Cleansing your skin may be the first step of your morning ritual, but if your skin is on the sensitive side, it’s not as easy as grabbing whatever happens to be there. If you have sensitive skin—easily irritated by chemicals and fragrances, or prone to redness, rashes and irritation—it’s essential to avoid harsh ingredients and opt for gentler cleansing products and methods.
What Is Sensitive Skin?
Sensitive skin is defined as the occurrence of unpleasant sensations (burning, itching and redness) when the skin is exposed to something that generally should not cause such sensations.
While sensitive skin can often react to certain ingredients in beauty products, environmental factors, stress levels, lifestyle habits and dietary changes are also known to trigger irritation. The reaction is genetically programmed. The biggest concerns for this skin type always affect the skin from head to toe—not just the face. The skin is either too dry, too oily, heavy in pores or has a variation in colour and tone that is not uniform.
What Ingredients to Look for and Avoid
When it comes to choosing the best ingredients and formulas for sensitive skin, keeping things simple without compromising effectiveness is key. Avoid active ingredients like glycolic, salicylic, lactic acid and alcohol etc as these all have exfoliating properties.
Instead, opt for ingredients and formulas that improve the skin’s natural barrier and soothe irritation while keeping it moisturised and hydrated, like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and ceramides. Look for anti-inflammatory properties such as azelaic acid and panthenol You want to reach for formulations that strengthen the skin, balance it and encourage the surface barrier to heal.
How to Care for Sensitive Skin
Less is more with sensitive skin – use fewer products. Find a gentle cleanser that’s not harsh on the skin and a moisturiser that works for your skin. Lastly, always make sure to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage. Be cautious when exfoliating—no more than once a week as it can be irritating on a reactive skin.
It is a good idea to perform a patch test before introducing a new product into your skin care routine.
Wash your face with pleasantly warm water. Remove the products completely. Pay attention to remove the cleanser from the eye lid etc.
Use your hands instead of exfoliating cloths. Avoid using an exfoliating cloth because it can be really harsh on the skin and can cause irritation and redness.
SkinCeuticals Soothing Cleanser
Featuring a potent yet soothing formula, this hydrating face cleanser is the best way to pamper sensitive or post-procedure skin with some much-needed TLC. Infused with a highly concentrated blend of glycerine, cucumber extract, sorbitol and orchis mascula extract, it calms and nourishes delicate skin and washes away stubborn makeup residue while still being gentle enough for daily use. Buy it here from our online store.
Eminence Organic Skin Care Calm Skin Chamomile Cleanser
Infused with organic, active botanicals and antioxidants—including chamomile, sunflower oil and grape leaf extract—this ultra-nourishing cream cleanser purifies and rids your skin of excess oil while hydrating and strengthening your skin’s protective barrier. It also features the brand’s exclusive bio complex of booster antioxidants, coenzyme Q10 and alpha lipoic acid, which helps to refine the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Buy it here from our online store.
SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel
This gel is a soothing moisturiser that hydrates, comforts and alleviates redness and sensitivity. Powered by hyaluronic acid, cucumber, thyme, and other botanical ingredients, this moisturiser gently replenishes moisture and improves the appearance of visual redness while mulberry minimises the appearance of discolouration to boost a brighter and fresher-looking complexion. Buy it here from our online store.
Thyme, Olive, and Cucumber Extracts: botanicals that soothe and calm the skin.
Hyaluronic Acid: a natural humectant capable of holding 1,000 times its own weight in water, making it an ideal moisturiser when applied topically
SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Mask
This contains a dipeptide which cools the skin by up to 40% on contact, to provide immediate relief to stressed, sensitive skin. This botanical facial mask has been clinically tested to reduce redness, irritation and discomfort. Beneficial to all skin types experiencing sensitivity, redness or inflammation. Nice on all skin types – non oily so can be used on any skin. Can be used daily if you like. Buy it here from our online store.
- 9% Soothing Botanicals: a unique blend of cucumber, thyme, and olive extracts soothe and comfort skin
- Dipeptides: reduce heat sensitivity, providing an immediate calming effect
- Hyaluronic Acid: continually comforts skin with lasting, soothing hydration
- Cools on contact and comforts skin sensitivity
- Reduces visible redness and discomfort
- Restores natural radiance and smoothness
SkinCeuticals Redness Neutraliser
This helps improve the skin's tone and texture and discomfort associated with sensitive skin. This lightweight formula combines biomimetic peptides and botanical soothing ingredients to combat the effects of environmental triggers that can lead to the appearance of redness and flushing, as well burning and discomfort. This is an excellent treatment on a sensitive, red or reactive skin. Buy it here from our online store.
- Palmitoyl Tripeptide-8: combats environmental triggers that can lead to the appearance of redness and flushing, as well as burning and discomfort
- Botanical Extracts: soothe and help skin feel cooler
- Skin feels cooler
- Combats redness and flushing
- Clinically proven to improve skin smoothness and radiance
- Paraben, fragrance, silicone, dye, alcohol-free; non-comedogenic
Always use an SPF every day – on a sensitive reactive skin a mineral spf is a good option – Mineral radiance by SkinCeutical is a good option as it is tinted and helps to give the skin a glow.