skin care for sensitive skin
Skin Type Spotlight

Skin Type Spotlight: Sensitive Skin

November 6, 2020

In the final blog of this series, we’ll be looking into proper care for sensitive skin—how can you maintain the health of your skin if you have this skin type?

We’re now down to the final leg of our skin type spotlight series and today we’ll be looking at sensitive skin. How do you know if you have this skin type and how should you approach your skin care routine if you have sensitive skin? Read on to find out! 

What is the sensitive skin type?

People with sensitive skin aren’t necessarily the people with acne-prone skin. Sensitive skin is characterized by redness, a burning sensation, itching and dryness. It is different from the dry skin type in that these symptoms usually happen only as a reaction to your use of specific skin care products. 

People with sensitive skin will also show these symptoms if you have skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea. You’ll also show these symptoms if you are exposed to extreme elements, such as the sun, wind or excessive heat or cold. 

If you didn’t have sensitive skin before and you find yourself with these symptoms, it may have been caused by using products with ingredients that are too harsh for your skin. 

What should people with sensitive skin focus on?

If you suspect you have sensitive skin, the first thing you should do is to go to your dermatologist and they can run a patch test to confirm. You’ll then need to focus on building a skin care routine that’s non-irritating while avoiding triggers that may cause skin irritation. 

When choosing products, you should follow the dermatologists’ recommendation of staying away from “deodorant” products or products with fragrance. This is because products with fragrance normally use chemicals that are too harsh for sensitive skin. You’ll also want to choose products that only have a few ingredients—this reduces the chance of you having an adverse reaction to the product, and it also makes it easier for you to track which ingredients work for your skin and which ones to avoid.

Skin care tips for people with sensitive skin

If you have sensitive skin, you should consult your dermatologist before using products with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and retinol. These may be too strong for your skin and your dermatologist will tell you how to use them properly. 

For your skin care routine, keep these tips in mind: 

  1. Use a gentle, sulfate-free cleanser. Sulfates strip your skin of its natural barriers, which can worsen your skin’s sensitivity. Check the label and make sure sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate aren’t part of the ingredient list. 
  2. Choose an alcohol-free toner. Alcohol also dries out your skin, so stick to ingredients that help reduce inflammation. Chamomile, green tea, and white tea extract are known anti-inflammatory agents, for example. 
  3. Go fragrance-free with your moisturizer! Natural fragrances that come with certain ingredients are okay, but synthetic fragrances can trigger allergic reactions and irritation. Avoid moisturizers with alcohol and synthetic dyes as well. And remember to use moisturizers with humectants in them to seal the moisture in, since sensitive skin tends to be dry. A few examples of these are petroleum jelly, mineral oils and dimethicone. 
  4. Stick to a zinc oxide-based sunscreen. Out of the different sunscreen formulations, zinc oxide SPFs are known to be least irritating for sensitive skin. 

Remember to do skin tests before committing to a product as well. Just apply a little of the product behind an ear and leave it there overnight. If you don’t see redness, irritation or dryness, apply it to a small area near the corner of your eye and wait overnight. If you still don’t see irritation, that means you’re not sensitive to the product and you can add that safely to your routine. 

One of the best ways to make sure your skin isn’t irritated is to keep your routine simple—and that’s exactly what the SMACNE 30-Day Acne Kit is! Learn more about it and get your trial kit here. We’ve got more skin care series planned for you—sign up to get email notifications when our new blogs are out!

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