Sensitive skin can be like living with an Elephant. You can't communicate, you've got no clue what they're trying to tell you, they seem to have a temper about the 'random-est' of things and once they've made their mind up it seems like there's nothing you can do about it! Well today you can call me the Elephant whisperer because I have 10 sensitive skincare tips that will be like a virtual relationship counselling session. Let's get this therapy started 'eh... http://wp.me/p6LuQS-BK

10 MUST KNOW SKINCARE TIPS FOR SENSITIVE SKIN SUFFERERS

In Sensitive Skincare by Cheryl Woodman MChemLeave a Comment

Sensitive skin can be like living with an Elephant. You can’t communicate, you’ve got no clue what they’re trying to tell you, they seem to have a temper about the ‘random-est’ of things and once they’ve made their mind up it seems like there’s nothing you can do about it! Well today you can call me the Elephant whisperer because I have 10 sensitive skincare tips that will be like a virtual relationship counseling session. Let’s get this therapy started ‘eh…

Sensitive skin can be like living with an Elephant. You can't communicate, you've got no clue what they're trying to tell you, they seem to have a temper about the 'random-est' of things and once they've made their mind up it seems like there's nothing you can do about it! Well today you can call me the Elephant whisperer because I have 10 sensitive skincare tips that will be like a virtual relationship counselling session. Let's get this therapy started 'eh... http://wp.me/p6LuQS-BK

1. GO FRAGRANCE & ESSENTIAL OIL FREE

If you suffer from sensitive skin and you haven’t already ‘spring cleaned’ your skincare of all fragrance and essential oils then reserve this Sunday for a skincare cupboard spring clean! Fragrance & essential oils are a sensitive skin sufferers’ nightmare. These guys are a mix of 100’s of different ingredients some of which are allergenic and irritant.

Fragrance free skincare you can trust.

I bet you’ve heard some essential oils recommended especially for sensitive skincare? Let me take a guess at… Chamomile for anti-inflammation and skin soothing?

The truth of it is this, Chamomile naturally contains 7.5% of current known allergens. Not great for sensitive skin [or in my opinion any kind of skin in the long term]. Before you get too down on not being able to use natural plant powers… let me tell you, you absolutely still can! The therapeutic part of Chamomile is an ingredient called Bisabolol. That is responsible for the reputation of Chamomile oil! So all you need to do it ditch Chamomile containing skincare for Bisabolol containing skincare.

Essential oils contain known allergens and irritants that are not good in your skincare or for your skin health.

How do you tell if your skincare has fragrance and essential oil in it? It’s not quite as simple as sniffing it, because everything has a natural smell, cue the Febreze locker room advert! But it still is simple, you just need to know what you’re looking for.

First, avoid any ingredients list with the word ‘parfum’.

Next up, avoid anything that says ‘essential oils’ on the bottle.

Finally take a gander at the ingredients list and if there are any fragrance plant oils like ‘Lavender, Sage, Thyme’ [basically any flower or herb that has a name ending in leaf oil [leaf extract is ok]] then put that baby back on the shelve. The killer give away will be a list of allergens on the bottom of the ingredient list like Citral and Linalool. Essential oils are packed full of them and they are not good for sensitive skin types.

MORE: ‘How to Choose Allergen Free Skincare’

2. FOCUS ON SKINCARE WITH A SMALL INGREDIENT LIST

Switch skincare smoothies with 35 ingredients for a simpler, cleaner ingredient list. Trying to de-code a skincare ingredient list can be like ‘man trying to understand woman’ *wink wink*. It’s confusing and I’ll let you in on a secret, all those ingredients aren’t always there by choice. A skincare formulator might want to use X ingredient, that only comes pre-supplied with 2/3 others in toe all pre-mixed, then the formulation might not be stable, so then there’s stabilising additives added.

All that means big ingredient lists can be a ‘push, pull’ for your skin AND they hide potentially just the 1 or 2 ingredients your skin doesn’t like…

The exception: An ingredient list packed out with non-fragrant plant oils (rosehip, borage, apricot) is still A-OK.

What is your SKIN TYPE? Is it SENSITIVE? Check out this menu to diagnose. PLUS here are the KEY thing your need to know to take AWESOME care of sensitive skin.

3. SNAP THAT SKINCARE INGREDIENT LIST!

Diarise it! I am so chuffed that is actually a dictionary approved work! If you are serious about getting on-top of your skin sensitivities then snap a picture of each and every skincare ingredient list you use. This is serious guys, if you want to know what your skin is reacting to then after some guided skincare advice it’s about elimination [skin likes to be unique ya know!].

Some sensitive skin types might need to stay away from key sensitive skin trigger ingredients like Vitamin C or high % skincare acids. Other sensitive skin’s might have actually developed their very own unique reaction to something 99.9% of everyone else is ‘just peachy’ with [even things like vitamin E!].

Switching in skincare with simpler ingredient lists will help you to pinpoint the ‘YES please, yum’ ingredients from the ‘NO-GO, run’ ingredients.

You can use websites like Wikipedia and CosDNA to check out each ingredient and get a ‘big picture’ idea of what it will do for your skin and if there are any sensitive skin risks with it OR shout me a question on Twitter.

