Sensitive skin? You’re not the only one! People of all ages and backgrounds can have sensitive and reactive skin. It does not matter how oily or dry your skin is: you can still have skin that reacts to the changing of the season, the fluctuation of your hormones, or even your mood (or that’s what it feels like, anyway).
If you are someone dealing with sensitive skin, first know that you are not alone! Many people who believe they are dealing with chronic acne or texture issues are actually dealing with reactive skin. Something in your environment or your skincare routine may be triggering your breakouts, rashes, or dry skin patches without you even being aware of the trigger.
Don’t panic! There are plenty of products aimed at those living with sensitive or reactive skin. Fortunately, you can pretty much replace any product in your self-care and beauty routine with a product specifically formulated for sensitive skin.
But before you change up your entire regime, try these MUST know hacks first and watch your skin transform overnight.
Put Down the Razor
First things first: sensitive skin is not relegated to the face alone! You can have sensitive skin all over your body, including your underarms, pubic area, or even the thicker skin of your legs.
We often think of skin as an entity separate from that on the rest of our body, and in a lot of ways, this instinct is not wrong. The skin on our face is a more delicate beast most of the time, and it should be treated more tenderly than the rest of our body. However, that does not mean it is the only place that deserves some TLC!
If you are experiencing rashes, bumpy or dry patches, or a number of ingrown hairs after your standard hair removal routine, you should consider that area of skin sensitive. Try putting down the razor and picking up something gentler.
Some people prefer longer lasting solutions when it comes to hair removal solutions. Consider laser hair removal or even a permanent hair removal cream. These methods have their advantages because, while they may cause some minor irritation in the short term, they will keep you from having to re-stress your skin each week for a hair removal session in the long term.
Wash Only Once a Day
It is totally a myth that you need to wash your face once a day! So long as you are using a clean pillowcase to sleep on and not touching your freshly washed face before bed, your skin does not need to be cleansed twice a day.
Over cleansing the skin can lead to a breakdown in the protective moisture barrier on the top layer of your skin. This breakdown can make your skin more prone to irritants and infection, leading to texture issues and breakouts. If your skin feels tight and dry after cleansing, your cleanser or routine is damaging that protective barrier.
…But Double Cleanse When Needed
Wait, what? Didn’t I just say only wash once a day? Well, double cleansing is different. If you are pretty confident in your routine, only washing once a day, and are still experiencing breakouts periodically, you should consider double cleansing to really help break down any debris, makeup, or excess oil on your face.
Double cleansing is exactly what it sounds like: it is cleansing twice, but usually with two separate products. The first step usually involves an oil, like jojoba oil, which breaks down makeup and other oil soluble products on the face while being gentle on skin. Then, you cleanse with your standard cleanser.
Some people might not find this step necessary, but others who are struggling to really get clean without breaking down their moisture barrier could benefit greatly.
Reach for Concealer Instead
Do you need a full face of foundation every day? If not, try spot concealing with a concealer and blending it out into the rest of your skin. If you are dealing with irritation or breakouts, using concealer to correct eyebags and small blemishes might be just the ticket for keeping a natural looking complexion.
Take a small dab of concealer on the tip of your finger and dab it onto a blemish. Then, using your finger or a brush, diffuse around the edges of the blemish until you get a seamless finish.
SPF, SPF, and More SPF
If you are anything like me, you have a full range of products in your arsenal to tackle sensitive skin. But you may be inadvertently making your skin even MORE sensitive if you aren’t careful!
Some BHAs and AHAs can actually make skin more reactive in the long run. For example, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid will make your skin more photosensitive, and the Food and Drug Administration recommends that users incorporate sunscreen into their routines to counteract the effect of AHAs.
Moreover, sunscreen is a vital step in any well rounded skincare enthusiast’s routine.