Tips on caring for sensitive skin
Sensitive skin is characterised by skin that reacts adversely to changes in the environment or to certain cosmetics. Those with sensitive skin can often testify that it's very difficult to predict what will upset your skin. Follow these skincare tips to help you care for your skin and manage its sensitivity.
- When moisturising sensitive skin, dampen your face very lightly before applying the cream. This small step can go a long way to reduce dryness and sensitivity
- Avoid products with fragrances and perfumes - sensitive skin can often have a reaction to these unnecessary ingredients
- Don't use soap on your face. It contains strong detergents and has a higher pH than is found in facial cleansers
- Also avoid cleansers that are antibacterial or contain alcohol. These are usually too harsh for sensitive skin
- Waterproof make up requires harsh solvents to remove it, so steer clear
- A simple rule of thumb is to look for products that contain less than 10 ingredients
- Limit the use of exfoliators and face masks. These can cause skin's upper surface to thin, making it more prone to sensitivity
- Keep an eye on the detergents you use on things that touch your face - such as towels and pillow cases. Most supermarkets stock detergent especially for sensitive skin
- Use a moisturiser or make up with SPF protection everyday - even in winter
- Naturally soothing ingredients include chamomile, grape seed, oats, aloe vera, green tea and rose extract
- Mineral-based make up can cause an allergic reaction, so carry out a patch test 24 hours before you apply it
How to test a new skincare product
If you have sensitive skin, it's a good idea to test all new skincare products or make up before you apply them to ensure that you don't have a negative reaction.
Apply a small amount of the product behind your ear and leave it on overnight. If there's any sign of redness or irritation, don't use the product.