“This can’t be happening, not in the middle of Speech class with Senior guys surrounding me. I felt a sort of warm gush and immediately knew: my first period, ninth grade, totally unprepared. Luckily, a friend sitting next to me handed me a wrapped pad that I discreetly placed in my pocket. I raised my hand, covered my jeans with my oversized sweatshirt, and beelined it to the bathroom. When I told my best friend I had finally gotten my period, she smacked me across the face, hard. Said something about a family tradition.” -Brooke, New York
Whether your first period flows smoothly or wreaks havoc, it definitely leaves a mark. This introduction to the world of “I’m finally a woman” can become extremely traumatic when you have sensitive skin. Sensitive skin may be caused by genetic factors, or it may become sensitized as a result of pollution, stress, hormonal fluctuations, smoking, alcohol, poor diet, medical procedures and even over-processed or exfoliated skin. Cosmetic ingredients including alcohol, lanolin, fragrance and D&C colorants can also lead to sensitized skin. The most serious, painful and irritating symptom provoked by both genetic and environmental causes of sensitive skin is inflammation.