is on a vastly sliding scale – so we’ve also developed all of our products to be designed for gentle, everyday use.  You deserve to use products that will produce real results, without having to sacrifice “downtime” in order to get glowing skin.  So, go ahead, even try our Last Call Retinol Serum.  We promise, this one’s made for you.