If you have dry and sensitive skin it can feel like a minefield trying to find products that are suited to your skin. If finding individual products is difficult, then you can just imagine how difficult it can be to find a whole skincare routine!
You will likely fear that everything will cause a reaction, or make your skin even more dry and sensitive (if that is even possible, am I right?).
You may even have experienced a bad reaction before when you have picked out a new skincare routine, especially if you happen to buy a set that contains all the elements of a skincare routine that you need.
The problem with these sets is that oftentimes, companies assume that you need the exact same benefits from each of your skincare products.
However, skin does not work like that, and you may actually need to have a number of different products from different brands, all that do slightly different things.
One thing that remains true of all sensitive and dry skin types is that you should always choose products that have ingredients that will be soothing, nourishing, and hydrating.
This means that whether you are looking for a cleanser, toner, or moisturizer, you should only ever choose products that will have these properties.
Many people with dry and sensitive skin often feel that they should avoid certain skincare products because of their skin type.
For example, they may not use a toner because toners have been known to be drying. However, this does not need to be the case.
You can have a normal skincare routine, using a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, exfoliator, and all different types of serums and oils, all whilst still ensuring your dry and sensitive skin remains in good condition.
It is all about what types of these products you use and provided they are all made to be nourishing and full of ingredients that help to improve your dry and sensitive skin, you will be fine.
Let’s take a little delve into what types of ingredients you should look out for in your skincare products and what sort of ingredients you should avoid…
First thing’s first, we want to point out that when it comes to cleansers, you should be choosing something very nourishing. Have you ever washed your face and felt that tight, super duper clean feeling? You have? Well, you shouldn’t.
A cleanser should not leave your face feeling tight and squeaky clean. Sure, it does the job of cleansing it, but it will actually cause more dryness and irritation.
The ingredients that cause this tight feeling are usually soap, and a little something called sodium lauryl sulfate (also known as SLS).
SLS is a foaming agent used in cleansers, shampoos, and face washes. However, it is extremely drying. The fact that it is used in dish soap should be enough to put you off. Now, this is not exactly good for any skin type, but it is especially bad for dry and sensitive skin.
Avoid any cleansers that are soap-based, list SLS as an ingredient, and any that state that they are a foaming cleanser. Instead, you should choose a cream or oil-based cleansing balm.
Look out for cleanser blams such as this one by Clinique, that list glycerin, shea butter, and sodium hyaluronate as ingredients. They may also have coconut oil and other nourishing oils as an ingredient.
Another great ingredient to look for is honey, as this is a natural humectant meaning it can attract moisture to your skin.
If your skin gets sore, you could even look out for ingredients such as aloe vera and rose which are naturally calming to the skin (just make sure there are lots of nourishing oils or butter in there too).
You should look out for calming toners, like First Aid Beauty’s nourishing alcohol free formula. Ensure they do not have alcohol as an ingredient, as this can be very drying. Choose naturally toning ingredients such as rosewater, sea salt, and aloe vera.
There should also be good amounts of calming ingredients in there to soothe your irritated skin like rose and lavender. It should also be largely water-based.
Moisturizer is your best friend! Ensure you have a really nourishing daytime moisturizer like our favorite by Aveeno, as well as a great facial SPF (no less than SPF 50, please) like the La Roche De Posay SPF 60!
Again, like the cleansers, you should look out for shea butter, glycerine, and other nourishing ingredients.
Oatmeal is a very good ingredient to include in your skincare routine, especially if your sensitive skin ever becomes irritated. It can calm it down and soothe it, reducing redness and dryness too. Find a moisturizer that contains this!
You should also consider using a night cream. I mean, we think that everyone needs a night cream, but you sensitive-skinned people will benefit the most from this! Use something that is fragrance free and formulated to replenish and soothe skin overnight.
Again, oatmeal is a great addition to your night creams so if you can find one that contains this you should try it out. You should also look out for skincare savior ceramide as this will be hugely beneficial in calming your skin and hydrating it.
When it comes to exfoliation, the rule of thumb for sensitive skin is to do it very occasionally, and very gently.
Sensitive skin will get even more sore and sensitive if you use a harsh exfoliator every day! That is a one-way ticket to red-raw skin!
You may be best off using something like a muslin cloth every week to take off your cleanser as this will give very gentle exfoliation with enough power to get away those dead skin cells.
Do not even entertain the idea of harsh scrubs made from salt, sugar, or coconut shells! Just rub gently with your muslin cloth and follow with a gentle toner and very hydrating moisturizer.
From nails to skin and hair to makeup and even waxing and eye care, Steph loves it all. A firm believer in personal expression and style she’s rarely ready on time herself but loves helping others look their best.