One of the questions I hear most often is "what's the best skincare for sensitive skin?" This doesn't surprise me at all: almost 45% of Americans have sensitive skin, and it's notoriously difficult to care for.
So what are the best choices to make if you deal with this problem? Here's my rundown of some of the best steps for taking great care of your sensitive skin.
The Best Skincare for Sensitive Skin
Step One - Understand Your Skin
Chances are you're well aware of the fact you have sensitive skin. What you might not be so aware of is what that really means for you. No two complexions are identical. Some things may set your skin off that don't bother someone else. That's why one of the best things you can do for your sensitive skin is understand it.
What sets your skin off? A few of the most common triggers are dehydration, sun exposure, hot water, lack of sleep, stress, air pollution, dry skin, hormonal changes, and chlorine. Some of these triggers you can avoid. Some you can't. Stay away from what you can and try to do damage control for the things you can't. Which brings me to step two..
Step Two - Create a Great Sensitive Skincare Routine
Let's be honest here: there's really no way to completely avoid everything that may set your skin off. That's why the best skincare for sensitive skin involves creating a killer skincare routine. Do you have one already? If you do and it's working for you, keep on keeping on. If not, try this one on for size:
Facial Cleanser: Use a natural facial cleanser (like Beauty by Earth's) to clear away grime without drying your skin. I love a cleanser with aloe vera for this: it'll nourish and soothe if you're dealing with a pesky outbreak.
Facial Toner: Keeping sensitive skin happy means keeping it in balance. A facial toner will help you do just that. Spritz on a toner with witch hazel after you cleanse your face to maintain freshness and balance. I love this natural toner one with Rose Water.
Moisturizer: Contrary to popular belief, sensitive skin loves oil. Natural oils, like coconut or olive, help your skin balance its natural oil production. A great oil control moisturizer can be the key to a well balanced, well moisturized complexion.
Eye Cream: Use a gentle eye cream once or twice a day to care for the sensitive skin around your eyes. A natural cream is the perfect way to wake up those peepers without exposing your skin to anything damaging.
Sunscreen: Am I going to talk about sunscreen again? Yes I am. No matter who you are, but especially if you have sensitive skin, a great facial sunscreen is a must-have part of your routine. A facial sunscreen will help protect you from flare-ups while reducing your risk of sunburn and premature aging. It's a no-brainer.
Step Three - Make the Switch
The biggest tip I can give you to achieve the best skincare for sensitive skin is to make a point to use natural products. Whether you're just starting out with a skincare routine or are trying to retool the one you already have, stay away from these enemies of sensitive skin:
- Parabens: These preservatives can easily irritate sensitive skin, especially if you have issues with eczema or psoriasis.
- Fragrance: You never know what chemicals are hiding behind the word "fragrance." Choose fragrance-free products to avoid something that may cause a flare-up.
- Chemical Sunscreen: Many of the ingredients used in chemical sunscreens are harsh on sensitive skin. Use a mineral sunscreen that sits on top of your skin instead. And make sure to choose reef safe.
- Surfactant: This chemical creates foam in many conventional skin care products. Unfortunately, it can also cause skin irritation.
Finally, I'd give this tip to anybody, but it's especially important when you have sensitive skin: whenever you try out a new product, test it on a small patch of skin first. Wait to see how you react before trying it on a larger area. Trust me: you can avoid a lot of discomfort this way!