If your skin turns red, gets itchy, or easily breaks out in acne, there’s a good chance you have sensitive skin. For those with sensitive skin, finding the right skincare products can be a life-long search. Gentle skincare products that include natural vitamins and antioxidants can provide the moisture and nourishment your skin needs without causing uncomfortable irritation.
What is sensitive skin?
There’s a lot of debate about what exactly sensitive skin is and what causes it. You might have sensitive skin if your skin begins to itch or turn red after applying facial lotions or serums. Sensitive skin may also be exceptionally dry and flaky or easily break out in acne.
More common symptoms include:
- Peeling or flaking skin in patches
- Open sores
- Yellow crust on the skin
Why do some people have sensitive skin?
Sensitivity comes down to genetics. We’re each born with the beautiful skin we have, whether it’s sensitive, oily, dry, or combination. If you have a parent or close relative with sensitive skin, you’re more likely to have similar issues. However, anyone can develop skin sensitivities. Different types of sensitivities show up in different ways.
- Sensory hyperreactivity: This is a sensitivity to chemicals found in common skincare products, such as lactic acid or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Hyperreactivity may also show up as sensitivity to environmental factors or pollutants.
- Impaired barrier function: Your skin creates a barrier that balances the body’s moisture. Some people’s skin lets out too much moisture, leaving the skin dry and flaky.
- Allergic predisposition: If you’re prone to skin allergies, chances are your skin will be more sensitive to skincare products, from lotions and serums to makeup.
How to Care for Sensitive Skin (and What to Avoid)
The first step in caring for sensitive skin is finding a gentle moisturizer designed for your skin type. A lightweight moisturizer that’s designed for sensitive skin works best.
SkinResourceMD’s Oil Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer, for example, offers light moisturization that quickly absorbs into the skin and doesn’t leave it feeling greasy or oily. This formula contains natural antioxidants, including green tea and coffee berry to protect your skin from free radicals in the atmosphere. (Free radicals cause damage to the skin’s structure that leads to the visible signs of aging.) This blend is specifically designed for sensitive skin and skin that’s come under stress from medical procedures or sun damage.
The next most important product in your skincare lineup is a cleanser. Harsh cleansers with drying soaps strip the skin of its natural moisture. Our Total Facial Cleansing Gel is not only soap-free but it’s also packed with antioxidants and vitamins to nourish the skin while cleansing it. It works to retain the skin’s moisture to avoid over-drying.
Additional Products for Sensitive Skin
Once you’ve found a cleanser and moisturizer that work for your skin, you can start branching out into face masks, serums, and anti-wrinkle treatments. However, only use one new product at a time to see how your skin reacts.
What would you like to do for your skin? If you struggle with dry skin, try adding our Visibly Moist Toner. Cold weather can make it hard to stay ahead of dry skin, even with a good moisturizer. Adding a gentle toner designed to moisturize deep into the skin can take hydration to another level.
Don’t forget sun protection. Sun damage can make your skin even more sensitive than usual. Our Essential Solar Protector - Moisturizing Sunscreen is a physical sunscreen that’s sensitive skin and reef-safe.
Fighting wrinkles or uneven skin tone? Our Hyaluronic Moisture Boost Serum is gentle enough for sensitive skin and locks in the skin’s natural moisture. And, just because you have sensitive skin doesn’t mean you can’t correct uneven skin tone. Baobab Skin Correction Facial Cream evens skin tone, moisturizes, and gives the skin antioxidants and vitamins. Of course, it’s designed for sensitive skin, too.
What to Avoid
Watch out for heavy formulas or those that contain common irritants like glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acids. Anti-aging products with retinol can also easily trigger reactions in sensitive skin. Other common irritants to avoid include:
- Chemical sunscreens
- Exfoliants with large granules
Again, only try one new skin product at a time, so you know what product is irritating your skin.
Final Thoughts on Sensitive Skin
Skincare products that work with the unique chemistry of your skin will bring out the best in your protective barrier. Once you’ve found the right products, a dedicated, consistent skincare routine will prevent the dry patches, redness, and burning irritation that comes with sensitive skin. You’ll be left with glowing skin that you no longer have to worry about.