Skin care routine for sensitive skin: 6 key steps
Written by Meena AzzolliniUpdated on 26 Sep 2022
Skin care routine for sensitive skin: 6 key steps
Written by Meena Azzollini.Updated at 26 Sep 2022
If you are prone to redness, itchy skin, blotchy patches, or if your skin gets irritated easily, then you probably have sensitive skin. People who experience eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, or allergic contact dermatitis also fall under this category. Sensitive skin is described as that type of skin that is “hyper-reactive to environmental factors”. This means that when people with sensitive skin come into contact with cosmetics, soaps, and sunscreens, or are exposed to a dry and cold climate, their skin flares up resulting in reactions like frequent itching, burning sensation, or reddish-brown patches. There is no standard treatment for sensitive skin. Options can range from the use of skin care products to dermatology treatments for more serious conditions (when at-home treatments don’t provide any relief).
Can Skin Care Help with Sensitive Skin?A good skin care routine is necessary for a youthful complexion and healthy skin, no matter what type of skin you have—dry, oily, combination, or sensitive skin. However, if you have sensitive skin, you need to be more careful about what you can put on your face and body. One of the best ways to manage and soothe your sensitive skin at home is to use a skin care routine with the right products and regimen. These products are specifically formulated for sensitive skin, keeping your skin calm, balanced, and non-irritated. The products are usually fragrance-free and don’t contain any potential allergens or irritants.
Best Ingredients for Sensitive SkinWith sensitive skin, it’s difficult to know which products will affect you and cause a reaction. That’s why it’s a good idea to know what ingredients work best for sensitive skin and which ones to avoid. Sensitive skin needs soothing products that strengthen your skin, making it less reactive and more capable of coping with irritants. Here are some ingredients best suited for sensitive skin:
Aloe VeraThis succulent is known for its hydrating and soothing properties and is used in facial cleansers and moisturizers. Aloe vera’s cooling properties are useful for sunburn and mild irritation. It helps soothe redness, infection, itchiness, and rash, making it a valuable ingredient for eczema. It is also helpful in healing wounds and reducing scars, as it boosts collagen production while fighting bacteria. Because of its anti-inflammatory effects, aloe vera can be used for acne, psoriasis, and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Green TeaGreen tea has a range of therapeutic properties and can nourish and hydrate the skin. It is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals and slows the signs of aging. According to research, it can also help repair DNA damage caused by the sun’s harmful UV rays, thus protecting your skin from cancer. Because of the high content of polyphenols in green tea, it has strong anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce irritation, swelling, and redness. Studies also show that it is a beneficial ingredient for psoriasis, dermatitis, and rosacea.
Hyaluronic AcidYour body naturally produces hyaluronic acid which is found in your hair and skin. Known for its anti-aging and skin-nourishing properties, it can be used for any skin type, especially for sensitive skin, as it does not cause irritation. It also protects the skin from free radicals, helps repair damaged skin, and can help heal wounds. Hyaluronic Acid is commonly used in moisturizers as a humectant, as it holds large volumes of water and helps hydrate the outer layers of the skin. However, dermatologists recommend staying away from any product with over two percent concentration of hyaluronic acid, as it can cause irritation and dryness.
GlycerinThis is a naturally occurring compound in the body, but when used in skin care, it is derived from plants. Glycerin is generally safe to use on all skin types and unlikely to cause any irritation. It is a humectant and draws moisture into the outer layers of the skin, keeping the top layers of your skin hydrated. This means it relieves dry and dehydrated skin provided you are using diluted glycerin and not pure glycerin on your skin. This skin-replenishing ingredient keeps your skin calm and reduces redness and irritation and is a gentle ingredient for sensitive skin.
Laminaria SaccharinaLaminaria saccharina extract is derived from yellow/brown algae and is a rich source of carotenoids and polysaccharides, making it a good antioxidant and anti-aging ingredient. Good for sensitive skin, Laminaria saccharina improves skin hydration, helps to regulate the function of the sebaceous glands, and has the potential to improve superficial skin imperfections.
Edelweiss ExtractEdelweiss extract is a plant extract and another excellent ingredient for sensitive skin. It contains skin-calming polyphenols and has antioxidant benefits besides being antibacterial, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and anti-blemish. Edelweiss extract also contains leontopodic acid, a compound that strengthens the skin’s barriers and reduces sensitivity, making your skin more resistant to airborne pollutants and other environmental irritants.
CeramidesCeramides are a class of fatty acids called lipids and are naturally found in skin cells, making up nearly 50% of the outer layer of your skin. They form a protective barrier, preserving moisture and keeping your skin from dryness and irritation. Ceramides also protect your skin from environmental aggressors and help repair the bonds in the outer layer of the skin so that it is less irritated.
Other ingredients that may be helpful for sensitive skin are:
- Vitamin E
- Chamomile extract
- Shea butter
- Olea europaea (derived from olive oil)