If you’re a little sensitive, we totally feel you. Sensitive skin we mean! We don’t need to tell anyone with sensitive skin what a pain it can be, but not to worry, your esmi skincare guardian angel is here. We’ve made a list of all of the skincare ingredients you shouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole, and the best ingredients for sensitive skin.
Signs you have sensitive skin
Before we get into the do’s and don’ts of sensitive skin, we’re going to first help you figure out if you’re on the sensitive side.
If you are experiencing redness, be it rashes, bumps or flushing, these are tell-tale signs that your skin is irritated. Most of the time, sensitivity and redness comes with its fair share of itchiness and pain.
The next culprit is dryness. Sensitive skin can present itself in the form of cracked, flaky skin that is drier than the Sahara Desert which is fun for exactly no one. Sensitive skin is also far more susceptible to sunburn and UV damage. The last one might not be what you expect, but often those with sensitive skin experience breakouts.
Sensitive skin can come from both external factors like weather changes, or the products you’re using, and internal factors like hormonal changes or good old genetics. No matter the cause, more often than not you’ll find it is all thanks to a damaged skin barrier.
Our skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin and has two main functions; keeping the nasties out, and keeping all of the good things in. Okay, that is a pretty simplified explanation but it's the basics of what you need to know. If your skin barrier is damaged, it cannot effectively retain moisture, protect the skin from UV rays or keep out bacteria, leading to dryness, increased sun damage and acne.
If you are experiencing sensitivity, repairing the skin barrier should be your main goal.
Ingredients to avoid for sensitive skin
Let’s start with the bad news first - all of the worst ingredients for sensitive skin and ones you should be saying “no, thanks” to.
A lot of active ingredients are on the stronger side, which is great if your skin can handle it and you want some killer results, but not so great if you have sensitive skin. Ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin A (you might know her as retinol) and AHAs are powerful and can irritate sensitive skin. As a general rule, they are ingredients to avoid for sensitive skin.
Now before you get too disappointed, for most of our sensitive skin beauties, once the sensitivity subsides and the skin barrier is repaired, you can slowly (very slowly!) introduce these ingredients back into your routine. But let’s be clear, if an ingredient has you back in Sensitive Skin Town, population you, put it down.
Synthetic fragrances might smell good, but they can often irritate the skin and make your sensitivity worse. If you can’t quite give up on the fragrance, natural fragrances are the way to go (it just so happens that our products that smell amazing are all naturally fragranced - no chemical nasties here).
Some chemical sunscreens are a no-no for sensitive skin because they absorb UV light, which is what we want, but then release it as heat which can be too much for some skin types. Mineral sunscreens contain zinc oxide which physically blocks UV rays. That’s where our Skin Shield Sunscreen comes in. Everyone should be wearing sunscreen every single day, but especially if you have sensitive skin.
Now for the good news…
Best ingredients for sensitive skin
By now you are probably wondering, “okay, what ingredients are good for sensitive skin?” So glad you asked!
Your skincare routine starts with a cleanser and with sensitive skin, you’ll want one that is super gentle, but still does the job. The Uncomplicated Cleanser is packed with sensitive skin-loving ingredients like aloe vera which soothes skin and supports the skin barrier. The green tea also calms redness which is a miracle worker for sensitivity.
Up there with the best skincare ingredients for sensitive skin is vitamin E. Deeply nourishing, lightweight and sinks into the skin quickly, vitamin E is a fantastic antioxidant that fights free radicals, which your skin is highly susceptible to when you’ve found yourself with a damaged skin barrier. Oh, and vitamin E also restores that skin barrier which is the icing on the cake. Looking for a hit of vitamin E (and other moisturising oils)? May we suggest our 24K Gold Nourishing Oil?
Some of the best sensitive skin products are the esmi Mylcks range - our probiotic skincare. Probiotics are key to supporting the skin barrier. When the microbiome of the skin is out of balance, there is more bad bacteria on the skin than good, disrupting the barrier. Giving your skin a dose of probiotics is going to make a world of difference to those with sensitivity. The good bacteria in the esmi Skin Mylck creates the ideal environment for your skin to heal and thrive, while helping to balance its delicate microflora. Basically, probiotic skincare is sensitive skin's best friend.
Sensitivity is never fun, we totally feel you, but on the plus side, you’re now an expert on the best ingredients for sensitive skin and the best sensitive skin products, as well as what ingredients you need to put down, stat. As always, if you need a little more help, our experienced and qualified skin service team are on hand for a free skin consultation.