Skincare for Sensitive Skin
Ah sensitive skin. That one skincare type we often shy away at or fear for as stereotypically, we think sensitive skin reacts to anything and everything. In some cases, yes and you may be sat there nodding but not all ‘non natural’ skincare brands and products are irritants for sensitive skin. Fellow skincare enthusiast Emma Hoareau wrote a really interesting piece on Sensitive Skin and spoke about how Essential Oils (often found in natural skincare) are what cause her skin to react whereas chemicals, do the opposite. Everyone’s skin is different and with this post, I hope to share a bit more on sensitive skin, what products to use and steps to include in your routine.
My skin-type is relatively normal but dehydrated and I get the odd hormonal spot but my skin can handle Glycolic Acids, peels and some stronger %’s of vitamins but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate some soothing, balancing and simple products once in a while. In fact, lots of my skincare shelfie is made up of products that are designed for or are suitable for sensitive skin and one of my favourite skincare brands, is Avène.
One of the most important step in any skincare routine is cleansing, removing all makeup and any impurities that have sat on the skin all day and got into your pores. This step is one of my favourites to keep simple and I with the harsh weather conditions coming in, I’ve been reaching for something ultra soothing and calming, such as the Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser. Like all Avène skincare products, this has been designed especially for sensitive skin and anyone suffering from dryness or a reaction of some sort. The Avène thermal water is the main one to focus on here as it’s so incredibly soothing, skin is immediately revived of any discomfort and left feeling clean, fresh and comfortable.
I love to use face masks, any day of the week and whenever my skin isn’t quite feeling itself. Be it, a hydration boost, increased cell turnover to enhance radiance, something purifying or calming, they are an essential step to target specific skin concerns. Some of my favourites for sensitivity are from Neals Yard and their Rose Face Mask is an amazing choice to help tone, brighten, nurture and revitalise the skin due to the damask rose and kaolin and pink clay.
For skin that needs a little more TLC, suffers from blemishes, congestion and is a little more on the sensitive side then I can’t recommend Pai, in-particularly their AHA Mask which despite being a decongesting and deep cleansing mask, doesn’t at all strip, dry or irritate the skin due to it’s skin comforting ingredients and formulation. Sensitive skin suitable Pink Pomelo fruit AHA’s have been used to very gently exfoliate and reveal new skin cells for an instantly healthier looking, smoother complexion.
Vitamin C is not to be avoided with sensitive skin. Start with a low dose / percentage and your skin will thank you for it in the long run. If you want to achieve that naturally glowing, radiant skin effect without using anything too harsh, then using something like the Balance Me Vitamin C Serum is a good start. This serum has been formulated with a carefully calibrated combination of botanically active ingredients that are sensitive skin friendly and won’t cause irritation: Vitamin C which uses an enzyme to release the Vit C over a period of time, Melavoid™, an extract from the Boerhaavia diffusa root which is anti‑inflammatory and really helps to soothe the skin and Hyaluronic Acid to instantly hydrate and relieve the skin of any dryness/discomfort.
If you suffer with dehydration over pigmentation and dark spots then try adding in a hydrating serum such as Pai Back to Life Hydrating Serum into your morning and evening routine. Containing hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin and keep moisture levels at their optimum levels, it’s an essential ingredient in any skincare routine and Pai have made it easy to add in, through serum form. In addition to HA, Pai have formulated with Tri-Berry, a 3 berry blend mix that provides skin with the ability to retain moisture. It’s a dehydrated skin dream and perfect for those prone to sensitivity.
When it comes to finding a moisturiser, I again come back to Avène over and over again. Their failsafe, soothing and hydrating formulas just work so well on all skin types without causing any disruption. The Hydrance Light Emulsion is a great starter as it’s basic formula isn’t going to aggravate the skin and makeup will sit beautifully on top and it comes in a light or rich form, catering to those with both normal, oilier or drier complexions.
Another moisturiser I love to reach for when my skin is feeling a little more sensitive is the Origins Make a Difference as it’s main ingredient is Rose of Jericho, an incredible flower that can withstand complete dehydration for decades and come back to life with just a drop of water - imagine that on the skin and you will start to think how refreshing, revitalising and hydrating this product will be. Not only does this bring back all moisture loss and balance hydration levels but it helps to soothe the skins surface if any damage is caused from the dehydration or dryness to reveal smoother, happier looking skin.