We’re so excited you’ve brought calming and replenishing products that will take your skin from sensitive to smooth! Stick your new sensitive skincare routine on your bathroom mirror and follow along daily from Monday through Sunday for beautifully radiant skin in no time.
But first, let’s take a deep dive into why your skin might be sensitive and what soothing products could complement your skincare ritual.
What Sensitive Skin Looks Like
Sensitive skin can sometimes mean different things to different people but it typically points to having a thin or weakened epidermis so the skin’s protective barrier isn’t as strong as it could be. This makes it easier for irritants and bacteria to penetrate the skin causing inflammation, redness and dryness. In other skin types, a functional lipid barrier is able to hold water while keeping environmental toxins like UV rays, heat and harsh chemicals out.
Your sensitive skin might look fragile with broken capillaries while feeling itchy with a dry and patchy texture that’s easily irritated. Delicate complexions may burn quickly in the sun and feature high colour which means flare-ups like rosacea, dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema are quite common. It’s also possible for sensitive skin to be dry, oily and acne-prone all at the same time, sigh.
What Causes Sensitive Skin?
As sensitive skin is less resilient, it can be triggered by any number of things such as medications or health conditions like eczema. You may also have Mum and Dad to thank for naturally sensitive skin as genetic differences in the normal protective skin barrier are especially common in people with fair skin or red hair. We see you, Isla Fisher!
If your skin is reactive it may be easily irritated by fragrances, not being handled delicately or the use of certain ingredients that damage the skin’s protective outer layer. Although sensitive skin is most common on the face, it can appear anywhere on the body as allergic or immune reactions can be because of chemicals, soaps, hand sanitisers and even laundry detergents. You might also be environmentally sensitive when it comes to seasonal pollen levels, temperature changes and humidity.
Hormonal fluctuations like puberty, pregnancy and menopause can also affect the skin’s sebum secretion, leading to a weakened barrier function. You might also notice flushing and redness which are influenced by the skin’s network of blood vessels. Ageing skin also plays a part here, as the lipid barrier breaks down and replaces itself less frequently you’ll see more sensitivity and dryness over time, talk about dramatic.
Sensitive Skin VS Sensitised Skin
Both sensitive and sensitised skin share redness, irritation and dryness so can often look and feel similar, much like Vanessa Hudgens in The Princess Switch. So, how can you tell the difference?
Sensitive is actually a skin type, like oily or combination, this means it rules when it comes to what ingredients and products are featured in your skincare ritual. Sensitised skin is often temporary, caused by coming into contact with something externally irritating. This includes harsh skin-stripping products and scrubs, chemical peels, microdermabrasion and pollution. It’s best to simplify your skincare routine and steer clear of triggering cosmetic alcohols, active ingredients, fragrances and artificial colouring.
Sensitive Skin Do’s & Don’ts
If you’re cautious when it comes to trying new skin products, our skin specialists recommend testing a patch on your skin first. Use a small amount on your inner arm the first day and see what happens, if you don’t spot any irritation after a week then try it on the side of your face or neck. Be thoughtful when it comes to your skin and avoid trying multiple new products at once, that way you’ll know exactly what the culprit is if you do notice sensitivity or a breakout.
Let’s start by talking about how hot your showers are, we know they can have you feeling like you’re escaping after a long day but they actually strip your protective lipid layer and encourage water to flow out of your skin. Why not bathe in lukewarm water instead, your beautiful skin will thank you for it and you might not run out of hot water so quickly.
Less is often more when it comes to sensitive skin so as a general rule, the fewer ingredients the more suitable a product may be. It’s best to start with a simple routine before slowly adding more products as the skin adjusts and builds up a tolerance. By taking it slow, you also minimise the risk of overstimulating the skin. It’s important to make sure you’re having rest nights during the week to let your skin recover and reset, which means not using retinol or exfoliating!
Try to avoid over-cleansing your face as this will strip the skin of its natural moisturising qualities and oils, follow your new weekly skincare routine and stick to once in the morning and double cleansing at night. Washing too often will irritate sensitive skin and cause excessive dryness so ditch any products that contain chemical exfoliants and reach for a gentle cleanser, like our Probiotic Skin Mylck Cleanser. Formulated with Australian Made probiotic Lysates, the creamy cleanser gently lifts away impurities for clear, softer skin. The addition of soothing aloe vera and camellia leaf (green tea) also heals inflammation while promoting healthy moisture levels and targeting signs of ageing.
Keep sensitive skin smiling by avoiding rough cleansing cloths, reach for a soft Microfibre Face Cleansing Mitt that removes 80% more dirt and makeup instead. No more cotton pads or single-use face wipes also means there’s zero bathroom waste, double win! Simply pop your mitt in a delicates bag before adding it to your laundry. Make sure to protect your sensitive skin by gently patting your face dry instead of harshly rubbing as this can irritate delicate skin.
