Chapter 3: What’s in my skincare? Good vs. bad ingredients explained

When it comes to picking the right skincare staples for you, the choice of products currently on the market can sometimes appear overwhelming. Read on for the lowdown on the best (and worst) ingredients for sensitive skin, so you can get the facts before switching up your daily routine.

Why should I care what’s in my skincare?

It goes without saying that we all want to take good care of our skin, regardless of whether or not we experience skin sensitivity. While we all understand the importance of eating a balanced diet and making sure our skin stays hydrated, having a good understanding of what goes into our skincare is crucial when it comes to protecting our skin. As we know, sensitive skin and allergic skin - while often experiencing similar symptoms - aren’t the same thing, so if you’re concerned that your skin is reacting to one ingredient in particular, it’s best to remove any suspect products from your skincare routine before reintroducing gradually. Vichy Aqualia Extrasensitive has been patch and prick tested to minimise the presence of irritants and potential allergens, focusing on Vichy Water (suitable for sensitive skin) and ultra-hydrating hyaluronic acid for effective skincare that doesn’t disrupt delicate skin’s natural balance.

Skincare sinners, skincare saviors

While symptoms of sensitive skin can vary depending on our age, lifestyle and genetics, there are a few ingredients women suffering from hypersensitivity should be wary of. Dermatologists tend to recommend avoiding products containing fruit acids, including harsh scrubs and facial peels, which can leave skin feeling tight, shiny and raw. Alcohol can leave skin feeling dry and stretched, stripping the skin’s natural barrier and leaving the epidermis more susceptible to bacteria. Products containing high levels of mineral oils, on the other hand, can clog pores, interfering with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins. Other ingredients that tend to irritate include retinol, as well as formulations containing high levels of artificial fragrance. To avoid destabilising already sensitive skin, it’s best to choose products that intensely hydrate skin without leaving skin feeling greasy or sticky. Women with very dry skin - who, as we’ve already seen, tend to report increased levels of skin sensitivity - should opt for formulas containing hydrating ingredients, such as vitamin-rich shea butter, to avoid unnecessary over-application.