How to make friends with and nurture sensitive & reactive skin
We generally take our skin for granted, slapping whatever products we like onto it at will, and most of the time, it won't complain. Then there are other skins that will react to anything and everything, and Eve from Eve Organics is sharing her knowledge on how to nurture and protect sensitive skin.
If you'd like to see more from Eve and other guest authors, you can find those posts here.
If your skin is super-sensitive or reacts to even the slightest change in temperature/diet/routine, you probably don’t have the best relationship with it or feel much like treating it kindly. Sensitive skin can be hugely frustrating! But, there are things you can do to placate reactive skin and prevent it from acting up. Here are some easy ways to love your sensitive skin (and have it love you back!):
Wash your face with warm water (not cold, not hot)
The theory that hot water opens pores and cold water closes them is something of a myth – pores aren’t muscles that can expand and contract – and extreme temperatures can irritate sensitive skin. So, be gentle with your complexion and use warm water instead. Remember - pores are not doors!
Avoid harsh exfoliants
This can be roughly translated as ‘avoid exfoliants’ – as most facial scrubs are too harsh for very sensitive skin. But, it’s not a good idea to skip exfoliation altogether – sensitive skin benefits from the removal of dead skin cells just as much as other skin types. Luckily, gentle alternatives do exist – Mokosh’s Face Cleansing Powder contains a combination of soothing and gently antiseptic ingredients, including calendula, aloe vera, oat and neem powders.
Keep your routine as consistent as possible
More than any other skin type, sensitive and reactive skin benefits greatly from consistency. Try not to skip washing your face at night, and if you try a new product, stick with it for at least 1-2 months to give your skin time to adjust to the change in routine.
Use products with soothing & anti-inflammatory ingredients
One of the major issues responsible for many skin disorders (including acne and rosacea) is inflammation. Treating inflammation internally can be helpful (see your Doctor about this), but you can also choose skin care products that contain a large proportion of anti-inflammatory and soothing ingredients, such as oat milk, plantain, calendula and chamomile. My go-to products for skin that needs some quick soothing relief are Blissoma’s Lavish Mask & Pure Sensitive Skin Soothing Complex, Captain Blankenship’s Blue Chamomile & Lemon Cleanser, and Leahlani’s Bohemian Ruby Toner.
And above all – be kind to your skin!
Don’t pick at it, don’t rub it vigorously and do everything with care. Sensitive skin needs a lot more patience and TLC than other skin types – but it can be calm and beautiful if you put the time into understanding it and working out what it needs.