Does your skin get easily inflamed or irritated when you try new products? Does it feel raw and tender to the touch, as if your skin barrier has been compromised? Do you easily flush or get red? You might have sensitive skin. Sensitive skin can require a little extra care compared to normal, healthy skin, but with the right skincare, you can strengthen your skin barrier and make it less sensitive. Here’s how:
Choose Products Carefully
Sensitive skin is very reactive, and can get easily irritated by overly harsh or potent ingredients. When buying skincare products, avoid those that contain large amounts of alcohol, actives like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, essential oils and fragrances. Opt instead for products with minimal ingredients lists and “clean” ingredients, like the organic beauty products by Well Within Beauty.
These are high quality skincare products made from the finest natural ingredients, including nourishing plant oils, soothing botanicals, and antioxidants to protect your skin from harmful free radicals.
Too much friction can cause sensitive skin to get itchy, irritated and red. Use a feather-light touch when treating your skin, the way you would when washing a newborn baby. Cleansing is an important step for any skin type, but if you have sensitive skin, aggressively rubbing and scrubbing your skin can do much more damage than good. Instead, double cleanse with a natural makeup remover followed by a second cleanser.
Double cleansing is a cleansing method that is very popular in Japanese and Korean skincare. An oil-based makeup remover or balm gently yet effectively dissolves makeup and sunscreen on your face, without having to rub or scrub. A good first cleanser is one that emulsifies with water, and easily rinses off. Follow up with a second cleanser to get rid of any leftover traces or residue, and to restore the pH-balance of your skin.
Sensitive skin is not immune to common skin problems such as acne, dark spots and hyperpigmentation. If you struggle with any of these, you might feel tempted to treat them with aggressive spot treatments and exfoliators. Restrain yourself. You should use these products with caution, and introduce them into your routine slowly, one at a time.
Resist the urge to apply potent treatments every night in an effort to speed up results. Instead, start by using them once a week, and slowly build up to daily application or once every other day.
Lastly, no matter what your skin type, you should always, always use sun protection. The sun’s powerful rays can cause a host of skin problems, including sunburn, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, and even skin cancer. Sensitive skin is especially prone to sunburn and redness caused by sun exposure.
Make sure your skin is protected by wearing sunscreen every single day. This includes cloudy and rainy days, as the sun’s rays are extremely penetrative and can easily cut through clouds and windows. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and broad spectrum protection, which means it can shield you from both UVA and UVB rays.
When treating sensitive skin, minimal ingredients, the gentlest touch, and maximum protection are key. Follow these tips consistently and patiently, and you will soon notice your skin becoming more resilient and calm, and less reactive and irritated.