8 Sensitive Skin Care Tips for a Healthier Skin Barrier
Tired of stressed-out skin?
It can seem like we spend a lifetime—and a fortune—trying to figure out what works for our skin. Even then, just when you think you’ve got it down to a T, the seasons change and your skin with it.
While most products will sell themselves as a sensitive skin care cure, what your skin might actually need is a detox. We’ve got eight sensitive skin care tips to get you back to your most beautiful, healthiest skin.
The Myth of Sensitive Skin Care
Did you know sensitive skin is on the increase?
Several years ago, around 50% of women reported having sensitive skin. Nowadays, that figure is up to around 91% in some countries.
So, what’s causing this increase?
It’s difficult to track sensitive skin statistics accurately. In part, because it’s most often a self-diagnosed condition. We rarely seek medical advice regarding our skin unless it is a more uncomfortable or painful condition like acne.
So there’s no clear scientific reason for the increase. There are however, several factors that could be contributing to the prevalence of sensitive skin.
Our skin is affected by everything it interacts with. The air, water and yes, all the products we apply to it.
Environmental factors, like seasonal changes, affect our skin’s health. But so does the increasing pollution across the planet. Pollution breaks down the collagen within the skin and oxidises the lipid layer.
This is all a very scientific way of saying, the environment affects our skin's ability to protect itself. It causes premature aging, dryness, dehydration and more common problems.
Now combine this with the products we're using. The vast majority of beauty products are rammed-full of artificial and synthetic ingredients. Most of which we have no idea where they come from, what they do or how they’re made.
Ingredients such as drying alcohols or harsh essential oils will all cause damage to your skin barrier. These ingredients and others reduce the natural protective layer your skin has, made up of natural oils and amino acids.
Now think about what you’re doing when you use product after product, scrubbing away at your face then lathering more products on. It doesn’t stand a chance at being healthy.
8 Steps to a Sensitive Care Routine
All of our points above weren’t to fearmonger, but to explain that there’s a good chance the reason your skin is so sensitive is because you’ve been fed the line that more is better.
The beauty industry has been feeding customers this line for years. But our approach is the opposite — the less is more revolution if you will. Essentially, the key to healthy skin is using fewer and better ingredients. Our products are designed to strengthen, protect and moisturise your skin barrier.
Here’s how to do it with a sensitive skin care routine.
1. Go Natural
Don’t panic, we don’t mean natural in the sense of no products whatsoever.
What we mean is, clear out your dresser or drawer of products packed full of unnatural ingredients. As we discussed above, these ingredients can be harmful to your skin and cause more problems.
It can be hard to do this if you’ve invested a lot of money into expensive products. So if you’re scared to take the plunge, stop using them temporarily so you can see the results yourself.
We particularly recommend avoiding all products with parabens. These are a kind of preservative that can cause skin irritation and even disrupt hormones in the body. Similarly worrying products include:
- Diethanolamine (DEA)
- Monoethanolamine (MEA)
- Triethanolamine (TEA)
- Diazolidinyl and Imidazolidinyl Urea
- Sodium Lauryl
- Ammonium Laureth Sulphate
- PVP Copolymer
- Propylene Glycol
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Scientific studies have shown all of these ingredients may be harmful to not only your skin but your body’s overall health. The simplest solution is to use only natural, plant-based products with no mysterious chemicals—these are the best skin care products for sensitive skin. At Five Dot Botanics, we believe in only creating products with just five natural ingredients. This means that you know exactly what is being put on your skin, and what it is doing for you.
2. Minimise Products and Routine
Even if you’re using all-natural products, using too many products can be problematic for sensitive skin care.
Let’s take a look at a “normal” daily skincare routine. You get up and cleanse and tone your face. Then you add a serum, eye cream, day moisturiser.
After this, you add your makeup which might include a primer, concealer, foundation, and setting powder.
You go about your day and at the end of it, you once again cleanse and tone your face. You add another serum, another eye cream, a night moisturiser, and maybe even some overnight spot treatments.
Where in that routine does your skin get a rest?
Again, this isn’t to say, stop using all products. But choose a select few, natural products that don’t overload your skin.
This is why our skincare product guide is so simple. We’ve got just 6 plant-based products with only 5 ingredients in each. It’s a minimalist approach to skincare and it works.
3. Wash Well
The same rules for overloading your skin with products apply when you’re washing your skin too.
Cleansers, toners, peels, soaps, make-up removers… it’s enough to give anyone a headache.
Simplify with a rich, cleansing face balm to wash your face. When doing so, use a soft, cotton flannel. Don’t scrub or rub, use gentle circular motions and luke-warm water.
Once you’ve washed your face, use a soft towel like a microfibre towel to dry your face.
On a similar note, for those prone to particularly dry or flakey skin, stop over-exfoliating. We know it can be tempting to scrub off the dry patches on a daily basis. But this often leads to a vicious circle for sensitive skin.
The more you scrub, the dryer your skin will get. While it’s fine to use a natural exfoliant or exfoliating gloves occasionally, this should be no more than once a week for sensitive skin.
4. A Wholesome Picture
The skin is an organ. The largest organ in the human body in fact. When there’s a seemingly endless variety of products on offer, we forget that much of our skin’s health is tied to our overall health.
By this we mean, your lifestyle affects your skin. Not getting enough sleep, not getting enough nutrients, or eating too much junk will all affect how healthy your skin is.
So, look at sensitive skin care as a bigger picture. Look at your lifestyle and where you might be able to make positive changes for your body.
This could include decreasing stress levels through mindfulness or yoga. It could include making sure you get eight hours a night of sleep.
It also goes without saying that if you’re a smoker, then you should quit. If the increased cancer risks aren’t enough to convince you, smoking causes premature aging, as well as dry and dull skin.
Ensure you’re getting a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. If you struggle with this, it may be worth contemplating taking vitamin supplements to make sure your body has what it needs.
5. Sleeping Beauty
It’s become more and more popular to sleep on satin or silk pillowcases for those blessed with curly hair in recent years. But this applies just as much to your skin as to your hair.
Sleeping on rough fabrics can irritate your skin and leave you with red patches overnight. As well as fine lines down the road.
Treat yourself to some luxury bedding to love your skin.
Closely related to the above, using the right product for your laundry can make a huge difference to your skin.
Some of us are so used to buying the same product in the supermarket that we’ve never really considered that our skin might not get on with it. Just because you haven’t had a full allergic reaction doesn’t mean your skin isn’t finding the chemicals rough.
Try using a natural laundry liquid or powder. If you want to be extra-eco, you could consider getting soap nuts for a truly eco-friendly clean.
7. Cool It
A little-known fact, but amazing though they feel, hot showers aren’t great for your skin.
Heat exposure can cause redness, dryness, and loss of collagen long-term. The heat disrupts the keratin cells on the outermost layer of your skin. Which in turn prevents cells from absorbing moisture to cause this dryness.
You don’t need to give up hot showers altogether by any means. But when washing your face, avoid doing so in the shower. Opt for tepid water from the skin instead.
8. Wear Sunscreen
Finally, in the wise words of Baz Luhrmann — wear sunscreen.
Use it every day and reapply it as often as you need to. Sunscreen protects your skin from UV rays which can cause no end of problems for all skin types.
Join the Skincare Revolution
Sensitive skin care doesn’t have to be complicated. This is why we recommend trying an all-natural, minimalist approach to your skin like our Five Dot Botanics range. Our skincare ingredients are all natural and vegan-certified. We have carefully chosen only 5 ingredients per product.
Find out more about our products and our approach on our site.