Having sensitive skin means you have to take care of it, not choose to take care of it like those with other skin types. Having a good skincare routine means that, yes, your skin will be healthier and more beautiful, but for us unlucky few, it also means that inflammation will be kept to a minimum.
While it will probably be okay if those with sensitive skin skipped their daily skincare routine every now and then, it is a must especially after having reactions since it will help soothe and repair your face faster. However, what goes into the best skincare routine to do every day when you have sensitive skin?
The last thing you want to do in the morning is agitated your skin. The redness your sow in the morning, well, you reap it all day. The same goes for soothing nourishment, but there are a few things like the environment and cosmetics that can ruin that. The morning regiment is all about prepping your skin to be beautiful for the day as well as helping it endure any irritants.
A Gentle Cleanser – Even if you cleansed your face the night before, it needs it in the morning as well just like normal skin. As you sleep, you shed skin cells and other bits of grime that need to be removed. Washing your face is like starting the day with a clean canvas. However, the cleanser itself needs to be gentle as does any scrubbing. Essentially, you want to find a morning cleanser with natural ingredients, and only a few of them.
Alcohol-Free Toner – You cleaned those pores, don’t let them get dirty again by leaving them wide open. For other skin types, it is a good way to get blackheads and blemishes, for us, it is a good way to get irritation. However, the alcohol that normally tones up skin isn’t helpful. Instead, choose one with no alcohol and anti-inflammatory ingredients like green tea or chamomile like the green tea toner made by the Nature Republic.
Fragrance-Free Moisturizer – Even if you have sensitive and oily skin, moisturizing is still important. However, your morning moisturizer is not only one of your skin’s first lines of defense, but it should also be helping to nourish it. For some, using moisturizer may also help protect against irritating ingredients. Of course, since it is absorbing into your skin, natural is better, but it should also be a quality moisturizer as well like this light, brightening natural moisturizer.
A Gentle SPF – For some, the typical zinc oxide SPFs are irritating. They need to us an alternative. If you are thinking about skipping the SPF, just remember that if your skin is sensitive, it can be irritated just by being in the sun too long. However, what you don’t want is a chemical-filled SPF or a really thick, greasy feeling one either. You might also think you can skip this step if you use a foundation or tinted moisturizer that includes SPF as so many do these days, and you can, but dermatologists don’t recommend it since we don’t apply those things as liberally as dedicated SPF products so coverage can be spotty. As to if you should use one or the other, it is a choice for you to make. If you do decide to go the tinted moisturizer route and want one that doesn’t trigger zinc allergies, look into the Hydrating Gel Cream by bareMinerals that we recently reviewed.
The night-time regimen is all about removing the grime and makeup of the day in a gentle way that hopefully doesn’t need to involve aggressive scrubbing. Your skin, especially easily irritated skin, needs time to breathe naturally. Furthermore, if you did have any irritation, your skin uses the time you spend sleeping to heal, so you want to give it some soothing nourishment to help it out a bit.
Micellar Makeup Remover – Why micellar water instead of any other kind of makeup remover? Well, have you ever wondered how models at fashion week don’t have irritated skin after changing their makeup several times a day? Micellar water is the most thorough and least irritating way to strip off cosmetics. Gentle and effective, what could be better?
A Gentle Cleanser – Micellar water may be effective at removing cosmetics, but it doesn’t get everything, especially on a deeper level. For your night-time cleanser it is fine to use the same cleanser as you do in the morning, just don’t be tempted to scrub.
Fragrance-Free Moisturizer – Like the cleanser, it is just fine to use your morning moisturizer at night. However, remember that your skin uses your sleeping hours to refresh and recover. It might be good to choose a moisturizer with skin-enriching ingredients for this time, like the specially-formulated night moisturizer by Purely Mee that’s packed with natural and organic ingredients to nourish sensitive skin. No matter which moisturizer you use, you should be sure to massage it in very thoroughly so that it is completely absorbed.
Weekly or As Needed
There are a number of things that you can’t do as frequently with sensitive skin, like microdermabrasion, for example. However, if you double the time between these practices, you can do many of the same beauty practices as those with normal skin. That being said, if you do suffer some irritation, there are steps you need to take, but you don’t always need to go to such lengths, there are ways to fight off minor irritation.
Lactic Acid Exfoliate – Don’t let anyone tell you differently, all skin types shed skin, thus all skin types need to exfoliate. What you should remember is that you shouldn’t exfoliate via aggressive washing, harsh scrubs, and exfoliating shouldn’t be done every day. Sensitive skin, as always, demands a gentle touch and lactic acid is one of the most gentle exfoliates around. Lactic acid products should be your go-to choice for weekly exfoliating. Avoid lactic acid peels and treat serums with caution, many involve several other potentially irritating acids. I recommend this soothing lactic acid exfoliating mask by Herbvana.
Gel Masks – Do you have some minor irritation? It is distinctly possible that it will heal overnight, but also it might not. If you don’t want to take the chance and you want some relief from red, itching, and possibly burning skin, use a gel mask like the award-winning chamomile and shea butter-enriched gel mask by nügg. Unlike other masks, gel masks run much cooler naturally. This makes them extraordinarily soothing on irritation. These can be left on overnight, but do remember, your skin needs to breathe too, so they are not an every night affair.