Many women who suffer from sensitive skin spend their lives in a battle against dryness and reactions as they tirelessly search the cosmetic industry for some sweet relief.
I’m personally allergic to Vaseline, baby oil, and the Norfolk Island Hibiscus Tree of all things and I spent the majority of my teen years searching for suitable products and skincare know-hows.
Here are a few tried-and-tested tips gathered over the years for those with temperamental skin that is unpredictable on its best days.
According to Dr Kate Mackinnon, skin can build intolerances to certain products and ingredients when exposed to them for long periods of time. Therefore it’s essential to remove makeup and wash your face at the end of each day to avoid a reaction; a simple tip that will save you a lot of trouble.
This also means that when having a reaction, products that you may have used without issue in the past could still be the problem – sorry! I like to use products with only a few ingredients so that it’s easier to single out the culprit. I also tend to find that natural ingredients are more suitable than those laden with chemicals. This is an argument frequently made by natural skincare companies, but I really do think it has merit.
When buying a product, the term ‘dermatologically tested’ has very little meaning without more information. The product may otherwise have been tested on any part of the human body and in any quantity, completely void of sensitive-skinned participants. ‘Made for sensitive skin’ carries similar undertones of vagueness – so make sure to do your research before buying a product.
I must however recommend the brands Clinique and Cetaphil as they genuinely conduct extensive research and testing on sensitive skin and absolutely succeed in offering the market gentle yet effective products.
Bloggers can also be a particularly good source of information about sensitive skincare and great products, as their writing tends to be honest and not brand endorsed.
I would also highly recommend exfoliating daily to remove the dead skin cells that cause skin and foundation to look flaky and uneven. This is a point of contention amongst those with sensitive skin because some argue that it causes further irritation. I however find this a necessary step in creating a smooth base for makeup, and I avoid irritation by moisturising generously.
I would however recommend applying moisturiser and foundation in patting rather than circular motions and foundation with a sponge rather than a brush in order to avoid unnecessary agitation and the displacement your primer.
Finally, if you try a new product and it tingles or stings cut your losses and take it off right away. It’s likely to be an early sign of a reaction and it’s not worth the days of redness and stinging that are sure to follow.
If a reaction does occur, the healing process can be long. It’s frustrating, but it’s best to leave your skin alone and allow it to heal naturally free of any products. Time and space are unfortunately the most effective remedies for irritated skin.
I sincerely hope that these tips work for you and alleviate some of the burden of having sensitive skin, so that you can move on with your daily life with soft, smooth and all-round healthy and happy skin that causes you no trouble!