4. CHOOSE SKINCARE THAT HAS KEY SENSITIVE SKIN LOVING INGREDIENTS

Just like there are key actives for acne and anti-aging, there are key actives for your very special sensitive skin too! 4 of my very favourite are Allantoin, Bisabolol, Collodial Oatmeal and Panthenol.

Anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, hydrating, skin cell metabolism regulating, hypo-allergenic, natural anti-histamine effect – those are just some of the sensitive skin love that these ingredients can promise your skin.

Oats are not JUST am awesome breakfast for heart health. Oats in skincare are also AWESOME for skin health, especially dry, irritated and sensitive skin types!

MORE: ’10 Awesome Ingredients For Sensitive Skin’

5. CUT DOWN ON INFLAMMATORY FOODS

While you are at it, rule out that you don’t have a food allergy or intolerance. Foods like dairy and high sugar treats have a pro-inflammatory effect in the body and anything you do to your body also ends up happening to your skin. That can mean redness, reactivity and sensitivity.

Try cutting out foods like dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt) for a week and see if your skin decides to behave more nicely. You can also add some anti-inflammatory yummies like oatmeal – it’s good for your skin when you rub it in AND when you eat it, just the flakes will be WAY bigger in your porridge, that’s a given!

6. AVOID ANYTHING THAT FOAMS

Metaphorically throw ANY foaming facial products as far away from your sensitive skin as possible. The ingredients that make those products foam are known irritants – the one with most fame is Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS). Not only that but they eat away at your skin’s natural oils, those are the things that help protect your skin from sensitivity triggers.

Even if you don’t have oily skin, those skincare oils are still there guarding you from a skin attack. Shower gels and shampoos are all packed with these kinds of ingredients so make sure that you don’t get residue from those on your sensitive skin areas.

Instead of foaming washes use cream, balm or oil based cleansers.

7. ONLY EVER ADD 1 PRODUCT TO YOUR SKINCARE REGIME AT A TIME

…and always patch test, but you knew that one already ‘eh! Some skin reactions happen almost as soon as you ‘sniff’ at a new product, others take time. It is completely feasible that you could be A-OK using a new product for the first few months THEN out of nowhere you get a sensitivity flair up. That is because some sensitivity reactions are ‘accumulative’. Think of it like your favourite pair of jeans that you wore until the seams literally ripped [actual personal experience!! and yes it was in THAT place!] the more you wear that favourite pair, the more ‘stress’ gets put on them and they gradually wear-out. That is why a sensitivity reaction can come outta nowhere, the more you use something, the more ‘red-crosses’ your skin marks you with.

Gradually introduce new products into your skincare regime and allow at least a month between adding newbies.

8. AVOID VERY ACIDIC SKINCARE

You know oranges sting when you accidently squirt one in your eye? That’s cus they are pretty darn acidic, usually around 3.5, whereas water is 7. Your skin’s natural pH actually is slightly acidic, between 4.2-5.5 and it needs to be there. That special pH range is one of the protective shields in your skincare armoury. That is super important for sensitive skin that needs some help in its defence department.

Does soap dry out your skin? Dry skin is the NUMBER 1 cause of aging, so it is not surprising that with MOST skincare we try to pump it FULL of moisture! We do absolutely know that soap can dry skin, here is WHY, what to avoid and how to choose skin friendly alternatives! Don't worry my friend, we will have you on the path to yummy looking and hydrated skin in no time HERE ---> http://wp.me/p6LuQS-oV

Here is the thing, some skincare actually has a very low pH to make the active ingredients work. A Vitamin C serum is usually around pH 3.5 and skincare products containing skincare acids like fruit acids and glycolic acids can also join in the lower than skin pH dance troop.

Sensitive skin doesn’t like the music that dance troop plays and can be super irritable and reactive to low pH products.

9. USE SKIN IDENTICAL INGREDIENTS

Sensitive skin means your ‘house alarm’ is on extra sensitive. If your skin senses even a dust particle that does not know your house code, you have a flair up on your hands. Skin identical ingredients are great for sensitive skin because you’re only giving your skin something it should have anyway. It can’t tell the difference and your alarm bell is fooled! That means ingredients like fatty acids [plant oils], ceramides, cholesterol, hyaluronic acid are all perfect for sensitive skin.

The 3 key skin identical ingredients.

MORE: ‘What Are Skin Identical Ingredients?’

10. LOOK FOR HYPO-ALLERGENIC, BUT BE AWARE…

Hypo-allergenic as a skincare claim is not regulated. That means there’s no specific test that needs to be met with to claim a skincare product is hypo-allergenic and sensitive skin friendly. On the flip side, while you can be cynic about claims like this, generally no-one is trying to deceive you here. A skincare company aren’t going to be getting themselves any awesome word of mouth reviews if you grab their hypo-allergenic product because you have sensitive skin and it is exactly the opposite! It’s not in their best interests to use that promise, if their product cannot lovingly partner up with your sensitive skin.

MORE: ‘What Does Hypo-allergenic Actually Mean?’


What are your sensitive skin triggers?