Many people with sensitive skin succumb to the notion that they were just born with "bad skin." While genetics do play a massive role in your skin's overall condition, it isn't everything. With so much choice available, people often overuse or combine products that can make their skin worse and more sensitive.
Skin sensitivity is why I encourage skin minimalism versus trendy skincare regimens with multiple steps where there are just too many ingredients interacting with each other. It's also worth noting that skin care is not one size fits all. While someone might swear by their regimen, what works for others may not work for you.
If you're prone to redness and adverse reactions, it means you do have sensitive skin, and you should ensure your routine only consists of basic essentials. Even products marketed for "normal skin types" may be too harsh for you, and with prolonged use, one day, your skin may turn around and say, "Okay, I give up," and you'll experience redness, irritation, dryness, and worsened breakouts.
To avoid this from happening, follow my golden rules based on two decades of studying and treating all types of skin:
- Use gentle products like a cream cleanser and simple cream moisturizers. Some of my favorites include In Fiore TREATE Gentle Cleansing Emulsion, Hylunia Hyaluronic Cleansing Cream, Doctor Rogers RESTORE Face Cream and Maelove The One Creme.
- A strong, zinc-based sunscreen is a MUST. Do not ever skip this step. Zinc also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe sensitized skin.
- Avoid retinol, physical (scrubs) or chemical (acids) exfoliants and any other treatments designed to boost skin cell turnover. They will most likely make your skin more red and sensitive as a result. Keeping skin care simple by only using a cream cleanser and moisturizer followed by a zinc-based sunscreen during that day will allow your skin to return to a healthy equilibrium. Our skin is adept at taking care of itself. Show it some love by asking it to process less!
- Maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Stay away from foods that upset your stomach or cause inflammation in your gut.
- Take note of everything you're putting into your body and onto your skin, and ask yourself, "How will this affect my skin?" Observe your skin's reaction. No product should cause burning, stinging, flaking, peeling, acne, or excessive oiliness.
Many of us want to rely on products touted as miracle workers rather than do the work ourselves. We're all busy, so I understand, but taking care of your skin is simple: the more pared-down your regimen is, the better it is for you and your skin.