Figuring out how to treat sensitive skin can be puzzling at best, and downright frustrating at worst.

But don’t panic! There are simple steps you can incorporate into your everyday routine to help prevent sore skin and keep your complexion looking fresh and feeling healthy.

water droplet Source: Joaquin Aranoa

Develop a Tailored Skincare Routine



The key to developing a specific skincare routine for sensitive skin, is to avoid any complex, harsh chemicals and cleansers. This is because they can damage your natural skin barriers and easily aggravate your skin, something we want to avoid!

In fact, fragranced cleansers and facial products are the most notorious cause of skin irritation for sensitive skin sufferers. In this sense, using natural cleansers is the best option to minimise skin irritation.

Furthermore, ensure you moisturise after cleansing the skin. But more on that below!

Exfoliate Thrice a Week, Max

The good news for those with sensitive skin is that you only need to exfoliate twice a week!

Sufferers of sensitive skin normally have thinner natural skin barriers. Therefore, exfoliating too much can wear these barriers down, leaving your skin more susceptible to irritation and aggravation.

So, exfoliating just two or three times a week will buff away dead skin cells for a deeper cleanse, while still protecting your natural skin barrier.

Keep Your Moisturisers and Make-Up Simple

In line with the minimalist approach we’ve been taking so far, using non-irritating moisturisers and emollients is essential to prevent your sensitive skin from becoming irritated.

Natural, fragrance-free products will nourish your skin, while those which contain acids may cause aggravation and are best avoided.

Some products are labelled as ‘hypoallergenic’, which means they are suitable for all skin types regardless of allergies or sensitivities.

Sun Protection

sun cream Source: dimitrisvetsikas

Another very simple, effective way to protect your sensitive skin is to use SPF whenever possible. This is particularly important for your face, which has a thinner layer of skin compared to the rest of your body, making it more susceptible to damage from UV rays. This one of the many effects of sun exposure.

Look for moisturisers and foundations that have an SPF of 15 or above within them to maximise this protection.

It goes without saying that when you go on holiday, your SPF must be increased! For more help, check out our post on choosing the right SPF.

If you’re worried that sun cream may aggravate your skin, don’t panic. There are lots of non-oily, high-factor sun creams available, designed especially with sensitive skin in mind.

Diet



Skin irritants can be digested within the food we eat, so it’s important to make a note if you notice a particular food causes your skin any discomfort.

Vitamin A

carrot juice Source: Couleur

Foods that are high in Vitamin A are essential and can help your skin.

Vitamin A contains the natural element retinol. While retinol-based skincare products are best avoided if you have sensitive skin, consuming it in its natural, unprocessed form could really make a difference.

Retinol limits the production of oil in your skin, which in turn can prevent breakouts and reactions.

Foods that contain high levels of Vitamin A include those rich in green, red, and yellow colours:

• Sweet potatoes
• Carrots
• Spinach
• Kale

Alongside this useful vitamin, we’d also recommend eating a healthy, balanced diet and drinking plenty of water to keep your skin as hydrated as possible.

So there you have it — a guide to combatting sensitive skin and keeping irritation at bay!

If our recommendations do not decrease the sensitivity of your skin, you may suffer from more serious allergies or skin conditions. If this is the case, please contact your GP to discuss the issue further.