Six Sensitive Skin Tips 2022
When you have sensitive skin, life can generally be hard. From dealing with bad reactions to never knowing what or when a skincare product will leave your complexion red, dry, and burning. Navigating the whole skincare thing is definitely no walk in the park for this volatile skin type.
According to dermatologists, sensitive skin can describe everything from redness to dryness to itchiness and breakouts -- symptoms that typically occur in response to makeup or skincare products. Those who have skin conditions like rosacea or eczema are also considered to have sensitive skin.
Wondering how to keep your temperamental skin happy this year? Here are six strategies for keeping your sensitive skin chill in 2022.
#1: Test First, Apply Second
If you have sensitive skin, you shouldn't apply any new products without testing them first. Always test a small amount of the new product on the inside of your arm or jawline overnight. When you wake up, you'll be able to see how your skin has reacted to the product. Are you seeing or feeling redness, flaking, or burning? If yes, steer clear of the product to avoid any further irritation. If not, that's a good sign the product is gentle enough and your skin will tolerate it.
#2: Swap Soap for a Gentle Cleanser
Soaps may be a traditional way of cleansing away dirt and impurities, but unfortunately, most of them are way too harsh and drying -- particularly for sensitive skin.
To keep your skin soothed and happy, swap out soap for a gentle facial cleanser. Follow by applying a lightweight face moisturizer to help strengthen the top layer of your skin, followed by sunscreen.
Cleansing is an essential element in any skincare routine, but it's one of the most difficult steps when you have sensitive skin. Many soaps and face washes can strip the skin of natural oils, leaving it dry, itching, and vulnerable to further irritation.
Cleanse your face once a day -- in the evening -- and only ever use a gentle formula.
#3: Avoid Over-Washing and Exfoliating
One of the best things you can do when you have sensitive skin is to do as little as possible. Sensitive skin likes simplicity. It cannot tolerate harsh exfoliants or 12-step routines. For the sake of your skin, stick to a simple routine that doesn't involve too much washing or exfoliating.
"The skin does a surprisingly good job of staying clean naturally without the need for harsh cleansers, exfoliation, and scrubbing," says Jamie B. MacKelfresh, M.D., associate professor in the department of dermatology at Emory University School of Medicine. "Washing just once a day with plain water or water and a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser is enough."
It's also important not to over-exfoliate, either. Besides directly irritating the skin, exfoliating too much thins the protective skin barrier, allowing irritating chemicals to penetrate more easily. Exfoliating once a week with a gentle chemical exfoliant like Rainbow's Glow Serum is plenty. It's made with glycolic acid and bakuchiol to buff away dead skin cells, unclog pores, and leave skin clear and bright.
#4: Stop Touching Your Skin
The eyes are one of the first places for people to develop skin allergies -- and they're not always caused by eye cream.
"People get allergens on their fingers — nail polish and gold and nickel in jewelry are common culprits — and then rub their eyes," says Emmy Graber, M.D., a dermatologist at Boston University School of Medicine. "You may not have a reaction on the thick skin on your hands but may develop one in the delicate eye area."
And the fix? Keep your hands off your face!
#5: Always Read Labels
The best way to manage your sensitive skin is to avoid the ingredients that trigger your sensitivity. Some common irritants include fragrances, dyes, and parabens. So, look for products that are fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and dye-free.
To prevent uncomfortable flareups, it's also important to check the ingredients list of your cleansers, toners, night creams, and lotions for active ingredients that might potentially irritate your skin. Retinol is one of the biggest culprits, next to alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic, lactic acid) and beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid).
As great as these are for treating issues like fine lines, dark spots, and acne, they're potent ingredients that may leave your skin dry, red, and irritated. If you're going to use them, speak to your derm beforehand on proper practices for your skin type. Alternatively, seek out products made with more sensitive skin-friendly ingredients like aloe, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, glycerin, ceramides, and shea butter.
Try our Hydrate Bundle -- a face mask and serum made with hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to hydrate dry skin, plump out creases, and leave skin glowing.
#6: Wear SPF Daily
Sun protection is vital for all skin types. However, irritable skin tends to be extra-sensitive to the sun, which is why wearing sunscreen year-round with SPF 30 is all the more important. Choose sunscreens that contain physical active ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, as these are less likely to cause a reaction than chemical sunscreens.
Wearing sunscreen daily has multiple benefits. It protects your skin from sensitivity, serves as an anti-aging tool to prevent the breakdown of collagen, and promotes healthy skin that glows.
In the new year, make it a priority to apply sunscreen daily 20 minutes before leaving the house.
We know living with sensitive skin can be challenging. From never knowing what's going to cause a flareup to feeling confusion over which products to use, sensitive skin types don't have it easy. The best thing you can do is manage it -- using the tips above.
If you're still unsure whether or not you have sensitive skin, speak to your dermatologist for a diagnosis. They'll be able to tell you whether you have it, and what you can do to treat it. They can also help you eliminate likely triggers, prescribe medicines to reduce inflammation, and suggest in-office treatments that might help.