Sensitive skin can be difficult to manage for a number of reasons. The first being that duh, it is sensitive. This implies that what most other skin types get away with will wreak havoc on the sensitive skin. Also the utmost gentleness and care has to be applied when it comes to taking care of sensitive skin. There are no simple ways to take care of sensitive skin but there are still some skincare tips for sensitive skin that when followed yields some great results.
I don’t have sensitive skin but I’ve had my skin get overly irritated sometimes as a result of over exfoliation or using the wrong products and let me tell you it was hell. It even hurt to wash my face with just water. It took a while to settle on some ways to take care of my now sensitized skin and damaged barrier to get it back to normalcy.
Skincare Tips for Taking Care of Sensitive Skin
Don’t Forget to Double Cleanse
A lot of people overlook double cleansing and that is just wrong. Double cleansing can be one of the best things to do for your skin if you have sensitive skin. It remains one of the best skincare tips for sensitive skin that makes any change and positively impacts skin. If you have sensitive skin, you will find that exfoliating as often as other skin types is totally out of the equation. Scrubbing hard to remove grime and exfoliate will also irritate the skin further. This is where double cleansing comes in.
The first step of the double cleanse involves using an oil cleanser to remove oil based dirt. Dead skin cells are also removed during this process thereby eliminating the need for the excessive scrubbing that usually happens with the use of just water based cleansers.
Apply and Reapply Sunscreen
Sunscreen is non-negotiable. Sun rays can damage the skin barrier and expose it to more external aggressors. Frequent use of sunscreen helps to prevent irritation, inflammation, redness, wrinkles, worsening of hyperpigmentation. When you use sunscreen don’t forget to also apply on ears, neck and chest.
Wear protective clothing and sun shades to shield the eyes and arms too. It’s also important to reapply two hours after every application if you’re going to be out in the sun. Don’t forget to apply even when you’re indoors because the windows are not UV proof.
Read the Labels
If you have sensitive skin, you’d be doing yourself a lot of good if you learnt how to read labels. This is something everyone with sensitive skin should master. Identify your triggers and carefully go through every label to be sure no brand is sneaking harmful ingredients into a product by calling them another name.
Drying alcohols, fragrances, dyes, sulfates, parabens, and phthalates are some common ingredients that trigger sensitive skin and should be avoided. Bare-bones ingredients list free of allergens are most recommended for sensitive skin. Essential oils are also to be avoided as they are common triggers for sensitive skin. Just stick to minimal ingredients products.
Keep Your Routine Simple
It would also be wise to accept that all those fancy serums, ampoules, essences, 10 step routines, and pressed serums are not for you. You may also have to accept that commonly sought after skincare products may be too much for your skin. I soak myself in snail mucin everyday but I have friends that can’t even put it on their arms without breaking out in hives. You may also need to dilute some products with others so you don’t get 100% of the efficacy and accompanying irritation.
Resist the urge to over-exfoliate. Glycolic acid may not be gentle enough too. Lactic acid and mandelic acid perform better for sensitive skin types. Your skincare routine should be mostly hydration and little exfoliation. Exfoliation should only be done twice in a week at the very most.
Patch-test and Introduce New Products Slowly
This is one of the most important skincare tips for sensitive skin. Patch-testing is a must and should be done for at least a week. It is not enough to put a product on the inside of your arm overnight. That’s definitely not enough and things can still go wrong. Patch-test on the inside of your elbow and the side of your neck to be double sure and do it for a whole week.
Avoid the urge to start more than one product at the same time so that if any complications or reactions occur, you can point to the exact product that is likely to be the cause. Introduce new products weekly and not daily.