If you were to ask friends or coworkers to describe their skin you are likely to hear sensitive used by many as according to studies almost 70% of people consider themselves to have sensitive skin.
What is sensitive skin?
Sensitive skin is skin that reacts to triggers such as cosmetic ingredients or the environment. It often feels tight and uncomfortable and may have patches of redness, dryness, flakiness or uneven texture. Sensitive skin has a weak or thin skin barrier that allows irritants in and is more prone to inflammation and irritation.
As we age our skin can become more sensitive as the skin barrier becomes weaker with age. Skin sensitivity can also worsen with extreme weather, humidity or sunlight, pollution, stress, fluctuating hormonal activity and stress.
How to tell if you have sensitive skin
Just because your skin reacts to a certain product doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be classed as sensitive. If a product or ingredient is too strong or drying it will irritate most people’s skin.
Your skin also changes throughout your life and over seasons so it is important to reevaluate your skin seasonally. This doesn’t mean you need to buy a new set of products each season but you may need to adjust their use. For example your skin may be sensitive to cold and wind so may need richer or gentler products in winter.
Sensitive skin is not only connected to those with dry skin, people who have sensitive may find that their skin is oily at certain times of the year. You can tell that you have sensitive skin if it turns red when you apply light to medium pressure with your fingers and if it stings or turns red when you apply products. People with sensitive skin generally have intolerance to many skincare products regardless of the weather.
What ingredients should you avoid?
While not everyone with sensitive skin will have the same irritants there are some common ingredients that are likely to be too harsh for sensitive skin. Anti-blemish ingredients including benzoyl peroxide and certain anti-ageing ingredients such as retinol and glycolic as well as alcohol and fragrance can cause irritation and inflammation. While exfoliating skin is important, if you have sensitive skin you should avoid using harsh exfoliants and let your skin slowly get used to products and ingredients.
The key with sensitive skin is to find gentle yet effective products. Just because sensitive skin is more fragile than most, doesn't mean that it has to miss out. The focus should be helping to restore your skin’s natural barrier and on keeping skin hydrated as a thin skin barrier can result in a loss of moisture. It is also important to pay attention to the type and frequency of exfoliating that you do.
Start with a gentle cleanser that is effective at removing make-up and the day’s impurities and avoid using hot warm. Be Gone is a rich creamy cleanser that is specially formulated for sensitive skin to calm and soothe, while removing make-up, dirt and other impurities with ease. It will leave your skin cleansed, nurtured and refreshed with ingredients known to settle, condition and soothe the skin.
There is no reason to skip the toner step if you have sensitive skin, just avoid any harsh formulations and products with alcohol in them. Toning Essence is a beautiful tonic water that is formulated without alcohol to leave skin clean, refreshed and rejuvenated. Wonderfully calming, soothing and full to the brim of anti-ageing goodness it ensures skin is refined, toned, hydrated and prepped for the next step of your routine.
A skincare routine for sensitive skin should focus not only on calming and hydrating skin but also on supporting and strengthening the skin’s barrier and that’s where targeted treatment products such as masks and serums come into your regime.
Be Strong is an intensive skin repair serum that supports fragile skin, settles and soothes and reduces skin stress. It is a power-packed ‘super-juice’ for the skin which helps to strengthen stressed and delicate skin leaving it glowing with vitality. It delivers a boost of vitamins and natural plant extracts to the cell renewal layer so that skin is healthy and strong.
BeCalm is a skin rescue mask that’s like a comfort blanket for sensitive, stressed and fragile skin. With a Calmaderm™ complex , a Mediterranean inspired blend of cucumber, liquorice, aubergine and chamomile and skin boosting vitamins A & E it delivers skin nourishment, comfort and hydration.
An effective moisturiser is an important part of a sensitive skin regime.
Be Still immediately settles the skin, leaving it smooth and hydrated. Be Still uses calming Mediterranean ingredients including aubergine, cucumber, liquorice, apricot, calendula and lavender to soothe, protect and restore skin. This vitamin enriched moisturiser with Calmaderm Complex gives sensitive the comfort it craves. It is also free of the things that make sensitive skin cross, like fragrance and colour.