How to Soothe and Protect Your Sensitive Skin

How to Soothe and Protect Your Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is quick to react and can easily become red, tight, itchy or flaky. It requires gentle handling and can be unforgiving if treated with the wrong skincare products. So, finding the right balance of nourishing and protecting your skin can be a constant challenge. But with proper care and attention, you can calm your delicate skin. Today, we’ll show you exactly how to protect your sensitive skin. 

How Does Sensitive Skin Look Like?

Sensitive skin often appears red, flushed, or blotchy and may feel tight, itchy, or stinging, especially after using certain products or being exposed to sun and other environmental factors. You could associate this sensitivity with multiple factors, such as genetics, skin conditions, and certain ingredients in skincare & cosmetic products.

So, what are the common triggers for sensitive skin?

The triggers for sensitive skin can be categorised depending on the underlying cause of sensitive skin, such as irritant contact dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, or eczema. Knowing your triggers can help you take better care of your sensitive skin.

Irritant contact dermatitis triggers:

  • Prolonged exposure to heat or hot water
  • Soaps, beauty products, hand sanitisers, solvents, laundry detergents, or anything that can damage the skin’s outer layer 

Allergic contact dermatitis triggers:

  • Preservatives and fragrances in soaps, beauty products, and laundry detergents
  • Certain plants, such as poison ivy, oak, and sumac
  • Prolonged exposure to heat or hot water
  • Jewellery made from certain metals, such as nickel
  • Rubber, latex, and adhesives

Eczema triggers:

  • Certain food items, including dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, and wheat
  • Preservatives and fragrances in soaps, beauty products, and laundry detergents
  • Hot or cold weather, humidity, and sweat

Other potential triggers for sensitive skin:

  • Harsh soaps that strip the skin of moisture
  • Frequent hand washing
  • Very cold or hot temperatures
  • Exposure to heat or hot water

Caring for Sensitive Skin Naturally

Knowing your triggers is the first step to protecting your sensitive skin. The next step is being mindful and proactive about soothing, caring and treating it. A gentle, natural approach to skincare is often the best way to go. Incorporate soothing ingredients like chamomile and aloe vera into your routine to calm inflammation and reduce redness. Also, avoid harsh scrubbing or exfoliating as it can further irritate the skin.

Since heat and sun exposure can often trigger sensitive skin, you must also protect your sensitive skin from the sun. Use a broad-spectrum, mineral-based sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and reapply every two hours or more frequently if you’re outdoors, sweating or swimming and towelling off repeatedly. 

Soothing Sensitive Skin with the Right Products

We can’t stress this enough: you have to be extra careful when shopping for cosmetics and skincare products if you have sensitive skin. Look for products containing organic ingredients. Calming ingredients like ceramides, niacinamide, and colloidal oatmeal can help strengthen the skin’s barrier and reduce sensitivity.

What not to use on sensitive skin?

Steer clear of products with harsh chemicals, such as retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and certain fragrances, as these can trigger flare-ups and exacerbate sensitivity. To guide you better, here are some common ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin:

  • Fragrances and Perfumes: Artificial fragrances and perfumes can be extremely irritating for those with sensitive skin, often causing redness, itching, and allergic reactions.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol-based products can be drying. Plus, they can disrupt your sensitive skin’s natural moisture barrier, leading to further irritation.
  • Sulphates: Harsh detergents like sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate can cause dryness and irritation, especially for sensitive skin.
  • Parabens: Preservatives like parabens have been associated with skin irritation and allergic reactions in some individuals with sensitive skin.
  • Artificial Dyes: Synthetic colours and dyes in skincare products may trigger sensitivity and allergic responses in those with delicate skin.
  • Abrasive Exfoliants: Harsh, granular exfoliants can be too aggressive for sensitive skin, causing further irritation and damage.
  • Chemical Sunscreens: Some chemical sunscreen ingredients, like oxybenzone, can irritate sensitive skin, making mineral-based sunscreens a better option.
  • Mineral Oil and Petrolatum: These occlusive ingredients can be comedogenic and lead to breakouts in those with sensitive, acne-prone skin.

How to Create a Skincare Routine for Sensitive Skin

You can go the extra mile and create a skincare routine that works for you. Here are some tips on how to protect sensitive skin while caring for it, day in and day out. 

Use Gentle, Fragrance-Free Products

As mentioned, pick gentle, non-irritating cleansers, toners, and moisturisers when shopping for skincare products. Avoid fragrances, alcohol, and harsh chemicals. Be proactive in looking for products containing calming, anti-inflammatory ingredients. 

Prioritise Hydration

Incorporate hydrating, non-comedogenic moisturisers to support and strengthen your skin’s natural barrier. It can also help prevent dryness, itchiness and flakiness. 

Avoid Harsh Exfoliation

If you want to include exfoliation into your routine, pick gentle, physical or chemical exfoliants with low concentrations of acids to avoid over-stripping the skin.

Protect Sensitive Skin from Sun Exposure

Apart from using mineral sunscreen and reapplying it frequently, you can consider using SPF moisturisers and other skincare products infused with sunscreen. Doing so makes it easier to incorporate sun protection into your daily skincare routine.

Introduce New Products Slowly

When adding new products to your routine, introduce them one at a time and monitor your skin’s reaction to avoid further irritation. Adjust your routine accordingly to find skincare products and techniques that work best for your skin’s unique needs. 

Bonus tip: If you have sensitive skin due to eczema, check out our insightful post: Relief for Sensitive Skin: Gentle Skincare Routine for Eczema-Prone Individuals

Summing It Up

Everyone’s skin is unique; it may take some trial and error to find the right routine that works for your sensitive skin. But by incorporating these tips and listening to your skin’s needs, you can achieve a healthy, radiant glow while keeping sensitivity at bay. 

To make your search for the right products easier, we’ve created collections for different skin types and fill our offerings only with natural skincare products. Most of our products are derived from nourishing Dead Sea minerals and other gentle, organic ingredients, like aloe vera & chamomile. Browse our shop today. 

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