You know that finding the proper skincare for sensitive skin can be a challenge. From redness and irritation to painful dryness and breakouts, sensitive skin requires special care and attention. But don’t worry! In this blog, we will provide some practical and gentle skincare tips and tricks that can help nourish your delicate complexion and leave your skin looking and feeling its best.
Understanding Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin is a prevalent issue that impacts almost everyone at some point during their lives, often due to elements like too much sun, heat, cold, or wind; lack of sleep; hormones; allergies; or certain skincare products.
Sensitive skin can be itchy, stinging, red, or inflamed; and may include tightness or swelling.
Genes may play a part in sensitive skin issues. Still, more commonly, they’re due to a compromised or disrupted moisture barrier that leaks moisture and irritants to penetrate their skin.
According to a study published in Dermatology, 1039 people with skin sensitivity (defined as “very, slightly, or very sensitive”) reported experiencing unpleasant sensations caused by specific personal care and household products compared with 328 non-sensitive individuals.
To prevent sensitivities from being activated, opt for gentle and fragrance-free products that won’t overstimulate your skin’s ability to adjust. When trying something new, take small steps to maintain its capacity for adaptation.
An all-natural skincare regimen such as aloe vera can effectively nourish and moisturize dry or sensitive skin, providing relief without aggravating delicate complexions. Physical exfoliators such as scrubs or cleansing brushes must also be avoided as these may worsen sensitive complexions.
Causes and Symptoms
Sensitive skin is a widespread condition that may be brought on by many different elements, including diet, clothing, and the products you use. It may even indicate an underlying health condition.
It can be challenging for those with sensitive skin to find skincare products that won’t irritate or exacerbate their delicate complexion, leading to itching or inflammation. Therefore, dermatologist Annie Chiu recommends conducting extensive research before choosing your routine, considering a minimalist approach, and following her recommendations for minimalism in skincare.
“To determine what ingredients work with your skin, the easiest way is to read through the list of ingredients on the back of the packaging,” she advises. To prevent causing skin irritations such as fragrances or dyes that could trigger reactions such as alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids (salicylic acid and glycolic acid), sulfates preservatives, or harsh cleansers irritating or irritating it further, choose products without fragrances, dyes, alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids such as salicylic acid/Glycolic acid), preservatives or harsh cleansers
Alcohol should also be avoided to keep skin healthy and clear, as it can dehydrate your body’s systems and clog your pores, leading to inflammation and itchy patches on the face and body.
Other potential triggers for physical urticaria include physical contact urticaria, which occurs when touching sensitive skin areas, or dermographism – a reaction caused by scratching irritated areas on your body.
Diagnosing skin sensitivity from an outside perspective may be challenging, but symptoms like redness and itching are easy to identify. They could also be telling signs of an underlying skin disease or condition, so if any new patches of irritated or itchy skin appear, it’s essential to contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Tips for Choosing Gentle Skincare Products
Protecting sensitive skin requires special consideration if you want a balanced complexion. Conditions such as weather and aging can trigger sensitive skin conditions.
When selecting skincare products explicitly tailored for sensitive skin, the ideal options should address each person’s needs and preferences. This will reduce the chances of irritation that lead to redness, itching, and swelling.
When selecting a cleanser, look for ingredients such as aloe vera and chamomile extract that have proven gentle on the skin while providing deep cleaning benefits. These ingredients have proven their worth over time!
Choose lightweight moisturizers containing natural ingredients like jojoba oil and shea butter to support skin without over-drying.
Avoid exfoliants that contain harsh chemicals like hydroxy acids and salicylic acid, as these could be too rough on sensitive skin, and overuse can irritate and dehydrate it further. Opt for gentle exfoliators such as those made with lactic acid, which gently breaks down dead skin cells while restoring the balance of microbiome bacteria to prevent further inflammation.
Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser, created by dermatologists to gently yet efficiently remove makeup and oil while leaving your skin feeling balanced, is another fantastic product designed for sensitive skin. Its formula is non-comedogenic and fragrance-free, which makes this cleanser suitable for even those with the most delicate complexions.
A Simple Skincare Routine
Sensitive skin is a widespread condition caused by multiple factors. It may range from mild itching, redness, or tightness to more severe forms such as eczema and rosacea.
The environment may also contribute, with pollution, heat, and sun major culprits of skin sensitivities. According to dermatologist Maria Loucas, those with sensitive skin typically have skin susceptible to irritation and often have impaired skin barrier function.
To prevent sensitive skin from getting worse, Chiu recommends that users of gentle cleansers and chemical exfoliants such as alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids are used when exfoliating as these acids can disrupt the natural pH balance and exacerbate it further. She suggests choosing products containing anti-inflammatory ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin; fragrance-free options should also be selected.
Always apply sunscreen year-round, as sunlight can exacerbate sensitivity issues. A broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen or higher would be an excellent investment.
Ingredients to Look for (and Avoid) in Sensitive Skin Products
Finding suitable skincare products can be difficult if you suffer from sensitive skin. That is why finding brands specifically tailored to your skin type is crucial.
If your skin is incredibly fragile, you should also opt for gentler ingredients, such as ceramides and glycerin, that have proven less irritating to your complexion.
Lauren Fine, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based out of Chicago, advises limiting exposure to any irritating agents as much as possible, explaining that so-called clean or natural beauty products may contain ingredients that cause inflammation – for example, tea tree oil and lavender oil are two such oils known to aggravate the skin.
Be mindful to avoid using skincare products containing the preservative methylisothiazolinone, as this ingredient has been linked with contact dermatitis and other forms of allergic reaction in those with sensitive skin.
Formaldehyde, which has been shown to irritate the skin, should also be avoided by those with sensitive skin. Formaldehyde can be a preservative in many cosmetic products, so before purchasing any skincare item, read labels thoroughly – advises Rachel Greenfield, MD of New York City Dermatology.
Jessica Coppola, an esthetic artist in NYC, recommends selecting products backed by clinical testing or created by dermatologists and estheticians for optimal results from your sensitive skincare regimen. Jessica suggests Burt’s Bees as a brand offering dermatologist-tested, soothing solutions.
Top Skincare Brands for Sensitive Skin
Finding skincare products tailored to your needs may be challenging if you have sensitive skin. Take the time to develop a plan that will soothe your skin while protecting it from irritation or breakouts.
Avoid harsh ingredients when creating a skincare routine tailored for sensitive skin, including fragrances, alcohol, sulfates, and preservatives. Also, conduct a patch test on your forearm or neck before applying new products to your face.
Sun damage prevention is also essential for sensitive skin types. Wear sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or higher outdoors, and reapply it every few hours as necessary.
Now more than ever, skincare brands offer products designed specifically to soothe sensitive and irritation-prone skin, including French pharmacy Avene which those with these conditions have long revered.
References: Skincare for Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin: A relevant syndrome, be aware – PubMed (nih.gov)
Efficacy and Tolerability of a Cosmetic Skin Care Product With Trans-4-t-butylcyclohexanol and Licochalcone A in Subjects With Sensitive Skin Prone to Redness and Rosacea – PubMed (nih.gov)