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Best Strategies for Sensitive Skincare

Best Strategies for Sensitive Skincare

Do I actually have sensitive skin? The short answer is yes, everyone has sensitive skin on some level. Think of how your skin can withstand a hotter shower than someone else, we all have our threshold, and it is the same when it comes to our skin.

What is Sensitive Skin?

Sensitive skin is skin that has a negative reaction to a skincare product or treatment. It can be an ongoing condition caused by a skin disorder or a one-off reaction to a particular skincare ingredient or treatment. Cue tingles and red cheeks.

There are three main ways that our skin becomes more sensitive.

  • Allergic skin reactions such as eczema, rosacea or contact dermatitis
  • Dry or injured skin that can no longer protect the nerve endings
  • Excessive exposure to sun, wind, extreme heat or cold

What are the Signs of Sensitive Skin?

If you are going to have a reaction to ingredients in skincare products you will find out instantly after application. If you don’t want a negative reaction written all over your face, literally, conduct a small patch test on the side of your neck before using any new skincare product. The skin on your neck is thinner and more sensitive than your face so if it can be tolerated on your neck, its more than likely the skin on your face will react the same. Some signs that a reaction has occurred include.

  • Redness
  • Dryness
  • Flakiness
  • Breakouts
  • Burning or tingling
  • Inflammation

    Now that we know the symptoms of sensitive skin, what is the best skincare routine to help treat and calm it?

    Use a Cleanser Daily

    Steer clear of any soap based cleansers and use only mild gel based cleansers that are gentler on your skin and have less potential for skin irritation. When you have sensitive skin your fingers are your best friend, so stay away from cloths and wipes. Even though you may be using natural fibres, they are still abrasive and can cause further irritation. By using your fingers, you can control the pressure that you are applying to your face and don’t further irritate the skin’s surface.

    Antioxidant Rich Serum

    It’s important to understand how the skin’s moisture barrier plays a role with sensitive skin. When the moisture barrier is damaged, it creates tiny little cracks in the skin’s surface that allows moisture to escape causing flaky and dry skin. You first need to repair the protective barrier with an antioxidant serum before applying a moisturiser. Antioxidants neutralise the free radicals that are damaging your skin barrier. Then follow your serum with a lipid rich moisturiser.

    Serum for sensitive skin, EPI-gN Serum

    Apply a Lipid Rich Moisturiser

    Use a moisturiser that’s rich in natural oils like macadamia and jojoba oils, linoleic acid and soybean as they are going to help replenish the skin barrier. By repairing and reinforcing the moisture barrier with natural lipids you can greatly reduce skin redness and sensitivity.

    Wear SPF daily

    Wearing a SPF daily is a given for all skin types but those with sensitive skin can be more prone to sun damage and inflammation from UV rays. Look for sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as they are least sensitising ingredients and are physical sunscreens which means they deflect the UV rays instead of absorbing it like chemical sunscreens.

    Use Products with Little Fragrance

    Use products with small ingredient lists and with little or no fragrance. If the product contains fragrance, check to see if it’s a synthetic fragrance or essential oil, as synthetic fragrances are a lot less sensitising than essentials oils. Some of the worst offenders are lemon, orange and bergamot oils, so if you have sensitive skin steer clear of these oils as they can be extremely irritating to the skin.

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