People with sensitive skin are often characterised as having what's known as a "lower barrier integrity. This means that external stimuli are able to penetrate and affect the skin, triggering processes that leads to reddening, itching and scaling. So it's no surprise that what people with sensitive skin apply on their skin has a tremendous effect on the reactions they experience.
To help you make the best choices for your sensitive skin, we have compiled a list of things to keep in mind:
- Cleansers and facial washes are something that many people have as part of their daily routine, but using harsh products will very likely induce a reaction. By choosing products without alcohol and SLS (Sodium lauryl sulfate), and that are specially designed as gentle cleansers, you should be able to minimise (or avoid entirely) unwanted reactions.
- After cleansing and bathing, you should also restore your skin’s moisture levels by applying a moisturiser right away. This will not only lock in moisture after bathing (which is important, as water is ironically very drying on the skin), but it will also reinforce your skin's natural barrier function. Just as with the cleansing products you choose, your moisturiser should be gentle and specifically designed for sensitive skin.
- Look for moisturisers without alcohol, perfume, and salicylic acid. When changing to a new moisturiser, it’s always a good idea to perform a small patch test by applying to only a small area of the skin, wait 15 minutes and see whether the moisturiser is tolerated by your skin or not.
- Where possible, avoid exposure to particularly cold or hot water, and when washing limit your water exposure time to 5-10 minutes.
- When drying yourself after bathing, pat yourself dry, or alternatively use long gentle strokes in the direction of your hair growth instead of scrubbing to minimise unnecessary irritation to your skin.