When it comes to skin woes, there are as many sets of issues as there are people. But if your precious skin is prone to irritation and allergies, building an effective beauty regimen might be even more challenging.
Before you start despairing, you should know that it’s entirely possible to design a routine that will not only minimize your skin issues, but also make your complexion stand out – for all the good reasons.
To that end, we’ve gathered a few easy steps to care for sensitive skin. Try implementing these tips into your daily routine and see how your skin starts glowing!
1) Invest in a Good Cleanser
Sensitive skin is more prone to reactions caused by environmental pollutants.
This includes smog, makeup and other kinds of substances that amass on your face throughout the day.
This is why it’s important to take the day off and do your best to purify your skin in the evening.
And for this you’ll need a powerful facial cleanser, one that will be able to break down all the dirt and grime without irritating your skin.
If you’ve already dabbled in various cleansing techniques, then you’re well aware that finding such a product is easier said than done.
However, there are several types of cleansers out there that have been designed with sensitive skin in mind.
For makeup removal, go for something like micellar water.
This skin care wonder, which has long been the go-to cleansing method for French women, is formulated with tiny particles that can effectively wipe away all the product from your face without irritating it.
For those days when you wear a full beat, you might want to follow up your micellar water with another cleanser to truly purge your skin of all the impurities.
This can be done with a face wash specifically created for sensitive skin types.
To minimize chances of your skin reacting badly to a cleanser, avoid any formulas that foam up, as they are likely to contain agents that can dry out your skin.
Therefore, creamy and milky formulas free of parabens, fragrances and other irritants are your best bet.
2) Avoid Physical Exfoliants
When dealing with sensitive skin woes, it’s imperative that you avoid anything that might cause further irritation.
And there is no worse news for irritation-prone skin than harsh, physical exfoliants.
Not only can strong face scrubs rob your pores of their natural oils, they can cause small tears in the outer layers of your skin, contributing to more redness and blemishes.
Once you take all of this into consideration, it becomes clear why you should firmly stay away from any face washes infused with beads, nut shells and other skin-aggravating physical exfoliants.
And the same goes for beauty tools.
Face cloths, brushes, sponges and loofahs can only further antagonize your skin and make it go from zero to bona fide nightmare.
So, what are you supposed to do if your skin is still in desperate need of a deep cleanse?
In recent years, chemical exfoliants are definitely having a moment in the world of beauty and cosmetics.
And before you flinch at the mention of the word “chemical”, you should keep in mind that these formulas are gentle and designed for everyday use.
One of the main players when it comes to discussing chemical exfoliants are AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids). These components have the power to gently exfoliate the outer levels of your skin and contribute to an accelerated cell turnover.
In practical terms, this means that regular use of AHAs and BHAs can help unveil new, healthy skin without any irritation.
With this said, it’s advised to start slowly with your exfoliants. Try applying a small amount at nighttime once every three days and see ho your skin reacts.
If your skin doesn’t experience any irritation, feel free to increase the usage to every other day or daily.
Also, keep in mind that AHAs, BHAs and retinoids are photosensitive, so make sure to follow up your exfoliant with a sunscreen if you plan on wearing it in daytime.
3) Start Wearing Sunscreen
Regardless of how tight your skin care game is, all of it will be in vain if you don’t also arm yourself with high-quality sunscreen.
Why is this the case?
To begin with, direct sun exposure is never good news for your complexion, regardless of your skin type.
What’s more, people with sensitive skin are at a higher risk of developing rashes and allergies when exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays.
This is why it is paramount that you sun-proof your skin with broad spectrum sunscreen – daily!
If you’re someone who is only used to applying sunscreen during beach holidays, you’ll be pleased to heat that thick sunscreens that leave that dreaded white cast on your face are definitely a thing of the past.
Modern sunscreens come in lightweight, colorless textures that your skin can quickly absorb.
Due to their watery formulas, they also make for a good primer if you plan on wearing makeup.
To choose the right kind of product for your skin, look for physical sunscreens (ones containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) enriched with soothing components, such as green tea or cucumber extract.
4) Keep Your Makeup Tools Clean
Love to wear makeup? Have skin that’s acne prone or easily irritated?
Then you might be in a bit of a pickle.
As you can imagine, easily irritated skin is not a fan of constant touching, brushing and tugging.
This is especially the case with makeup brushes, which not only have the potential to aggravate your skin because of the product being used, but also their texture and the build-up of old makeup and dirt.
To ensure your skin doesn’t suffer from brush-related irritation, it would be good to invest in high-quality, soft brushes made just for your skin type.
For example, choosing natural, ultra-fine bristles over synthetic ones might minimize the chances of your skin reacting adversely to makeup application.
