I’m someone who has very sensitive skin. I can’t handle perfume infused products and anything that smells. Neither can I handle too much water on my skin, or being in the sun, for I burn very quickly. It’s annoying, but it does make me a perfect source to give tips on what to do and what not when you’ve got the same skin as I do!
- Do: read labels
Don’t think you’ve hit the jackpot with descriptions like ‘soft for the skin’ or ‘for sensitive skin.’ It’s important that you go a step further and read what the exact ingredients are in the product. With your skin type, it’s better to avoid certain ingredients. For example, think of sulphates, dyes, denatured alcohol and essential oils. As a general rule, the fewer ingredients in a product, the better.
2. Do: take shorter showers
It sounds very illogical but water dries out your skin. Hot water, in particular, strips the skin of its natural fats. This gives sensitive skin an itchy and tight feeling because the skin barrier is damaged. Therefore, opt for a short shower with warm water instead of a long shower with hot water.
3. Do: test it
You can ask for a sample of many products or buy a sample pack for a small price. If you have sensitive skin, always do a patch test with a new beauty product. Dab some of the cream, gel or makeup onto your elbow. If you see a reaction within 72 hours, you know it’s not suitable for your skin.
4. Do: fragrance-free
Of course, a cream or shower gel with a pleasant scent will make you happy. But in itself, fragrance is an addition that your sensitive skin doesn’t need. Therefore, don’t be tempted by terms such as ‘with a natural scent.’ Opt for products that state that they’re fragrance-free, meaning no additional fragrances or perfumes have been added. Odor is a leading cause of contact dermatitis, an itchy red rash that can last for a long time.
5. Do: pick clothes and jewellery with care
Wool and other rough fabrics can itch, even if your skin isn’t sensitive. Wool can even cause an allergic rash. That’s because it contains lanolin (wool fat) that’s sometimes not completely filtered out. In jewellery, the metal nickel can be a trigger for a rash. Nickel is sometimes also found in metal buttons or (sun)glasses.
- Don’t: wash often
Products that contain soap (which can be found on the packaging as sulfates and SLS) strip the skin, so that the skin barrier doesn’t work properly. And you notice that immediately if you have sensitive skin. In the morning and before going to bed, cleaning your face with a mild, soap-free cleanser (think of micellar water) is sufficient. Use your fingers or a soft cotton cloth.
2. Don’t: scrub
If your skin is easily irritated, using abrasive granules in a scrub can make it worse. Granules that are too hard can even cause scratches and wounds. If you still want to remove dead skin cells, choose a mild exfoliating acid that tolerates most sensitive skins well, such as lactic acid. This does its job, but doesn’t penetrate as deeply into the skin as other acids can do.
3. Don’t: too heavy products
You don’t have to throw away your makeup if your skin is sensitive. But you do have to pay attention to what’s in it. Light and oil-free formulas with mineral-based pigments are the best choice for your skin. Also look for the term ‘non-comedogenic’ on the packaging. This means it won’t clog your pores.
4. Don’t: go outside unprotected
Not in the summer and not in the winter either. UV rays also reach the earth on cloudy days. So, always apply a cream with a high SPF when you go outside. For sensitive skin, products with mineral filters are best suited. These don’t absorb, but remain on the skin and therefore don’t react with the skin. Often, chemical filter creams also contain many more active ingredients than mineral versions, increasing the potential for skin irritation.
5. Don’t: not apply anything
Applying too many products can really irritate your skin, but applying nothing at all isn’t always useful. Sensitive skin is often dry and dehydrated with a poorly functioning skin barrier. The skin needs nourishment, both from the inside and the outside. A cream or gel with probiotics and hyaluronic acid is usually well tolerated by sensitive skin. Also provide your skin with optimal moisture, both with drinking water and with applying skin care products.
Love, Deem/Skye Lewis ❤
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