Tips for sensitive skin
Suffering from any kind of skin sensitivity is a pain. Most of us have come across this problem at one stage or another throughout our life. If you haven’t, count yourself as one of the lucky ones! Sensitive skin is pretty common. It doesn’t count as a medical condition on its own but what it means is that your skin might be more prone to inflammation or breakouts than the average person. The cause can be different for everyone and it doesn’t always mean that there’s an underlying medical issue. It can be a result of coming into contact with something you’re allergic to or doesn’t react well with you. For example certain fabrics, foods, skincare ingredients, weather etc. But often it can actually be an indication of an underlying issue.
What are the possible underlying causes of sensitivity?Some of us have a natural disposition to sensitivity after exposure to certain things as we mentioned above. If your sensitive skin isn’t a reaction to something or is showing up quite often, it’s probably a symptom of something else. There are quite a lot of things that could be causing it but here’s a short list of some of the more common causes.
- Dry skin
This isn’t a list of all the possibilities but some of the more common ones. Visiting your doctor if you feel that something’s not right is always the best first step.
If you’re suffering from sensitive skin regularly or from time to time, try not to jump on every skincare fad out there. There are thousands of brands out there trying to sell you products. The skincare industry in 2022 is worth roughly a whopping 163.5 billion US dollars. In this sea of products it’s so difficult to know what’s worth spending your money on and what’s just a waste of time. The companies spend thousands (if not millions) on sophisticated marketing campaigns, designed to make you believe you need things that you don’t.
This is why we’ve put together this short list of some genuinely good things you can do for your sensitive skin, whether or not there’s an underlying condition.
What can I do for my sensitive skin?
Reduce shower/bathing time
Skin sensitivity might not just relate to the skin on your face. While we all like to give our faces that bit more attention, don’t neglect the rest of your body in the process. When washing, it’s best to opt for fragrance free soaps and only use them on the armpits, groin and bum area. These are the only places that have odour producing sweat glands. Using soap everywhere else doesn’t have much benefit and may dry the skin out.
While a long hot shower or bath can feel nice, keeping your wash to below 10 minutes is much better for the skin. The water temperature should be warm, not too hot. And give abrasive materials like loofahs, harsh cloths or exfoliating gloves a miss to prevent irritation.
Moisturise daily and right after showering
Moisturising your skin (not just your face) is a really important habit to keep on top of. Some think of moisturising as an aesthetic habit, but our skin is our body's largest organ and needs to be taken care of! Moisturisers create a barrier between skin and irritants and can help to keep your sensitivities at bay. It helps to hydrate by trapping water in the skin which in turn minimises irritation and makes the skin feel comfortable.
The best time to put your moisturiser on is right after you bathe or shower which is mostly in the morning and/or at night. It’s important to moisturise at this time as the hot water strips water and oils from your skin leaving it dry and more prone to sensitivity.
Keep products and ingredients to a minimum
Simplifying your skincare routine is a smart move, especially if you’re suffering from sensitivity. Trimming the unnecessary products from your daily routine is not only freeing (both for your mind and for your physical space), but is great for your skin. Going back to basics when it comes to skincare is a safe bet. As long as you have a good cleanser, moisturiser, toner, serum and SPF you are good to go. You don’t need much more than that, other than your makeup.
While it’s a great start simplifying your products list, the next step is to simplify your ingredients list. Making sure there’s a minimal amount of ingredients in each product you use is super important. The rule of thumb is: the less ingredients, the better. This applies to both dry and oily skin sensitivities. The reason for this is down to the fact that if there are many ingredients in a product and you have a reaction, how can you easily identify the issue? It becomes difficult. Keep the ingredients short and it gets much easier.
Always patch test
This is definitely something you’ve heard before but let’s be honest, it’s something most people don’t bother with. Make sure to test new products on an area which isn’t your face (think your neck, arm or elbow). This will ensure that your skin doesn’t react to it, and if it does, at least you have saved your face in the process. If any irritation or sensitivity occurs, give it a miss. It’s a small ask to wait 48 hours before using a new product to see how you react to a patch test, but could save you a lot of stress and upset.
