Sensitive skin is so common that one in five women has it. It’s increasingly common because of pollution, the thinning ozone layer, stress, climatic conditions etc. Symptoms include redness, couperose, rosacea, frequent reactions, discomfort, intolerance, inflammation, tightness, itching etc.
If you have sensitive skin, here are a few tips.
Use only gentle skin cleansers. I recommend using a cleansing milk or cream and then rinsing with a gentle alcohol-free toner or a no-rinse micellar water, because the municipal water supply may contain substances such as chlorine which can irritate your skin even more and cause it to lose its hydrolipidic barrier. And avoid very hot water.
Suggestions for cleansers: A-Derma Sensifluid Cleansing Lotion (200 ml, $22.00), La Roche-Posay Solution Micellaire Physiologique (around 17$CA), Eau Thermale Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser (200 ml, $28.00), Bioderma Créaline H2O perfume-free (around 16$CA), Biotherm Biosensitive Lait démaquillant adoucissant (around 29$CA).
Select perfume-free products designed for sensitive skin. Most of them are gentle and contain calming or soothing ingredients which help the skin to have fewer reactions, diminish redness and inflammation and offer good protection. Also, the majority of sensitive skin-care ranges have versions for all types of skin (oily, combination, dry, very dry, dehydrated etc.) If possible, avoid anti-wrinkle products, because you may have a reaction to their active ingredients, such as retinol. You can test the product behind your ear to make sure. Wait 48 hours and check with a mirror to see if there’s any reaction (redness or rash, spots etc.)
My favourite products for sensitive skin are: Bioderma Sensibio, A-Derma, Avène Antirougeurs or Tolérance extrême or Peaux intolérantes, La Roche-Posay Hydreane or Toleriane or Rosaliac, Biotherm Biosensitive, Clarins sensitive skin range (Gentle day Cream, Gentle Night Cream and Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate).
Avoid the sun as much as possible, wear a hat, and sunscreen with a high SPF. The sun will make your skin even more sensitive and you could get increased couperose or rosacea.
There are now many different treatments available from your beautician for sensitive skin. Some aim to reduce couperose, others to reduce the skin’s reactivity with a calming effect etc. Consult your beautician to find out which treatment is best for you. They can make a big difference.
The less you use, the better for you. Sensitive skins are often intolerant and may have an adverse reaction to cosmetics. I recommend 100% mineral makeup, clinically tested makeup (such as Clinique and Marcelle) and fragrance-free products. Don’t assume that just because the product is 100% mineral, clinically tested or perfume-free or fragrance-free that you will have no reaction; however, you will diminish the risk of further weakening your skin.