When you have sensitive skin, shopping for makeup and skincare can feel like walking through a minefield. Burning, redness and inflammation of the skin can all be side effects of using a product that is too harsh for sensitive skin. Want products that won’t trigger a bad skin reaction? Read on for our 100% PURE guide – plus the best products for calm, healthy skin!
Do I have sensitive skin?
First things first: do you have sensitive skin? When deciding on your skin’s sensitivity, consider that there are two possibilities. The first possibility is that you have “sensitive skin”, which may be part of your genetic code. Thin skin, blood vessels close to the skin’s surface, less pigmentation and a weaker outer skin barrier are all common complaints of sensitive skin. These factors often mean redness and irritation for your precious skin.
The other possibility is that your skin has been sensitized. This means that the skin’s lipid barrier has been compromised by something other than hereditary factors. Causes of sensitized skin can include stress, diet, environment, pollution, alcohol consumption, smoking, hormones, and over-exfoliation.
Symptoms of Sensitive Skin
If your skin frequently reacts to different products, this could be a big indicator that you have sensitive skin. For example, your senses might say yes to that exfoliating cocoa bean cleanser that takes you to a tropical paradise, but your skin might say no. If you have sensitive skin, you’ve probably noticed that exfoliants, perfumes, detergents, and dyes cause your skin to react, especially if they’re not natural ingredients.
You may notice that many products can cause itching, dryness or redness. It can also take the form of red bumps, redness and flushing, or red dilated blood vessels. For example, if you pick up the first moisturizer at the store, your skin may suddenly feel irritated, itch, tingle, or start burning. Some also suffer from redness, dry patches and tightness of the skin. Another indicator of sensitive skin is the appearance of redness shortly after applying light pressure to the skin.
Sensitive skin can be triggered by environmental factors. For example, going out can feel like a minefield when you have skin sensitivity. Various elements such as heat, cold and wind can aggravate your skin. Additionally, the cold can dry out the skin, leaving sensitive skin prone to rashes and chapping.
Recommended products for sensitive skin
Our luxurious calendula foaming cleansing milk is formulated with aloe juice to hydrate the skin, chamomile to soften the skin and sea buckthorn oil to hydrate and lock in moisture. This gentle cleanser is great for sensitive skin and sensitized skin as it won’t strip the skin of needed oils. It also helps to increase the moisture and hydration of the skin and the lipid barrier.
Blood Orange Cleansing Balm is another cleanser with an ultra-luxurious feel. It starts out as a solid balm but transforms into a cleansing oil as you rub it between your fingers. Gently massage into skin to dissolve makeup, dirt and pollutants. Use lukewarm water to wipe it off with a washcloth to reveal clean, supple skin. It is an excellent cleanser for very dry or sensitive skin.
Our Restorative Sea Culture Hydrating Toner contains hydrating ingredients for sensitive skin. Chia seed water, hyaluronic acid and sea algae all work to plump and hydrate thirsty skin cells. This toner does not dry out or strip sensitive skin like many conventional toners do.
Our Sea Hydrate Replenishing Serum also saturates skin with hydrating ingredients to drench dry, thirsty skin in intense hydration. Algae Polysaccharides hydrate and plump skin for a more youthful complexion, while Olive Squalane moisturizes to prolong hydration.
Our Restorative Marine Culture Extra Rich Cream is a rich moisturizer that helps restore the lipid barrier with Sea Buckthorn Omega 7, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter and Bacuri Butter. These ingredients are quickly absorbed, moisturizing and healing.
If you have sensitive skin and prefer a lightweight moisturizer, Hydra Drench Cream is a great option. Designed to hydrate skin with its chia seed gel base, it penetrates the lipid barrier to deliver hydration to skin cells. Chia gel also plumps the skin and replenishes water loss in sensitive skin.
