Sensitive Skin is a recognised skin type, although surprisingly there is no dermatological definition of what sensitive skin actually is. It is more so defined by individuals experiences and like all things some individuals are affected more seriously than others. Common side effects of sensitive skin include:
- Sometimes feels hot and itchy after cleansing
- Flares up easily after using new skincare
- Is more irritated at certain times in the menstrual cycle
- Can be oily, combination, dehydrated or dry
- Can be sporadic
- Is prone to being hot with itchy red blotches that get worse if they are touched
- Sometimes looks angry post-shower
- Burns fast in the sun
If you are looking at those symptoms and I’ve hit the nail on the head- then you have sensitive skin. The most important thing to understand about sensitive skin is that each case is different. What works for one ‘sensitive skin sufferer’, might not work for the next. It’s important to spend more time getting to know your skin and what it does and doesn’t respond well to.
The process of getting to know your skin can be time consuming, but will be rewarding when you find out what pesky ingredient is causing you jip! You need to scale your skincare right back and then introduce ingredients one by one over a long period of time. Ingredients that are most likely to be the culprit, (and are a good place to start), are:
- Sodium lauryl sulphate
- Ammonium lauryl sulphate
- Salicylic acid
- Mineral/palm/paraffin oils
- Fragrances (very common culprit for sensitivity problems)
- Harsh soaps
- Astringents (ingredients that are designed to make the skin less oily)
There are other reasons someone might have sensitive skin for example eczema or rosacea. For this reason, always consult a dermatologist before trying this method of getting to know your skin. If it is one of these conditions your dermatologist will be more equipped to help you with your skin.
Download the app ‘Think Dirty’. This is an amazing tool where you can scan the barcode of products or search by name and it will give you a break down of all the ingredients in that product and how ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ they are. People also review products on this app and it can be really helpful to have a read through and see what other people with similar skin types say!
A Skincare Plan for Sensitive Skin
- Hydrating serum if dryness is a problem
- Sunscreen- opt for sunscreens with zinc or titanium (mineral-based sunscreens) rather than those with chemical filters that have the potential to aggravate sensitive skin.
Avoid exfoliation altogether as it will aggravate the skin even more. If you have any urgent sensitive skin issues please see your doctor or dermatologist. For any product recommendations please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org