Trying lots of products, building complicated routines, using too many actives or simply reacting badly to a product means that we can easily sensitize our skin. So what do you do to bring it back to normal?
First, let’s clarify the terminology.
- Sensitive skin: permanent skin condition where skin is easily irritated for various reasons (environment, cosmetic use, stress etc.).
- Sensitized skin: temporary skin condition following one of the situations mentioned above. Everyone’s skin can become sensitized from time to time.
My skin can get sensitized especially when I test new products. So I wanted to share my tips on calming the skin and bringing it back to normal.
1- Stop using any actives
This is an important step in order to not further irritate your skin. I stop using actives (acids, strong vitamin C, retinol) even the ones I usually use without problem. Even if the reaction is not caused by one of your actives, this isn’t the time to overstimulate your skin.
2- Streamline your routine
This is when we need to come back to basics and chose products we know and love. I revert to a minimal, simple skincare routine: cleanse, moisturize and protect. I also opt for no-frills products free from potential irritants (if possible without fragrance and essential oils)
3- Focus on strengthening your skin barrier
As I’ve touched on in this article, maintaining a healthy skin barrier should be a primary concern of any skincare routine. It makes your skin more resilient, able to retain hydration and defend itself against irritants. For this, niacinamide is the ingredient to look for in your products. It’s anti-inflammatory and strengthens the skin barrier (there’s a brilliant article here that recaps all of niacinamide’s skin benefits). The hydration booster serum from A. Florence skincare with 4% niacinamide has been a revelation for me.
It’s also important to hydrate the skin (as you know, I love the Jordan Samuel Skin hydrate facial serum) and choose soothing ingredients such as allantoin, bisabobol, centella asiatica or flavonoids (the latter is included in the new Jordan Samuel Skin soothing facial oil).
4- Use repairing products
Finally, you can add products specifically formulated to repair the skin and accelerate the healing process.
- Active toners: as I’ve explained in this article, I love using granions to balance my skin (especially the gold ones).
- Repair creams: I’ve written in detail here about my two favorite repair creams – Avène Cicalfate and La Roche Posay Cicaplast Balm B5 (which can replace your moisturizer when your skin in sensitized).
- Masks: There are two masks that I find healing, the Marie Reynolds London Restore which uses probiotics (you can read my full review here) and straight up manuka honey.