We’re back! And this time we’ve got you a rule book you can blindly follow if you have sensitive skin. But before we get into the rules, how do you know if your skin is sensitive? Unlike dry and oily skin, there are no standalone visible signs of sensitive skin.
You know you have sensitive skin when…
- Even the most-accepted skin care products sting when you use them.
- Your skin feels uncomfortable applying even the most popular & recommended products.
- You get dry patches in summer and even the gentlest cleanser gives you pimples in winter.
- Your skin tends to get red for no reason.
- Your BFF’s favourite skincare picks leave you with a break out.
If you nodded YES to one or more of these scenarios- you indeed have sensitive skin.
Even though sensitive skin responds differently from person to person, there are some DO’s and DON’Ts, which are common to everyone with this skin type. So here are the 10 Commandments that you can trust if you have Sensitive Skin:
- Go for Hypo allergenic, well tested products. Before using any product (and especially those which are overly oily or sticky in feel), do a quick patch test of the product on your forearm or behind your ears.
- While picking soaps, face washes and leave-on products, avoid products with strong fragrances. Avoid commonly known unsafe ingredients like parabens and ethyl alcohol. Also, if you have oily skin, say no to products which have comodegenic ingredients (click here to read about comedogenic ingredients).
- Don’t go for products which give a magical matte effect, because they're likely to contain silicones. Yes your fingers will love the silicone-soft feel, but your facial skin can react to certain silicones, synthetic fragrances and colours.
- Remember, it's not just chemicals that sensitive skin can be allergic to. Even natural ingredients can cause allergies but some natural ingredients are generally safe for all - like Aloe Vera, which has skin healing properties, Vit–E rich sunflower seed oil, Glycerine etc. When in doubt, patch test!
- Avoid using soap on your face at any cost, and never rub your face hard while lathering face wash. Also always pat your skin dry, don’t rub it hard with a towel.
- When using a cleansing lotion, use a slightly moist soft cotton or just rinse it with water and pat dry with a soft towel. Cleansing Lotion is generally preferred if you have dry-sensitive skin.
- If your skin is oily-sensitive, avoid alcohol-based products. Instead, go for natural astringent-based products. Green Tea, Tea tree oil and willow bark are good natural astringents which have anti-inflammatory properties. No-more redness! Go for a toner which has mild and safe exfoliating agents (eg. lactic acid or glycolic acid). However, remember to first try products with a lower percentage of exfoliators and then adjust depending on how your skin reacts to it.
- While applying moisturiser, sunscreen or Night crème follow the 5- dot formula. Always spread gently in small circular motion, upward-outward. Never rub your face hard with back and forth motion.
- Go for products containing natural actives like ylang ylang oil, which soothes the skin and controls sebum (extra oil) and plant-derived oils like coconut oil (as opposed to mineral oil). Glycerine, shea butter and Cocoa Butter are again great for moisturisation and are good anti-oxidants that are suitable for sensitive skin.
- While picking a sunscreen, look for titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in the ingredient list. Never use more than SPF 30, as higher the SPF, more the comodogenic ingredients. SPF 15 gives 93% protection, SPF 30 97% and SPF 50 gives 98%. No point going for a higher SPF, it will end up irritating your skin.
That’s all we’ve got for you today. Remember to listen to your skin, take good care of it and do all you can to keep it happy!
Until next time, ciao!
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