Hyper-sensitive skin reacts to external irritants way more easily than healthy skin, and can feel uncomfortable and unpredictable.
While there are many common irritants, hyper-sensitive skin can also be very fickle – and what one person may react to may be absolutely fine for another. The key to managing highly sensitive skin lies in reading your ingredients lists and learning your triggers.
Skin conditions which fall under this category
- Perioral Dermatitis
What type of ingredients should I look for in my products?
Calming: Chamomile is the ultimate sensitive skin soother, it contains a substance called azulene which has amazing anti-inflammatory properties to instantly calm reactive or red skin.
Healing: Proven to accelerate the skin’s natural healing process, Rosehip’s high concentration of Pro-Vitamin A, Carotenoids and Omegas work to restore the appearance of patchy, stressed or uneven skin.
Which ingredients should I avoid?
With very sensitive skin, it’s more important than ever to read your cosmetic ingredients lists. Keep a note of those that rank highly on the irritancy scale (see below) as well as the common ingredients in any products you’ve reacted to in the past.
Detergents: Avoid irritating foaming detergents such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES), Cocamidopropyl Betaine and Ammonium Laureth Sulphate in all facial and body products.
These strip all of the natural oils from your skin, leaving it dry, itchy and more prone to reactions.
Alcohol: Alcohol has a similar effect on the skin to detergents – stripping oils and leaving it exposed and unbalanced.
Parfum/Fragrance: ‘Parfum’ is an umbrella term for the ingredients that supposedly give a product its scent. Up to 200 different synthetic ingredients can be covered by this term and do not have to be listed, including irritants like phthalates and preservatives.
Less is more: Stripped back skincare is always best for highly sensitive skin. By keeping your skincare routine simple you allow your skin to find its natural oil balance, and avoid over-stimulating it with too many active ingredients.
Take an Essential Fatty Acid supplement: Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are the building blocks of healthy skin and are natural anti-inflammatories. Eat a diet rich in them, or take a daily oil supplement.
Some more information…
You may find these posts helpful:
- Back to Basics: Why stripped back skincare is best for sensitive skin
- My top 10 ingredients to avoid
- Parfum: The sweet-smelling disguise that hides a multitude of sins
- SOS: Skin Rescue
- How to read a cosmetic ingredients list