Does your skin tend to act like a rebellious teen, throwing tantrums in the form of irritation, rashes, and sudden breakouts? No matter how hard you try to protect and nourish your skin, it just doesn’t seem happy? You may have a sensitive skin type! Here are five simple steps you can take to help put together a skincare routine great for sensitive skin.

1.    Start with a gentle cleanser.
Cleansing is important, but don’t go overboard with harsh cleansers that can rob your skin of healthy oils and lead to dryness. The right cleanser should be gentle and support a healthy balance of moisture. We recommend Alastin Gentle Cleanser.

The Alastin Gentle Cleanser contains calming antioxidants that help soothe and protect the skin. Key ingredients include:
·      D-Panthenol is a Vitamin B5 derivative that helps soften and moisturize skin
·      Oat Beta Glucan is an anti-inflammatory ingredient that helps reduce redness, itching and irritation
·      Bisabolol is a concentrated form of chamomile that has strong anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties
·      Oat Kernel Extract is an antioxidant and skin-conditioning agent

2.    Soothe irritation with a calming serum.
A calming serum can help reduce redness and flare-ups, common signs of sensitive skin. Choosing the right serum is key to reducing redness and improving the appearance of discoloration and uneven skin tone. We recommend SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel. This serum contains thyme, olive, cucumber, Eucalyptus leaf, and hyaluronic acid.

Thyme has strong antibacterial properties that help fight acne and inflammation. Cucumber also possesses anti-inflammatory properties necessary to soothe skin irritation and reduce inflammation. Eucalyptus leaf is another powerful ingredient with cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties. 

3.    Choose a hydrating moisturizer.
The best moisturizer for sensitive skin should be lightweight but carry potent ingredients that provide intense hydration, nourish and restore the skin’s natural protective barrier, while also soothing the drying effects of environmental aggressors, skin disorders, and dermatological treatments.

Choose a moisturizer with safe ingredients, such as glycerin, dimethicone, shea butter, and sodium hyaluronate. We recommend Avene Cold Cream Facial Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin. This moisturizer contains pharmaceutical grade mineral oil and white beeswax to hydrate, soothe, and soften skin.

4.    Use a hydrating sunscreen.
Sunscreen is key to protecting your skin from the harmful effects of sun exposure. Choose a sunscreen packed with antioxidants and vital minerals, such as micronized zinc oxide. We recommend West Dermatology Sheer Physical Spray SPF 50 Sunscreen. This mineral sunscreen provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and contains the following key ingredients: 12 % Zinc Oxide, Green Tea Polyphenols, Resveratrol, Vitamin C, Emblica, and Co-Q10.

Zinc oxide may help reduce irritation and seal in moisture without clogging the pores. Green tea polyphenols contain powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that protect the skin.

5.    Restore balance with specialized treatment.
Use a calming mask once a week to give your sensitive skin that extra protection and care it needs. Be sure to choose a product with plant-based ingredients that possess anti-inflammatory properties. We recommend SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Calming Masque. This corrective mask is clinically tested effective post-procedure to provide:
·      20% reduction in visual redness
·      47% reduction in discomfort
·      5°F average reduction in skin surface temperature

Bonus Tip: Ingredients to avoid
When building your skin care product regime, pay careful attention to the ingredients. Avoid products that contain sulfates, retinol, alcohol, fragrance, and parabens. These ingredients can work against the good ones and do more damage than good when it comes to your skin health.

Got Questions?
If you have any questions about building a skin care routine for sensitive skin, don’t hesitate to give us a call or schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified dermatologists. They’ll be happy to build a customized skincare routine that is right for you!
Rachelle Riley