Know what to avoidThere are many products out there that’ll claim to be the saviour to your sensitive skin. As the old saying goes: let the buyer beware. In products that have long ingredient lists, it’s your responsibility to read through these and check if there’s any hidden potential irritants in there. We found a nice overview on Byrdie.com of 5 common ingredients to watch out for. Click the link if you want more detailed information but in a nutshell you’re best avoiding these pesky additives:
- Fragrances of any kind
- Apricot kernels (not all natural ingredients are off the hook)
- Chemical sunscreens
We have also put a list together which is specifically focused on ingredients to avoid if you suffer from rosacea.
Research kind-to-skin ingredients
There is a lot to learn, digest and consider if you have sensitive skin, we get it. It can be a pain but it’s better than the pain you’ll inevitably face by not knowing. While sensitive skin doesn’t take a one size fits all approach, there are some good gentle all round ingredients unlikely to cause you problems. We’ve put together a short list of some of our favourites here and what they’re usually good for.
- Hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is something that occurs naturally in our bodies. Most of it is found in the skin, with the highest levels around the eyes and joints. You’re probably wondering: if it’s already in my body why do I need it in my skincare? Well, the truth is that we produce it in very small amounts. And that decreases with age. So to keep your HA levels up as you get older, the best thing to do is to apply it regularly in your skin care routine. Hyaluronic acid can be extracted from plants. The key benefit when you’re talking about Hyaluronic Acid is its hydrating effects. It retains moisture unbelievably well.
- Green tea oil. This is an antioxidant that has skin-soothing effects and can also slow down the ageing process. Researchers found that it improves skin moisture levels and may calm inflammation as well. This is why we have included this in a few of our products including our Calming Serum 1 and our Anti-Redness Primer.
- Glycerin. This is another ingredient derived from plants, often used in preservatives. It’s a humectant that attracts and holds water. It’s considered very safe and unlikely to irritate the skin and is one of the ingredients in the Ecocert Preservative that we use in all of our products at Finca.
We could spend all day here telling you about our favourite ingredients for sensitivity and redness, but we’ll save this for another post. There’s quite a nice blog here if you want to see some good ingredients for certain specific skin issues/sensitivities (dry skin, acne prone skin, redness etc.)
Every expert you will come across recommends wearing sunscreen on exposed areas every day you plan on spending any time outdoors. This most likely isn’t news but sometimes needs a gentle reminder. Wearing an SPF of at least factor 30+ sun, rain or snow is one of the best things you can do for your sensitive skin.It’s also important to know the difference in sunscreens themselves. We’re talking chemical vs physical. Chemical sunscreens soak up and absorb the rays from the sun, whereas physical sunscreens deflect the rays from your skin. People often choose chemical sunscreens as they can be seen as less messy and easier to apply. They’re also more common and are easier to come by. Physical sunscreens are a better option for those who suffer with sensitive skin. They provide better year-round protection and broad-spectrum UVA and UVB coverage. Sun protection is such an important element to good skincare that we’ve written a whole blog on it. So if you want some more tips on how to best stay protected you can see it here.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you find your skin sensitivity difficult to deal with or persistent, it’s always best to visit your doctor or dermatologist. It’s possible that if your skin sensitivity is caused by an underlying condition that you may need a prescription strength skin care or some medication to manage symptoms. Please remember that our Finca Skin Organics products are not medical treatments but skincare products designed to reduce the appearance of redness, protect, soothe and cleanse without further irritation.
All Finca Skin Organics products are made using a minimal, plant-based ingredients list and formulated by me, a rosacea sufferer.
The Finca Skin Organics range has undergone a Harley Street clinical study. After using our products, 87% felt the appearance of their skin significantly improved.
View the entire range of Finca products here or find out what subtype your skin is.
When in doubt, always refer to your doctor or dermatologist as the condition differs for everyone. It’s always best to talk to your dermatologist first and work out your treatment plan together.
If you have any queries regarding your rosacea or how to use our products get in contact with us, we'd love to hear from you.
With love from Ireland,
*Clinical evaluation by Harley St. dermatologists on 23 subjects after 8 weeks of use.
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