The Ultimate Skincare Guide for Sensitive Skin

Beauty & Style

Finding skin care products for sensitive skin can prove to be quite a challenge. Sometimes skin care is labelled to be for sensitive skin, but it really is an irritating product. Hopefully this article will help you understand how to find products for sensitive skin and also how to take care of sensitive skin.

Know Your Skin

First of all, it is important to know your skin type. Is it oily, a combination, or dry? All three of these skin types can experience sensitivity, so this is the first step in determining what products to buy. Here is a simple test to find your skin type if you are unsure: Wash your face with a cleanser, dry, and then wait 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, use a blotting paper on your face. If the paper collects a lot of oil, your skin is oily. If it collects oil in certain areas but not others, you may have a combination skin. If it collects a little oil and your skin feels tight, then you most likely have dry skin.

If you have oily sensitive skin, you will want to avoid products that are pore clogging. You will want to invest in a lightweight moisturizer and also use a toner to absorb extra oil. If you have dry sensitive skin, you want to steer clear of harsh alcohols that could be lurking in astringent toners and you may want to buy fragrance-free products.

It is equally important to find your skin type of the Fitzpatrick scale to identify how your skin will react to sun exposure. Here is a link to an article about finding your skin type on the scale and why that is important, and what it will mean to you.

Note: Never forget to moisturize! Although it may be counterintuitive if you have oily skin, depriving your skin of a much needed moisturizer after cleansing could actually make your oiliness worse and cause your skin to over-produce oils.

Research Ingredients

Researching ingredients is a fundamental process in better understanding how your skin-care products work, and it can help you with choosing the best products for your skin problem. Knowing ingredients is also really helpful, because then you don't have to rely on other people's reviews of the product, the label and its claims, or the price to dictate how effective it will be. I learned the majority of my skin-care knowledge from Cassandra Bankson, a devoted skin-care youtuber and esthetician. Here is a great older video she has on her YouTube channel about learning how to read skin-care labels.

Test Products First

If you have extremely sensitive skin, it is important to do a patch test first. This is especially important if you are using a product with strong active ingredients (for example, a chemical exfoliator). Apply a skin care product to the inside of your wrist or behind your ear, and then wait a few hours to see if you have a reaction.

Keep it Simple

Simplicity is key. You don't need a 10-step skincare routine for it to be effective. Really, you only need SPF, a cleanser, and moisturizer. Adding too many different products to your routine could potentially worsen your sensitivity. If you are unsure of what products to buy, a brand like CeraVe is straightforward, simple, and effective.

Use Products Designed for Your Skin

Consider buying products labeled "hypoallergenic". This label means that the ingredients in this skin product will avoid causing an allergic reaction. These products will be less likely to trigger sensitivity a person may experience when using a skin care product.

What to Avoid:

Fragrance. A little bit of fragrance is okay, as the ingredient should not be seen as the cause to all sensitivity. However, heavily fragranced products can cause extreme irritation and sensitivity. Therefore, it may be helpful to search for fragrance-free skin care products. One brand that does not contain fragrance in their products is The Inkey List.

Sun exposure is also important to limit in order to prevent sensitivity, especially if you are on the lower end of the Fitzpatrick Scale. Always remember to use sun protection, no matter your skin type. It is important to use sunscreen every day in order to prevent higher skin sensitivity and skin cancers that could come up in the future. One sunscreen brand I would recommend is Supergoop. Their brand sells a variety of different types of sunscreen that will not leave a white cast or a greasy feel.

Hopefully these tips will help you find a way to manage your skin sensitivity and find products that will work for you.

Lucia Mckinnon
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Lucia Mckinnon is an aspiring writer who lives in Hawaii. When she is not reading or writing, you can find her hanging out with her bird, beekeeping, or in ballet class.