It used to be combination skin, but now more and more people are reporting that they have sensitive skin. If you suffer from sensitive skin you’re likely to be very reactive to ingredients found in many skincare and makeup products, as well as weather conditions, hormones and stress.
I’ve had sensitive skins for years and have finally regulated it after testing dozens of products and speaking with beauty therapists and skin experts. Here are the best tips for looking after sensitive skin, and don’t forget to send in your remedies.
Look at the ingredients in your skincare and makeup
You don’t need to become a chemist, but there are certain ingredients you can look out for which commonly aggravate sensitive skin.
If you suffer from itchy eyes or skin, mica could be the culprit. It’s usually found in shimmery powders and eyeshadows so try eliminating anything with sparkle or glitter and see how you go.
Silicone is another ingredient that can clog pores, cause whiteheads and allergic reactions. Primers are a popular summertime product as they help to control shine, but most contain silicone.
Best Buy: Korres Certified Organic Primer, RRP $49.95
Find what works for you
It’s taken me years of trial and error to find the brands that work for me. This is how I’ve done it:
* Ask for a beauty consultation or sample sized product at the cosmetic counter. Even if they are out of samples, the consultants are usually happy to squirt a little product into a container for you. Don’t be shy – there’s no reason you should fork over good money for a product you don’t know will work for you. I always tell the consultant I have sensitive skin and need to give the product at least 24 hours before I can make a decision.
* Don’t think that cheaper, supermarket brands won’t work for you. My daily moisturiser is a supermarket staple and nothing else suits me skin, not even the beautiful, expensive creams I’ve sampled. Alternatively don’t assume that organic, natural skincare will be better for your skin. Ideally it would be great if that were the case, but I suffered huge irritations using an organic eyecream.
* Simplified my skincare and beauty routine. I used to love slapping lotions and potions on my skin, and was a sucker for every new makeup product that came on the market. But once I pared the routine back, I not only appreciated my new minimal makeup look (and the extra time I had not messing around in the bathroom every morning) but my skin glowed with good health.
* Try, try, try. There are so many products and brands out there! When mineral makeup hit the scene it was billed as a miracle for sensitive skin. I tried one brand, then another, and yet another, but they all made my skin itch badly while the makeup just sat on my skin looking cakey. Finally I tried Youngblood mineral makeup and it’s amazing. Keep looking and you will find a product that works for you.
Best Buy: Youngblood Mineral Loose Rice Setting Powder, about $45, is a cult product that you can wear simply over your moisturiser. It’s so finely milled you don’t feel like you’re wearing it, and it actually hydrates the skin while covering up pores and leaving your skin with an airbrushed finish.
Exfoliating your skin is a very important step to balancing your skin and making it glow. But there are hundreds of exfoliators on the market – from rough to fine to acid – which one is right for you?
I love exfoliators that are gentle enough to use daily or every other day, as it’s the best way to keep your skin thoroughly cleansed.
The most important tip when exfoliating is to be gentle! We tend to really scrub hard as we think this gets our skin super clean, but we’re actually doing more harm then good. My beauty therapist told me this action can scratch the skin microscopically, causing breakouts and roughness, as well as pushing the dirt and oil in deeper instead of lifting it off the surface of the skin. The key is to be gentle and lightly buff in circular motions for about 1 minute.
Best Buy: Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub, RRP $8.95, is a cheap and cheerful exfoliator that you can pick up at most supermarkets and chemists. The rice granules are gentle enough to use daily but effective in cleaning your skin thoroughly.
Go easy on the makeup!
Covering up skin conditions with makeup might be a quick fix, but it could be doing more harm than good. If you’ve got an area of skin you’re not happy with, makeup artists recommend you go over those areas with a light touch of concealer, building up to more coverage only if needed, instead of blanketing the skin with foundation.
Speak to a facialist
Treat yourself to a facial every 3 months (if not more often). I still have to remind myself to do this, as I never have the time. But when I do have a facial my skin feels younger, cleaner and healthier. Always go for a facial that includes a steam and extraction to really clean the skin. Don’t get suckered in to a beauty therapist who just wants to sell you product, find one that is serious about your skin’s wellbeing. My best tip is to ask for salon vouchers for birthdays and Christmas, that way you have no excuse!
Best Buy: Endota Organic Australian Rosehip Oil, RRP $23, is the first oil I’ve been able to use on my face, all the others have irritated my skin and clogged pores. My Endota spa beauty therapist recommended it to me and showed my how to use it properly (I pat it into my browline and eye socket line and it’s softened up fine lines around the eyes, and smells gorgeous!)
Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to hydrate your skin from the inside out. Not only will your skin become healthier, the extra hydration will help to regulate your sensitive skin.
If you have sensitive skin, which products work for you?