We should also mention that when they go on for long periods of time without being washed, makeup brushes become a haven for all kinds of bacteria that can wreak havoc on the skin.
To prevent causing damage to your skin, it’s important to keep your makeup brushes and other beauty tools squeaky clean.
To do that, get your hands on an anti-bacterial, fragrance-free soap, shampoo or makeup brush cleanser (baby products will also do a fine job).
- Begin foaming up the liquid and gently massaging your brushes in it.
- Make sure to get all the product and pigment out of the bristles by rubbing them on your palm or a textured, rubberized surface.
- Once you’re finished, rinse the brushes and lay them out on a kitchen towel to dry. You can also hang them upside down to prevent the water from damaging the handles.
Make sure to place them in a light, airy place to prevent the forming of bacteria.
It is recommended you clean your brushes at least once a week. Don’t forget makeup sponges and eyelash curlers, as well!
5) Make Sure It’s Moisturized
Slathering on dozens of different products on your face might be feel counterintuitive if your skin doesn’t agree with the majority of formulas out there.
However, it’s still important to keep your skin hydrated and supple, even if has tendencies towards occasional flare-ups.
Well, for one – having dry skin is not a hot look.
Furthermore, dryness can only emphasize blemishes, flakiness and other imperfections on your skin.
And on top of that, when its moisture levels are not in check, skin has a greater tendency to act out and catch us off guard with breakouts and inflammation.
To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, it is advised to keep your skin replenished with moisture on the regular.
To this end, it’s important to look for product that were specifically formulated for your complexion.
Hydrating products aimed at irritation-prone skin are usually infused with inflammation relievers, such as Aloe Vera, green tea and cucumber.
Moreover, you can look out for formulas enriched with skin-repairing and rejuvenating components.
- Hyaluronic acid
Ingredients such as these will restore healthy skin and help lock the moisture in your cells. Moreover, they can help form a protective barrier that will protect your skin from outside pollutants.
6) Makeup: Less is More
When our skin is showing visible signs of irritation, such as flakiness or redness, our instant reaction is to hide those imperfections by piling tons of makeup on our face.
And yet, this might not be the most adequate approach.
By clogging up your skin with thick and heavy formulas, you are only contributing to future breakouts and irritation.
Sometimes, it’s best that you lay off makeup altogether and give your skin a breather – at least for a short amount of time.
However, if going even for a day without rocking your favorite beat seams unimaginable for you, there are still ways to customize your look so it doesn’t exacerbate your sensitive skin woes.
For example, if you tend to gravitate towards full-coverage foundations, try switching up to BB and CC creams, or tinted moisturizers.
Not only are these formulas lighter on the skin, they tend to be loaded with good-for-you ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C and SPF.
You can also look into introducing mineral makeup into your collection.
These formulas are especially beneficial for sensitive skin types who tend to get oily, as they are non-comedogenic and are also designed to absorb excess sebum on the face.
How to tailor your makeup so it doesn’t exacerbate your skin issues also lies in application.
Go towards soft brushes or beauty sponges and only focus the product on the areas of your face that need correcting.
This may include your under eye area, skin around your nose or between your eyebrows.
Try not to cover up blemish-free, clear areas of your face. This will not only prevent potential makeup-induced flare-up, it will give you a more synchronized, natural look.
7) Research the Ingredients and Test the Products
A great part of taking care of sensitive skin lies in thorough research.
In order to prevent your skin from acting up, you have to identify which ingredients will soothe your skin and which will aggravate your conditions.
And while no two sensitive skin types are 100% alike, there are still some common culprits found in beauty products that can make your skin woes even worse.
- Essential oils (lavender, peppermint, rose, etc.)
- Physical exfoliants (beads, shells, flakes, etc.)
Even though your skin might not necessarily react badly to all of these, you should still be advised to avoid product infused with these skin care baddies – just to stay on the safe side.
To make things even more complicated, your skin might experience irritation from ingredients that aren’t generally associated with inflammations and breakout.
That’s why it’s important to test out any new products you buy before committing to them fully.
To do a patch test, apply a small amount the product on the side of your neck, just below the jawline.
This area of the skin is good for testing as it’s similar to skin on the face, but potential adverse reaction won’t be as noticeable.
If your skin doesn’t show any negative symptoms after two or three days of continuous use, you can assume this product is a-OK to apply on the regular.
If you want to decide whether a certain formula will cause acne, you can do a patch test on the chin, as this is where most people tend to experience blemishes and pimples.
And that’s it for our essential guide on how to treat delicate, irritation-prone skin. Armed with this new information on how to keep inflammation at bay, we are sure you are only a few steps away from achieving balanced, luminous complexion.