Having sensitive skin causes many unpredictable challenges such as stinging, burning, redness, dryness, etc. when it comes to makeup or skin-care products.
And although there’s no way to guarantee that you’ll completely avoid these types of reactions, there are ways to make them less likely and to help your skin function at its healthiest in the meantime.
Below are a few tried-and-true strategies for keeping your sensitive skin happy.
1. Use as few products at a time as possible, with as few ingredients as possible.
Fewer products and fewer ingredients means 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 minimum.
Apt for a gentle foaming cleanser with minimal ingredients in them such as the Estala Toning Cleanser, 2 in 1 to knock out the need for additional products and is gentle on the skin.
This all-in-one Anti-Aging Toner Cleanser works to deep pore cleanse, hydrate & calm the skin on your face. Make your morning routine easier by combining a toner, cleanser, and anti-aging treatment in this one effective Anti Aging Cleanser.
This gentle cleanser is best paired with our soft Bamboo Makeup Remover Pads to leave your skin feeling cleansed and fresh without using any harsh makeup remover wipes or products.
2. Avoid the temptation to over-wash or over-exfoliate your face.
Your skin does a surprisingly good job of staying clean naturally without the need for harsh cleansers, exfoliation, and scrubbing. In fact, your skin naturally makes lipids and proteins that form a protective barrier.
Over-washing can wash all of these important lipids and proteins down the drain. Similarly, it’s especially important for those with sensitive skin to avoid over-exfoliating, doing so thins the protective barrier of the skin, thus allowing irritating chemicals to penetrate the skin more easily.
For most people, exfoliating just once or twice a week with a gentle chemical exfoliant is plenty.
3. Take the time to 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.
This type of test—a patch test—can be done informally at home (on your inner arm or a small area of your face) or formally in a dermatologist’s office to figure out which ingredients you’re likely to be sensitive to.
4. Identify your triggers—and read the ingredients list.
When managing sensitive skin it is important to identify and avoid those ingredients that trigger your sensitivity. Sometimes it is easy to identify the culpable ingredients, while other times you have to undergo skin patch-testing of some of the most common sensitizing ingredients to help identify the problem ingredient.
A few of the most common irritants include fragrances, dyes, and preservatives such as parabens. Look out for products that are fragrance free, hypoallergenic, and without dyes and parabens are generally a good place to start when looking for sensitive skin-care products.
5. Keep showers short and efficient.
Sensitive skin doesn’t only exist on your face—and if you have sensitive skin or a skin condition elsewhere on your body, it’s important to treat it gently.
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.