Skin texture issues don't always warrant skin peels or physical exfoliation
Skin texture refers to the appearance of the surface of the skin. If you have skin texture issues like uneven skin, bumpy texture, or small raised bumps all over your face, you probably have tried different things to get rid of it.
It’s logical to believe that uneven skin texture is caused by dead skin that needs to be either scrubbed away with an exfoliant or gradually peeled away with peeling agents, like Alpha hydroxy acids and Beta Hydroxy acids. You might have even tried Vitamin C serums or creams that promise improved skin texture, increased collagen production, and an even skin tone.
If you have given these methods a try and are still stuck with uneven texture problems then there could be another reason - you have sensitive skin.
How to identify if you have sensitive skin
Sensitive skin can be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, environmental conditions, and underlying medical conditions.
There are a few ways to tell if you have sensitive skin. First, pay attention to how your skin reacts to new products. If you notice any redness, swelling, irritation, or itching then you most likely have sensitive skin. You should also take note of how your skin feels after being exposed to the sun or wind. If it feels tight, dry, or uncomfortable, you may have sensitive skin.
If you have dark skin, you might notice that your skin turns flaky, itchy, and darker than normal. Finally, consider your family history. If anyone in your family has eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, or allergic reactions, you may be more likely to have sensitive skin.
My personal history with sensitive skin and skin texture issues
I always had relatively smooth skin. My major skin problems, until that point in time, were just dryness and darkening of the skin around the mouth. My cheeks tended to turn red easily and I also tanned very deeply. Being dark-skinned I did not realize that my skin was actually sensitive and needed special care.
I always thought that having sensitive skin meant that your skin reacted by burning and itching. I did not know that sensitive skin also shows itself by a change in skin texture after using products. It also manifests as skin darkening, especially for those with melanin-rich skin.
I first noticed skin texture issues when friends and family members started asking me about the small bumps on my face. I had not changed my skincare routine so I was as surprised as they were! These little bumps did not look like acne, and I did not see whiteheads or blackheads. Just these small bumps all over my face and neck that I could not get rid of.
Once I started paying attention to my skin, I started taking note of what products or weather conditions aggravated these bumps. I also noticed that some skincare products (like the sunblock I was using) increased the number and size of these skin texture bumps.
How I almost destroyed my skin barrier trying to improve my skin texture
Like most people, I believed that the skin bumps were closed comedones and needed to be exfoliated. I started with a brand name scrub exfoliant with salicylic acid that also contained clay and other ingredients. The idea was to get rid of dead skin cell buildup, which I was sure was the reason behind the bumps. After a week or two of this, I noticed no improvement. All I noticed was that I started itching and peeling around my eyebrows and nose and the familiar peeling and dark spots around my mouth.
The next thing I tried was chemical exfoliants. I tried these cotton pads soaked in a mixture of alpha-hydroxy acids, like glycolic acid and lactic acid. The brand selling these pads promised gentle chemical exfoliation for all skin types. This sounded promising and I was sure that this would be the solution. True to the brand's promise, these pads did not aggravate my skin. They didn't do anything to improve my skin texture either. I did not notice any improvement in either skin tone or skin texture.
What are the best skincare products for skin texture when you have sensitive skin?
When nothing seemed to work for my skin, I decided to create my own products. Using my background as a natural skincare Formulator, combined with hundreds of hours in my skincare lab, I came up with a serum gel moisturizer that made a difference to my skin texture in just a few weeks!
I also put together an oil serum that contained the right combination of fatty acids that are important to the skin but would not cause breakouts. Certain oils can increase skin texture issues by aggravating acne, or by increasing the appearance of enlarged pores, closed comedones, whiteheads, and blackheads. The oil serum I put together not only helped calm my skin but also gave me a glow for the first time ever!
I was thrilled with my discovery but wanted to make sure that my products were truly effective at helping skin texture issues for those with sensitive skin. So I rounded up some testers, who all claimed to have sensitive skin. They all noticed an improvement in their skin texture over a period of weeks along with other changes, like calmer skin, fewer fine lines, less visible redness, and more even skin tone.
The takeaway from my experience, and the experiences of my testers and customers, is the following. Those with sensitive skin will notice the biggest improvements in their skin texture when they use non-irritating products. Skin texture problems could be a sign of skin irritation.
The only way to know whether your skin texture issues are truly caused by a build-up of dead skin cells versus being irritated is to use a product made for sensitive skin for a couple of months. If you see a big improvement in your skin texture, then you know that your skin thrives best with gentle care.
Frequently Asked Questions About Skin Texture
Q: Are uneven skin tone and texture normal?
A: Yes. Your skin is a living organ and its appearance can change on a daily basis. Your skin breathes, excretes, and shows the effects of your environment, diet, hormones, and health. It’s completely normal to have a few bumps or breakouts on your skin’s surface that come and go. However, if you have a high concentration of skin bumps in a single area or all over your face and neck, then you might have to look into what could be causing this.
Q: How do I fix uneven tone and skin texture?
A: The first step is to identify whether you have sensitive skin. This will show you whether you need to invest in chemical exfoliators or avoid them completely. Once you identify your skin as being sensitive, you can create a minimal skincare routine with high-quality products made specifically for those with sensitive skin. As your skin calms down you will automatically notice an improvement in your skin texture.
If your skin type is not sensitive and your rough texture issues are caused by acne or other skin conditions then you might benefit by using chemical exfoliators like lactic acid or a retinol serum. Take care to use these gradually and infrequently so that you can get the best results while avoiding skin irritation and protecting the skin’s natural barrier.
Q. What kinds of sunscreen are best for skin texture problems?
A. This again depends on the type of skin you have. If you don’t have sensitive skin then look for a good broad-spectrum sunblock that will protect your skin from further damage. You can choose a physical or chemical sunscreen depending on your preference.
If you have sensitive skin, then it, unfortunately, takes trial and error to find the best sunscreen. The good news is that you can tell very quickly whether a sunscreen will not suit you, since you will probably react to it! Look for brands that create sunblocks for those with sensitive and reactive skin and start from there.
Q. What is the best ingredient for skin texture?
A. There is no single ingredient that works to improve skin texture. Ingredients that work to protect and fortify the skin barrier usually help with skin texture issues. Look for ingredients that hydrate like Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and natural gums. Also, look for skin calming vitamins like Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) and Panthenol (Vitamin B5). Skin calming botanicals like Licorice, White and Black Tea, Feverfew, etc, are great for helping improve skin texture. Look for balancing oils like Hemp seed oil and Grapeseed oil and Squalane. Finally, avoid aggressive actives, like Vitamin C and Retinol products if you have sensitive skin.
Would you like more information on skin texture? Comment below and let me know so I can update this article for you!