The Best Ingredients For Dry Skin Types
Having a thin lipid barrier means your skin deeply absorbs products which can lead to reactive inflammation as your immune system goes into overdrive. Look for strengthening ingredients that keep your complexion calm, clear and balanced so your skin can naturally retain oils and moisture.
Products with humectant ingredients attract moisture from the air and the deep levels of your skin to the surface layer, keeping your skin’s barrier hydrated. Replenishing products should also contain occlusives as these moisturising ingredients form a protective barrier around the surface of your skin to minimise moisture evaporating. Occlusives will also physically block transepidermal water loss which is the process where water evaporates from the skin, pretty cool right? Any emollients in skin care products will also help with skin barrier function, leading to an overall improvement in skin texture and appearance so you can actually say you woke up like this.
Acai oil contains omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 so is rich in nourishing essential fatty acids that soothe, restore and strengthen skin. Thanks to its emollient properties, it helps manage inflammation and has moisturising benefits.
Vitamin E is brimming with anti-inflammatory properties that hydrate and calm even the most sensitive complexions.
Jojoba oil has anti-inflammatory and non-allergenic properties that are recommended for restoring sensitive and reactive skin. It acts similarly to our natural oils so helps balance and brighten your complexion without clogging pores, what a winner.
Can Sensitive Skin Use Hyaluronic Acid?
Dryness and sensitivity often go hand in hand because having a thin lipid barrier means it’s easier for moisture to escape. This makes hyaluronic acid perfect for deeply hydrating sensitive skin while minimising fine lines. Use our best-selling skin treat, Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum, to give your beautiful skin that extra bounce from the inside out. We like to think of this serum as a tall drink of water for your skin that can give a hydration boost of up to 25% within just two hours! The hydrating water magnet plumps and hydrates skin by acting as a sponge to attract water from the atmosphere. Talk about a thirst quencher!
What Should Sensitive Skin Avoid?
It’s best to avoid serums with ingredients that are known to irritate your skin, this means there might be some trial and error involved before finding the perfect products. Our skin specialists recommend skipping anything with synthetic acids, fragrances and colourants, fillers and preservatives. Put away anything that also contains sulphates, retinoids, glycolic and salicylic acids, abrasive scrubs and mechanical exfoliants like microbeads and walnut shell powders.
We recommend booking a consultation or starting a live chat with our qualified skin consultants to receive a personalised routine or product recommendation.
How To Treat Sensitive Skin On Your Face
Like a Taurus, sensitive skin loves routine so frequently changing products can cause more irritation. Once you find a sensitive skincare product that works, stick with it! The best skincare for sensitive skin works to strengthen and nourish the skin barrier with formulas that are gentle, fragrance-free and have a simple ingredient list. This is where we come in, start your daily ritual with these naturally soothing products for a radiant and clear complexion.
Best Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin
To pause premature aging and protect again UV rays, you should be applying SPF every day, rain or shine! Isopropyl alcohol and chemical sunscreens are common irritants so reach for mineral sun protection that’s less reactive for sensitive skin types. Applying an enriching sunscreen also helps lock in moisture by creating a physical barrier on top of the skin. Our silky Skin Shield SPF 30 Sunscreen is perfect for layering under makeup with a non-greasy formula that includes hydrating hyaluronic acid and cucumber extract.
How To Exfoliate Sensitive Skin
Less is more when it comes to exfoliating sensitive skin, gently sloughing with humectant ingredients means you can stimulate cell turnover, clear dead skin cells and reduce the loss of moisture. Choose our lightweight Rose & Bamboo Gentle-Foliant to stay fresh and boost hydration, ideal for acne-prone or sensitive skin. The renewing power of bamboo extract is an ancient beauty treatment that leaves skin soft, luminous and purified while enriching rose oil aids in calming and moisturising.
Snack Like It’s Late Night
Rehydrate and refresh your skin throughout the day with our Skin Snack Facial Mist. It’s perfect for when you’re exposed to air conditioning, UV light, wind and weather. Follow after your daily makeup application to feed delicate skin with raspberry extract to protect cells from water loss and green tea extract to target signs of aging.
Talk About Mood Booster
Ideal for dry skin types that need nourishment, our creamy Nourishing Booster Mask reduces inflammation and uneven skin tone while healing damaged skin. The rejuvenating party of evening primrose, moisturising coconut and nourishing almond oil address roughness, irritation and dryness. Enriched with Vitamins E and F, highly emollient shea butter heals peeling and cracked skin impacted by dermatitis and psoriasis.
Be patient with your new ritual as your skin’s barrier is going to need time to heal. If you’re just getting started on your skincare journey, glow up with our Sensitive Skin Solution Bundle to restore your skin health and inner confidence.