Sensitive skin can be a real pill to manage. First, you have to decide whether your skin is simply sensitive or sensitized. If your skin is rosy and stings with most products and has been that way since you remember slathering on your first fancy clinique moisturizer back in the day, you likely have sensitive skin. If you are a skin care junky, have had more chemical peels than Joan Rivers, and just recently started noticing more redness and break outs then you are most likely suffering from sensitized skin. I speak with great wisdom as I myself frequently destroy the acid mantle that protects my fair skin in effort to remain wrinkle free with various peels and creams. If you feel the wrath of angry skin post procedure or general sensitivity there are ways to tame the beast, but it does take precious time- something those of us that enjoy peeling our faces off monthly tend to lack. Here is the plan:
1. Don’t panic. Your skin will naturally repair its barrier function. It could take more than a full skin cycle, so you could be sensitive for 30-45 days or more.
2. Avoid all known sensitizers!- Absolutely, positively, no matter how tempted you may be at the Sephora counter- DO NOT buy any new creams to fix the breakouts, dry skin, rash or redness. Your skin needs a break. No chemical peels, tretinoin, glycolic acid, lactic acid or microdermabrasion.
3. Read your stinkin’ labels! If your cleanser contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate, chunk it. It is a well-known skin bully and is no doubt adding to your plight. Despite the fact that it is the main ingredient in laundry detergent, is labeled as a cancer causing agent in California, and is used explicitly because it is loose and cheap, SLS is an all too common ingredient. Read the labels even if the cleanser is labeled for sensitive skin. FYI- I was surprised to discover that my favorite sensitive skin cleanser by Obagi lists SLS as the 4th ingredient- bummer! Even Cetaphil, the gold standard gentle cleanser recommended by dermatologists, is loaded with this foul beast. It is a travesty!
4. Mind your diet. Common foods that damage your precious skin and cause the dreaded inflammatory response: Sugar, red meat, gluten & alcohol (I almost left that last one out because it upsets me so much;).
5. Look for soothing ingredients in your makeup and moisturizer such as bisabolol, aloe, chamomile, green tea, & red clay
6. Do not use a wash cloth (usually contains detergent leftover from laundry), the beloved Clarisonic, a loofah or any other skin cleansing tool. Use your delicate little paws to cleanse.
7. See your esthetician for monthly facials to keep breakouts at bay and let her know that you battle sensitivity.
Derma Darling Recommended Products for Fragile Vixens (contains zero SLS):
Oxygenetix Foundations and Moisturizer (Sincerely the best makeup and moisturizer that I have ever come across for lighter skin tones that are sensitive and acne prone) It is hard to get your grubby paws on, but if you email me- I have connections;)
REN Canendula and Arctic Blackcurrant Seed Cleansing Milk
Jan Mirini C-Estam Cleansing Gel
Jan Mirini BioClean – Non Glycolic Acid Cleanser