Living with sensitive skin can be a tricky, life-long experience with symptoms that include dryness, irritation, inflammation and discomfort. Factors such as chemical irritants, environmental conditions, and hormonal shifts and stress can trigger or worsen skin sensitivity.
Fortunately, there are several simple ways to manage your sensitive skin. Global skincare brand Cetaphil suggests five useful and easy-to-apply tips.
How to manage sensitive skin
1. Cleanse, but be gentle
The ideal kind of facial cleanser is one that maintains your skin’s natural moisture, doing its job to remove dirt, makeup and excess oil, while not drying out the skin. Look for a soap-free, fragrance-free, gentle cleanser like Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. Be sure not to over-wash, as this can lead to dryness and irritation. Cleansing your face once in the morning and once in the evening should be enough.
As well as helping your skin feel softer and smoother, moisturisers can improve hydration and help restore the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Look for a gentle moisturiser for sensitive skin that doesn’t contain unnecessary (and potentially irritating) ingredients such as colours and fragrances.
Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion and Cetaphil Moisturising Cream are two of the moisturisers Cetaphil has to offer, but the full moisturising range is specially formulated for sensitive skin; is fragrance-free, non-irritating and non-comedogenic.
3. Avoid triggers
Sensitive skin, by definition, is the negative reaction of skin to certain triggers. Sometimes the best way to cope with this is to avoid these triggers altogether. Pay attention to what might be causing your sensitive skin to flare up: is it that new perfume, certain fabrics that you wear, or too much time in the sun?
Other causes might be makeup, air-conditioning or central heating. Understanding what causes your specific sensitive skin flare-ups can help you manage or prevent them more easily.
4. Always use sunscreen
Regularly wearing facial sunscreen has been shown to actively help sensitive skin. Always remember to apply sunscreen after moisturising or choose a daily moisturiser with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) to reduce the likelihood of acute UV exposure, which could affect your skin’s overall health (even when you’re indoors).
When you’re out in the sun, it’s a good idea to use a specific sunscreen (and not just a moisturiser with SPF) and be sure to wear a hat and sunglasses.
5. Avoid harsh exfoliation
Regular exfoliation helps to deep clean skin, removing irritants, impurities and pollutants, so it’s good practice. Plus, exfoliation has the added benefit of removing dead skin cells and promoting skin renewal, giving you healthier-looking skin.
But not all facial scrubs are the same. When looking for an exfoliating product, be sure to use one that’s specifically designed for sensitive skin, like Cetaphil Extra Gentle Daily Scrub.
Whatever products you use, it’s important to carve out a regular skincare routine that works for you, your lifestyle and your sensitive skin.