Sensitive skin survival guide: 5 key tips

So, is your skin prone to oversensitivity? No need to overcomplicate things - a few key tips from the experts are all you need to get started. Take a look at our five commandments of looking after sensitive skin. (Feel free to cut out and keep.)

Your skin type: know it

If you suffer from sensitive skin, you’ll know how important it is to pay attention to skincare claims. However, that doesn’t mean that you should ignore your skin type when choosing products to help calm sensitive skin! Women with very dry skin are more prone to suffering from symptoms linked to oversensitivity, but oily and combination skin can also experience negative reactions when confronted with common triggers. As a general rule, it’s best to look for products that provide lasting hydration without leaving skin feeling greasy or oily, while avoiding harsher, alcohol-based scrubs.

Cleansing: do it properly

Sensitive skin can result in weakened barrier functions, inhibiting skin’s ability to fight off external aggressors, so it’s key to make sure your skin is properly cleansed and hydrated. If your sensitive skin is prone to oiliness, invest in a gentle, alcohol-free makeup remover to ensure pores don’t end up clogged. When it comes to dry or dehydrated skin, consider trying a micellar water if foaming cleansers tend to irritate your complexion. Gentler water-based products are a great option for skin that doesn’t have a lot of love for traditional cleansers/toners, as it doesn’t strip skin of its natural oils.

Product ingredients: understand them

Now that your skin’s prepped and ready for action, it’s time to take a look at what’s inside your bathroom cabinet. We’ve already mentioned the importance of taking into account your skin type when adapting your routine for sensitive skin, but how much do you really know about the best and worst ingredients for sensitive skin, as well as the importance of choosing hypoallergenic formulations? Skin that’s prone to reactions needs to take extra care when it comes to hygiene, so read up on how best to look after your skincare purchases.

Skincare: don’t overapply

When taking care of sensitive skin, dermatologist Dr. Nina Roos tells us that the simpler your skincare regime is, the better. If in doubt, try and choose products that offer long-lasting hydration and soothing effects, eliminating the need to reapply throughout the day. Switching up products too frequently may increase the risk of using a product not adapted to you skin increase. So if you’re considering changing your daily routine, it’s best to introduce or remove products one by one to identify the problem instead of making it worse.

SPF: don’t forget it

We know, you’ve heard it a million times before - but if you suffer from sensitive skin, it’s even more important to protect your skin from triggers linked to your immediate environment. One of the hallmarks of sensitive or easily upset skin is an altered or weakened barrier function (the protective shield that guards against sun and pollution damage). When used daily, sun protection works hand in hand with good hydration to reinforce this protective barrier for maximum protection against UV rays - so don’t forget your sunscreen!