Sensitive skin has become something of a hot topic, more people are claiming they have sensitive skin. One reasoning is that people with otherwise healthy skin barriers are “sensitizing” their skin with over-washing, over-exfoliation, and overly complex routines. A sensitive skin routine requires balance, you want to remove dead skin cells so you get a nice glow but don’t want to do it too much and thin out that layer and strip your skin of its natural oils. Here are 11 tips for how to take care of sensitive skin:
Use as few products at a time as possible, with as few ingredients as possible. Fewer products and fewer ingredients mean fewer chances to react to something in your skin-care routine. The basics of a skin-care routine are actually pretty simple – as long as you’ve got a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen, you’re hitting the essentials.
Avoid the temptation to over-wash or over-exfoliate your face. Washing twice a day in the morning and at night is a must, but make sure you chose a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser that was specifically formulated for sensitive skin. In the morning use a calming toner or micellar water. Over-washing can wash all of these important lipids and proteins down the drain. Over-exfoliating can thin the protective barrier of the skin, allowing irritating chemicals to penetrate the skin more easily. For most people, exfoliating just once or twice a week with a gentle exfoliant is plenty.
Patch-test new products. If you have sensitive skin, always test a small amount of the new product on the inside of your arm overnight. If you have no reaction in the morning, then it is safe to apply it to your face.
Identify your triggers. Choose makeup and skincare products carefully – read the ingredients list. A few of the most common irritants include fragrances, dyes/artificial colors, and preservatives such as parabens, but causes of sensitivity are unique to each skin.
Calm and soothing are sensitivity keywords. Natural, calming ingredients, like green tea, chamomile, colloidal oatmeal, and aloe are beneficial for soothing skin. A cream-based, calming moisturizer or gentle, foaming face wash is ideal for keeping sensitive skin from getting irritated.
After a bad reaction, take several big steps back. Cut down to using only one product at a time for at least a week to figure out which one is actually causing a reaction to your skin.
Introduce new products to your routine slowly. Some of the most effective skincare products we have, retinoids, are also some of the most irritating. So if you’re going to try using one, it’s crucial to introduce it to your routine in the right way. Add an encapsulated retinol at night, 3 days apart and if you can tolerate that for a few weeks, then you can slowly increase the frequency to every other night or all the way up to every night. You can also try mixing the retinoid with moisturizer to dilute it a little and make it less irritating. If after that you still don’t tolerate retinol, prep your skin with barrier-repairing serums or try an alpha-hydroxy-acid (AHA) like glycolic acid or lactic acid instead. These ingredients can still improve your skin with gentle exfoliation, but they’re not as irritating as retinoids.
Keep showers short and efficient. Keep your shower time short, under 10 minutes if you can — and to use only warm (not hot) water. Avoid using washcloths or loofahs as well, as these can also irritate the skin. Right after you shower, you can apply an occlusive moisturizer to seal in the moisture from your shower.
Check what you eat. It is very important to check your diet. Healthy eating habits flush out toxins and give you glowing skin. Drink lots of water and fresh juices to keep your skin hydrated. This is the most important of beauty tips for sensitive skin. Some foods may react adversely on your skin and increase sensitivity. Analyze and avoid them.
External factors for sensitive skin. It’s not just what you’re eating, some external factors such as smoking, stress, lack of sleep or excessive pollution can cause sensitive skin to flare up with rashes and may also cause even bigger skin problems.
Drink More Water Last but not least, drink plenty of water! Haven’t you heard that water makes skin glowing and beautiful?
Have questions about what your sensitive skin needs or treatment options? We provide free consultations, our team would love to talk to you and work together to achieve your skin goals. Book your appointment today!