A visitor to the SkinCareTV channel on YouTube asked for help after viewing the video 3 Levels of Sensitive Skin:
Question from Emily Lan:
Hi, I have combination acne prone skin. I swim 4-5 times a week and for days after I swim my skin is flaky and when I use any product on my face it literally feels like it’s burning my skin off. The acne treatment I use is 0.5% adapalene and it works really well. The areas on my face that burn the most are around my mouth, nose, temples, and sometimes cheeks, so mostly all of it. Any moisturizer I try burns, even days after my last swim session. My skin feels like it’s burning with any slightest touch… help please?
Response from SkinCareTV:
Unfortunately most swimming pools are highly chlorinated – and that strips the natural lipid barrier off the skin, causing it to be more prone to sensitivity, and simultaneously increases the dry flakiness of the outer layer of the skin. The dry flaky skin increases the potential to block the pores and produce pimples. The reduced barrier function increases reactivity of the skin and often results in tiny pimples which are more irritation than acne.
Adapalene and the other forms of prescription Vitamin A (tretinoin and tazoratene) will also make your skin sensitive and more reactive. Prescription vitamin A was developed for cystic acne…i would never recommend that you use it for spot treatment of acne or pimples.
All in all, you are doing a lot to make your skin unbalanced and thus more reactive and here are some ways you can try and reduce the damaging impacts…
So, swimming is good exercise, but maybe try increasing some other non swimming form of exercise and rely less on swimming. If that’s not possible, then protect your skin from the drying (and thus sensitizing) effect of chlorine water by putting a layer of vaseline/petrolatum/petroleum jelly on your skin before swimming…wipe it off when finished swimming, and use a gentle (non detergent) cleanser or an oil based cleanser (like Deep + Gentle Cleanser or Dr Schwab Sensitive Cleanser) to remove any residue from your skin. Use a gentle enzyme exfoliator after cleansing – it will help eliminate the dry flakes on the skin that help cause pimples…never use a scrub or anything harsh. Apply a hydration gel all over, and moisturize only where you naturally don’t produce your own natural moisturizer (aka that stuff that comes out of our pores called sebum). Use only cool water at all times – never hot or warm water.
Re-balance the skin and it will naturally get stronger. Have patience and build the skin’s strength slowly because swimming will naturally keep it weak… check out my other videos on how the skin works, when is exfoliation necessary, the worst and best things for sensitive skin, as well as the correct sequence to apply skin care products.
I hope your skin gets stronger and happier 🙂
The information provided here is not meant to diagnose or cure any medical conditions. Please see your doctor or a trained medical professional should you have any concerns.