Words: Emily Venables
Do you find that your skin can become irritated all year round now? Not just in winter? The smallest trigger may set our skin’s PH balance off and cause flareups. This leaves our skin feeling sensitive to touch, which can be really unpleasant!
Redness, rosacea and eczema are just a few signs of sensitive skin and it’s important to treat it differently to if you had combination, oily or dry skin.
Feel like you may have one or more of these symptoms? Don’t panic, you’re not the only one; up to 52% of people have experienced sensitive skin. If you fall into this category, read on for the solutions that could help.
Causes of Sensitive Skin
There’s an extensive list of reasons as to why you have or are experiencing some sensitivity with your skin. Mostly, it will be down to your skin’s natural barrier being disturbed from a variety of factors such as a change in temperature, pollution, sun exposure as well as too many late nights and stress. During winter, it is important to keep your skin hydrated with a good skincare routine. Also, try not to scratch or touch the area that’s causing you issues as this can make you even more sensitive.
Cleansing Your Skin
Whether you’re washing your face, removing your makeup or cleansing while in the shower, it is important to use a gentle, soap-free cleanser on your skin and use water that is mild in temperature. A product that foams or turns into a milky texture will help lift off your makeup, dirt, and grime with ease so there’s no need to scrub or rub. You can either wash your face for a second time, known as a double cleanse, but this may dry the skin out if you don’t use the right product so use micellar water or milky cleanser on a cotton pad and sweep over your face and neck to remove any remaining makeup.
A deeply moisturising or nourishing mask can help restore the skin’s natural barrier and calm irritation in an instant. We find keeping something like this in the fridge when our skin feels particularly irritated helps soothe the skin and an added calming effect. Applying a thick layer of moisturiser can have the same nourishing properties that a mask can have should you not have one available.
Applying a serum before moisturiser isn’t a ploy for skincare counters to make you buy unnecessary products, but they can amplify the levels of moisture you’re putting back into your skin. Let the serum sink into your skin for 10-15 minutes before you apply your moisturiser, as this will ensure it reaches your various dermis levels.
Overloading your skin with heavy foundations can cause unnecessary irritation too. Switching to a BB (beauty balm) or CC (correct and cover) cream, and just using a concealer where required, will not only give you a healthy glow but your skin will thank you for it too!
To prevent further irritation, pay special attention to the expiration dates on your makeup. You’ll usually see it in the symbol of an open tub with a number inside - from 3M, 6M, 12M and so on. This tells you how long you should use it from when it’s opened in terms of months.
Don’t Forget Your Body
There may seem like there is never enough time to apply moisturiser all over the body, but if you can spare a few minutes just before bed then your skin will greatly benefit from it! Applying it just before you sleep allows your body plenty of time to let it sink in.
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