With so many skincare products to choose from, you may be tempted to try them all. But if you have sensitive skin, you must be cautious about what products you use. This does not mean you can’t have a beauty regimen, though.
The key to building a routine that works best for you is identifying the triggers, and knowing what to look for or avoid in skincare products.
Here is a guide for establishing a suitable beauty regimen for reactive skin types, including the essential sensitive skin products to use.
What is sensitive skin?
Sensitive skin refers to the condition of subjective hyper-reactivity to irritants and other environmental factors. The triggers vary from one person to another.
Take note as well that sensitive skin is not something you experience at a young age. You can suddenly experience sensitivity at any age, regardless of the skin predispositions you might have.
Furthermore, there is no definitive checklist to diagnose sensitive skin. However, there are some tell-tale signs that can indicate whether you have this skin type. For instance, your skin can become blotchy or red when exposed to certain skincare formulas or other elements like sun exposure. Other indicators of sensitive skin include burning, itching, stinging, and a feeling of tightness.
Sensitive skin is also prone to flare-ups, which can be evident in several ways, such as red spots, acne, dry patches, small bumps, and uneven texture and tone. Often, these flare-ups are caused by your diet, the climate, the products you’re using, or the amount of stress you are dealing with.
Basic skincare routine for sensitive skin
With a skincare routine meant for sensitive skin, you will keep your skin calmer and fight off any signs of sensitivity when they arise.
1. Wash your face
All skincare routines start with a cleanser. Even if you are using the best products, they won’t do their job if you are layering them over built-up dirt, makeup, pollution, and other impurities that can stay on your skin’s surface.
By cleansing your face, all the aforementioned impurities will be removed; thus, preventing them from clogging your pores or causing irritation and breakouts.
2. Use a toner
A facial toner offers many benefits, including soothing the skin, balancing the skin’s pH level, and removing dirt or residue.
Some people may forgo using a toner, thinking that it will make them shiver. But finding a gentle toner designed for sensitive skin will minimize redness and soothe irritation.
3. Apply a serum
Serums and oils are among the essential products for glowing skin. However, you must ensure that you are tailoring the one you apply to achieve your desired results.
Serums target specific skin concerns, including fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. For sensitive skin, they would soften, hydrate, and soothe; thus, calming down irritated, red skin and leaving you feeling supple and glowing.
Sensitive skin can get dehydrated quickly, so moisturizing your skin is an essential step. Whether your skin is susceptible to flare-ups, breakouts, or dryness, a hydrating moisturizer is a huge help. It will repair and protect the protective barrier of your skin.
5. Protect your skin with a sunscreen
Since the environment also impacts sensitive skin, you must take preventive measures to protect it by applying sunscreen daily. It will not just prevent skin cancer but also prevent sun damage that can cause sensitivities and a weakened skin barrier.
What to look for in skincare products
There are things to look for in skincare products if your skin is sensitive.
- Use products that are free of irritants like alcohol and fragrances.
- Look for gentle formulas that have been explicitly tested for sensitive skin.
- Ingredients to look for include aloe, tea tree oil, rosewater, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins B and E.
- Look also for ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties to help diminish redness.
Other skincare tips to consider
Here are other essential tips to take care of your sensitive skin.
1. Avoid touching your face
If you often touch your face, stop now for the sake of your sensitive skin. You may be doing it unconsciously, but it can lead to breakouts and skin irritation.
To break the face-touching habit, experts recommend:
- Using the back of your hands or tissue to scratch itches on your face.
- Asking a family or friend to say something if they see you touching your face unconsciously. Consider determining what triggers you to touch your face so you’ll be more aware.
- Creating a routine that will make you less likely to touch your face. For instance, keep your hands busy or place them in your pockets when taking calls.
2. Use fewer products and ingredients as possible
Fewer products and ingredients mean lesser chances for your skin to react to something in your beauty routine. Products with fewer ingredients are always a better option if you have sensitive skin.
3. Always patch-test new products
Before applying new products on your face, make sure to test a small amount on the inside of your arm overnight. In the morning, check for any significant reaction. If there’s none, then it can be applied safely to your face.
Another way of testing new products is to apply a small amount along your jawline. If your skin doesn’t react after a day, you can use it for your entire face. This method will also help you determine if the product is comedogenic or tends to cause blackheads by blocking your skin pores.
4. Keep showers short and use warm water
If you have sensitive skin all over your body, treat it gently.
In addition to using fragrance-free and allergy-tested body wash or soap, you should keep your shower time short – preferably under ten minutes. Also, use only warm water and apply a moisturizer immediately after to seal in the moisture.
Gentle care that pays off
Not knowing what will cause your next flare-up or when your sensitive skin is going to freak out can be a major pain. But establishing a foundation skincare routine can create a balance in your sensitive skin scenario.
Building a skincare routine takes time, so be patient and pay attention to the things that make your sensitive skin look and feel better. Simply use this guide in fine-tuning your beauty regimen.
If you need further guidance and tips, it is a good idea to see a dermatologist before starting a new skincare regimen.