If your skin is the ‘easily offended’ type, reacting to pretty much everything all of the time, or looks persistently flushed and has signs of texture issues such as bumps and flakiness…then you belong to the sensitive skin type category. We can’t wait to dive into this post with you and hopefully help ease your suffering from extremely sensitive skin and the issues that come along with this condition. What can you do to calm skin that seems to be so easily reactive?
Having a GENTLE approach and the right product regime when it comes to caring for your delicate skin is vital. As with all skin types, it’s important to keep the skin well hydrated, nourished and protected. Here are some proven tips on how to alleviate and prevent redness and inflammation. This advice applies for all levels of skin sensitivity and even for those struggling with rosacea.
- Be extremely gentle so as to not further aggravate your skin. Knowing exactly which ingredients are included in your products is essential to avoid any reactions. Invisible ingredients can be just as abrasive as obvious ones, such as scrubs.
- Use appropriate hydrating, soothing antioxidants and sun protection. These are imperative to keep your sensitive skin happy and under control.
- Include SPF ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in your skincare routine. These are incredibly gentle and less likely to cause any irritation on your sensitive skin, compared to chemical sunblock.
- Avoid triggers that cause this sensitive skin condition such as sun exposure, heat, spicy foods, alcohol, strong skincare ingredients, and caffeine. The factor(s) that causes sensitivity can vary from person to person.
- Switch to fragrance free skincare products. This includes products that include fragrant natural plant oils. Avoiding harsh face cleansing devices and physical scrubs is also something your skin will thank you for.
- Stay away from aggravating ingredients such as alcohol, citrus, menthol, mint and lavender and try to include these soothing ingredients into your skincare: chamomile, calendula, borage, evening primrose, curcumin and licorice.
For a simple and gentle skincare regime we recommend the following steps:
STEP 1: Cleanser
Use a gentle sulfate-free lotion to remove makeup and other impurities without disrupting your skins barrier. Sulfates are derived from petrochemicals (from petroleum) and oleochemicals (from fats and oils). For example, ingredients such as sulphar trioxide, sulpuric acid, sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate are common sulfates found in face, body and haircare products. Sulfates are very effective in removing impurities but are also very powerful, too powerful to use on some skin types, especially sensitive skin. When washing your face with your sulfate-free lotion, it is best to use room temperature water to avoid aggravating your skin with warm or hot water.
STEP 2: Toner
Go for an alcohol-free formulation that contain a good amount of soothing and calming ingredients such as white tea, chamomile, green tea and bisabolol. Bisabolol comes from chamomile but in a more concentrated form and is the main ingredient in chamomile essential oil.
STEP 3: Moisturiser
One of the best moisturizers for sensitive skin are those with no fragrances or artificial dyes, as these can cause irritation and allergic reactions. You also want to use a cream-based formulation to hydrate your sensitive skin.
STEP 4: Sunscreen
Go for a sunscreen that has active ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as they are less likely to cause any skin irritations. Zinc Oxide is a mild astringent with weak antiseptic properties, that has skin protectant properties. Titanium dioxide is a mineral used as a sunscreen ingredient, particularly for sensitive skin types, and protects your skin from UVA and UVB radiation.
STEP 5: Serums &Treatments
You can still treat other skin concerns while taking care of your sensitive skin. Do be cautious with the formulations and products you choose and if necessary, consult with your dermatologist before trying anything new. If you are looking for some exfoliating benefits, lactic acid is the mildest type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and highly recommended for people with a high level of sensitivity. Lactic acid is used to exfoliate the skin, lighten dark spots and improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles.