We receive a befuddling number of questions pertaining to sensitive skin every day, and we’ve decided to put together a comprehensive guide that addresses each one of your concerns in one place. Before you craft your skincare regimen, you must acquaint yourself with the nuances of your skin. Why do you classify your skin as sensitive? What are the kind of characteristics that set sensitive skin apart from the rest? How do you know what products to steer clear of? What about the type of ingredients you must look for in a certain formula? Ah, the list is ceaseless. Here’s everything you need to know about sensitive skin.
- 01. How do you know your skin is sensitive?
- 02. Is sensitive skin inherited?
- 03. Can sensitive skin be dry as well as oily?
- 04. What ingredients must you avoid if your skin is sensitive?
- 05. Chemical sunscreens:
- 06. What ingredients to look for if you have sensitive skin?
- 07. Practices to absolutely red flag if you have sensitive skin
- 08. Are products labelled hypoallergenic sensitive-skin friendly?
- 09. When should you see a Dermatologist?
- 10. A simple regimen for sensitive skin
01. How do you know your skin is sensitive?
If you notice that your skin has developed redness, itching, inflammation, or drying after using a certain soap, skincare formula, scrub, deodorant, or any other product, it’s a sign that your skin is more reactive than normal. You might notice the development of dry, flaky, or bumpy rashes when exposed to an external trigger as well. You’re more likely to develop breakouts. Even the weather influences your skin. During the cold, you might feel like your skin is dry and irritated; and during the heat, rashes, tightness, and redness are common symptoms.
02. Is sensitive skin inherited?
An array of skin diseases and conditions such as eczema, acne, psoriasis and rosacea that often cause sensitive skin are believed to run in families and are often hereditary. However, sensitive skin triggered by a reaction to skin care, cosmetic, or household products is not inherited. It is also important to note that hormonal changes due to puberty or ageing can also make your skin more susceptible to sensitivity.
03. Can sensitive skin be dry as well as oily?
Yes. Your skin can be dry or oily. Regardless of whether you classify your skin as dry, oily, combination, or normal, it can still be sensitive. Those with dry skin suffer from increased sensitivity because dryness just exacerbates the situation.
04. What ingredients must you avoid if your skin is sensitive?
Alcohol: Products that contain ethyl or denatured alcohol (like many astringents and aftershave) can dry out the skin and affect how it rejuvenates itself, which can be a nightmare for your sensitive skin.
Essential oils: Avoid essential oils like tea tree, mint, lavender or citrus. While tea tree can be safe for skin when diluted and applied in tiny doses, acne products with tea tree infusion can potentially result in irritation and dryness. Mint, lavender and citrus should be avoided entirely as they can cause extreme irritation and redness to the skin.
05. Chemical sunscreens:
Fragrance: Added fragrance can potentially irritate the skin and cause allergic contact dermatitis. It is also essential to look for fragrance-free products instead of unscented as the latter usually means that an ingredient was added to mask the smell.
Chemical sunscreens: Chemical sunscreens hold a plethora of chemicals that absorb UV light and release it as heat after a chemical reaction. This can potentially have a negative impact and cause your skin to get irritated.
06. What ingredients to look for if you have sensitive skin?
You must look for ingredients that are mild on the skin. Consider revinage, for instance, as a milder alternative to retinol. Instead of salicylic acid, opt for glycolic acid to repel acne. Apply this principle to the rest of your regimen as well.
Always opt for gentle, all-natural ingredients. Look for products enriched with vitamin E, aloe vera, sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, hyaluronic acid, olive oil, and shea butter.
Ensure that the product you’re purchasing contains non-comedogenic ingredients (that don’t clog your pores), and look for fragrance-free ingredients/products that don’t contain parabens, dyes, or colours. These can irritate the skin.
If you’re looking to integrate a mild all-natural serum - that doesn’t contain parabens, dyes, or colours - into your routine, you can try out the Simple Booster Serum - 10% Hemp Seed Oil + B3 to prevent premature ageing, the Simple Booster Serum - 3% Hyaluronic Acid + B5 for hydration, and the Simple Booster Serum - 10% Niacinamide to tackle pigmentation and an uneven skin tone.
07. Practices to absolutely red flag if you have sensitive skin
- Do not use a scrub or loofah for exfoliation. This might lead to irritation and dryness, cause micro-tears, trigger flare-ups, and disrupt your skin’s barrier. Opt for a gentle chemical exfoliant instead. Even a herbal exfoliant works.
- Stop using products containing alcohol, fragrances, and colours.
- Stop rubbing your skin with a towel. Blot it dry instead.
- Watch the temperature of your shower. Hot water tends to strip your skin of moisture and intensify the dryness. Lukewarm water is ideal. Also, limit your showers to 5-10 minutes.
- Don’t just slather a new product on your face or body without conducting a test patch on the back of your palm. You must ensure that it’s safe to use.
08. Are products labelled hypoallergenic sensitive-skin friendly?
Hypoallergenic skincare products have a negligible to null chance of causing an allergic reaction. This doesn’t make them safer for sensitive skin as hypoallergenic can mean different things according to the companies’ policies. It’s always best to patch test every product irrespective of its ingredients to be safer.
09. When should you see a Dermatologist?
If you develop rashes or skin-related problems out of the blue, you must consult a dermatologist. There might be an underlying medical issue—like eczema or psoriasis—that’s triggering these reactions.
If a cosmetic has triggered a reaction, and you notice flare-ups even after you’ve stopped using it, consult a dermat ASAP. Even insect bites must be treated by a professional. If you’re dealing with acne, don’t just use any product on the face for treatment. A dermat must approve these products.
10. A simple regimen for sensitive skin
Follow a basic CTM routine with sensitive skin friendly products such as the Simple Kind To Skin Refreshing Facial Wash followed by the Simple Kind to Skin Soothing Facial Toner. Moisturise with Simple Kind To Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser. They are not only perfume-free but also hypoallergenic which will prevent any allergic reactions and provide a soothing feeling to your skin while actively helping it rejuvenate and nourish.
Written by Urvi Shah and Anyuktha Nallani on Jan 24, 2022
Constantly jotting down hundreds of ideas for their stories at the oddest hours, Urvi and Anyuktha are bound by their love for writing and skincare hoarding. It's their combined predilection to challenge every unrealistic standard of beauty through their work that makes them a dream team.