Our pure argan oil naturally contains repairing and softening vitamins A and E. Vitamin A helps increase skin cell regeneration, while Vitamin E helps heal and improve the appearance of skin. This oil is also beneficial for people suffering from skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
The aloe vera juice in our Caffeine Hydrogel Mask provides gentle hydration for sensitive skin. This mask is also very beneficial for those who have spent time in the sun since the coffee works below the surface of the skin to help repair sun damage. The caffeine in green tea, yerba mate, and coffee helps stimulate, increase blood flow and oxygen, and acts as an anti-inflammatory to reduce redness.
What to look for when buying products for sensitive skin
All 100% PURE skincare products contain ingredients that are essential for healthy skin. Look for these specific types of ingredients when buying products for sensitive skin:
Ingredients like chamomile, calendula, and aloe to name a few are wonderful for soothing and calming inflamed, irritated skin.
Hyaluronic acid, aloe, cactus and other ingredients that moisturize the skin are beneficial for sensitive skin because if the lipid barrier is compromised it is much easier for transdermal water loss to occur. This means that the skin will lose some of its much-needed moisture. Therefore, it must be replenished with moisturizing ingredients.
Coconut oil, argan oil, olive oil and avocado butter are all nourishing ingredients that contain important vitamins like A and E and help repair the skin’s lipid barrier. These hydrating ingredients also help seal in moisture by slowing the process of transdermal water loss.
Green tea, coffee and other antioxidants are beneficial for increasing circulation to the skin and helping to calm inflammation and reduce redness. They also help protect the skin from free radicals, caused by pollution, smoke and other environmental factors.
What to avoid if you have sensitive skin
Not all skincare products are created equal. Many may not be suitable for delicate and sensitive skin due to their harsh ingredients. Some more offensive skincare ingredients include:
Strong fragrances can be irritating to sensitive skin. Synthetic fragrances are often irritating, but even essential oils can trigger skin sensitivity.
Studies show that parabens artificially mimic estrogen in the body, leading to a host of topical and internal issues. For sensitive skin, parabens can also aggravate eczema, psoriasis, and contact dermatitis.
Sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate are known culprits to avoid if you have sensitive skin. Most used in cleansers, they rob the skin of its protective barrier and damage the delicate lipid layers that keep the skin supple and smooth. Harsh detergents can also disrupt the skin’s natural moisture balance and sebum production, resulting in dry or irritated skin.
Everyone knows that alcohol can dry out the skin, but you’ll find it in many conventional skin care products like cleansers, moisturizers, and toners. It can easily strip your skin of its protective barrier, making sensitive skin more prone to bacteria, infection, and dryness.
Sourced from petroleum (think gasoline, diesel), these industrial chemical preservatives can cause heavy buildup on the skin. They can trap bacteria, clog pores, and cause sensitive skin breakouts.
This synthetic version of menthol is used to give skincare products a minty cool feel, but has been linked to numerous allergic reactions.
Although a hammam session at the spa may seem pleasant, the steam can increase redness and cause dryness in sensitive skin. Using water that is too hot can also cause side effects. Best practice when it comes to water temperature? Always use lukewarm and avoid steam.
Scrubs that are too abrasive can disrupt the lipid barrier function, or even cause micro-tears in the skin. If you have sensitive skin, your lipid barrier is already compromised. So, using harsh scrubs will only wreak havoc on your delicate skin.
Cleaning brushes or sponges
Super sonic cleansing brushes may be all the rage, but they can be way too intense for sensitive skin. It’s best to use bristle brushes designed for sensitive skin and use them no more than three times a week. Go for soft facial sponges like our Konjac sponge and avoid abrasive sponges like plastic loofahs.
We understand that shopping for skincare can be scary if you suffer from sensitive skin. That’s why we always use skin-friendly natural ingredients. When we scent our products which are not fragrance free, we use essential oils which can help soothe sensitive skin. If you’re interested in other skin care guides, check out these recent articles:
Benefits of coconut oil for skin
Korean Sheet Mask Essentials
How to Choose a Cleanser for Dry Skin