(Note: this is only from my understandings as a makeup artist/skin consultant. I have no medical qualifications)
Oh, you poor, sensitive soul! Sensitive skin can be an absolute nightmare, as lots of people out there know, including myself. It doesn’t have to be a burden though; there’s plenty of things you can do to make sure that your skincare regime gives you the TLC you need and doesn’t leave your skin stinging and burning. There is no singular cause of sensitive skin; and therefore there is no one universal answer to solve the issue. However, here is a little list of helpful tips to help you calm and soothe your skin.
Q) Do I have sensitive skin?
Does your skin sting, burn or itch when you try new products or certain product ranges? Is your skin generally easily irritated? Can certain products trigger breakouts for you? Does applying/taking off makeup multiple times a day aggravate your skin? If you answered yes to any of this, then this might be you.
Q) What causes sensitivity?
Thinner skin, medication and hormones, allergies, over-abrasive products and environmental causes can all be causes of sensitivity. Think back to when you’ve had a reaction in the past, and try and link it to one of the above. Recognising the trigger will help in preventing the reaction.
Q) What skincare should I use?
The simpler the better! With sensitive skin, it is far better to use fewer, quality products which you trust than trying to overload your skin with remedies. The more products you use, the more your skin may react. Bare your skin type (oily/dry/combination) in mind, but think minimalist in the products you buy. Also, look at the ingredients. Personally, I like using more natural skincare rather than high-tech skincare on my sensitive skin.
My skincare regime is:
Morning: Warm water to cleanse and a calming, balancing day moisturiser
Night: Oil cleanser, (toner if I can be bothered) eye cream, oil/serum
Try and avoid over-exfoliating, and also try and avoid doing too many intensive masks or treatments. At the most, stick to once a week.
Q) What ingredients are good for sensitive skin?
Aloe vera, rose, lavender, chamomile, calendula, and calamine are all soothing and calming for irritated skin. Honey, oats and oat milk are also very soothing (oats have traditionally been used to treat eczema).
Try and avoid products with high alcohol content or salt-based cleansers (sulphates).
Q) What makeup is good for sensitive skin?
This is a difficult one, but you really do get what you pay for when it comes to makeup quality. For sensitive skin, it is important that you don’t use any old thing as poorer quality products could cause you to react. Do a bit of research before you invest, however; read reviews online and see what others think of the product you are interested in. This should save you wasting your money. On the other hand, you don’t have to fork out loads for a whole new makeup bag; I have found Bourjois and Maxfactor to be nice cheaper brands for sensitive skin. If you invest in one thing, get yourself a quality foundation as this has to go over the largest area of your face. Secondly, prioritise mascara, as your eyes can be the most sensitive part of your face.