Sensitive skin means having skin that easily gets irritated and has a lower tolerance to skin care products and cosmetics. It gets easily sunburned and has a ruddy appearance, with capillaries showing through.
This skin type is marked by an impaired skin barrier. This means that potential irritants can easily get into your skin, irritating nerve endings and causing inflammation.
There are varying levels of skin sensitivity. Some people barely react while others experience extreme sensitivity that it affects their daily life.
As mentioned, sensitive skin primarily happens when its barrier becomes ineffective. This can happen with:
- Skin aging
- Hormonal imbalance
- Untreated or undiagnosed allergies
- Reduced enzyme activity in the skin
Other factors include:
- Exposure to cold weather
- Hard water
- Lack of sleep
- Irritating products
Sensitive skin can present in a variety of ways. You’ll know if you have sensitive skin if you experience any of the following:
Skin feels tight
Develops rashes once it gets in contact with irritants
Turns red after a hot bath
Flushes after drinking alcohol or eating spicy foods
Has an uneven texture
Turns rough and scaly
Skin Care Routine for Sensitive Skin:
Caring for sensitive skin isn’t that easy. Since any wrong product can easily trigger a negative reaction, you have to pay close attention to the things you are putting on your skin.
Lucky for you, we have put together this skin care routine for your skin type:
Step 1: Cleanse
The first step to any skin care routine is to cleanse your skin and that is no different for your skin type. Wash your face once a day (if you have dry sensitive skin), preferably before going to bed.
Clogged pores can easily cause irritation and inflammation which is why you should never get to sleep with a dirty face.
Pick a cleanser that’s soap-free as soap can remove your skin’s natural oils, leaving it more vulnerable. You should also avoid cleansers with alcohol, parabens and fragrances as these ingredients are notorious for irritating the skin.
Make sure to use warm water in cleansing your face. Avoid using hot or cold water as that can spell bad news for your skin.
You should also limit the time you spend washing your face.
Step 2: Exfoliate
Exfoliation can be scary for someone with sensitive skin. But, it doesn’t really have to be that way.
Like most skin types, you also need to buff away the dead skin cells piling up on the surface of your skin. And if you want to have fairer and radiant skin, you’ll definitely need it.
For your skin type, acids can be your best friend. We’re talking about glycolic acid, BHAs and AHAs.
They are chemical exfoliants that get rid of dead skin cells gently.
Your washcloth or a dampened Konjac sponge can do wonders, too. You’ll be amazed by how simply rubbing your skin with these can result in dead skin cell removal.
Step 3: Tone
No, toners aren’t really harsh and they won’t dry your skin out. If you’ve experienced any of these things while using a toner, it’s probably because you haven’t found the right match for you.
In choosing a good toner, skip anything that has alcohol in it and pick ones that have calming ingredients. Your top choices include rosewater and chamomile.
Use your toner after cleansing. It will help bring back your skin’s lost moisture and restore your skin’s balance.
Step 4: Using serums
Serums are highly potent which means they can cause irritation if you fail to pick the right one for your skin type. You need to pick the right “actives” to make sure you reap all of your serums benefits.
To calm your sensitive skin, one great ingredient you can trust is niacinamide. This ingredient works great in boosting the skin’s natural barrier.
It enhances the production of ceramides and gives your skin great hydration.
For more options, you can check out this list.
Step 5: Moisturize
Moisturizing is important for your skin type. It helps create a protective layer to keep your skin hydrated and make sure it’s properly moisturized.
Take note, however, that not all moisturizers can work well on your delicate skin. Those that contain emollients, for example, can be occlusive to your skin and they can trigger irritation.
It can take a bit of trial-and-error before you find one that can meet your skin’s needs. If you want to skip that, here’s a list of our top recommended products.
Apply your moisturizer right after bathing or cleansing your face. This way, you’ll be able to restore your skin’s lost moisture.
Remember, when your skin is dry, it becomes more vulnerable to damage.
Oh, and one more thing. Don’t use any of your body lotions and creams on your face.
Step 6: Use sunscreen
Having delicate skin gives you more reasons not to skip sunscreens. Since your skin is vulnerable to the sun’s harmful rays, you’ll need a good sunscreen to make sure those rays won’t leave your skin red and irritated.
People with sensitive skin should skip chemical sunscreens. These products have ingredients that penetrate the skin, causing more problems.
Instead, choose sunscreens with physical filters. Zinc oxide can be your skin’s best friend.
It stays on the surface of your skin to repel UV rays before they can do damage to your skin.
Apart from ingredients, you should also consider a sunscreen’s formulation. As much as possible, find products that are hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.
You can choose any sunscreen in this list.
Apply your sunscreen generously and make sure all exposed areas are protected. Reapply it after every two hours or after swimming or sweating.