Amazingly, half of us suffer with sensitive skin conditions and experts agree that this number is set to rise. Here are Go Vita’s top tips for what to do and what not to do!
The increased use of synthetic ingredients in personal care products is one theory that explains why today, skin seems to be more sensitive; however there are numerous other theories that range from the increase in allergies, to environmental pollution, to the popularity of harsh treatments such as skin peels and microdermabrasion that are making your skin more vulnerable. We also know that hormone fluctuation, certain foods and stress, both emotional and environmental (from harsh weather for instance), can temporarily upset your skin. Whatever the reason, it is clear is that the burning, itchy sensation of sensitive skin is here to stay.
What To DO To Calm Sensitive Skin
- Do read labels carefully. Sensitive skin tends to be quite dry, but responds to the nourishment offered by rich natural emollients (moisturising ingredients that help lock in moisture).
- Do reduce the number of skincare products you use, keeping to a simple natural routine is best.
- Do be aware that allergies or sensitivities to skin care and cosmetic products can build up slowly over years. Therefore a product you’ve used for a couple of years could well be the culprit for your red, itchy skin.
- Do try pure almond oil or jojoba oil to moisturise particularly sensitive, irritated skin. Apply on a cotton cloth and gently pat the skin.
- Do ensure you drink plenty of pure, alkalised water every day to help keep the skin hydrated from the inside. Add a dash of lemon or chlorophyll for extra cleansing and purifying benefits.
- Do protect your skin from the sun, especially during summer months. Wear a hat, use a sunscreen and avoid long periods of time in the sun.
- Do a patch test of any new skin care product – place a small amount on the inside of your wrist, apply a Band-Aid over the top and leave for 24 hours without water. This will give you an indication if that product will be suitable for your skin.
- Do make sure your hair care products contain natural non-irritating ingredients and you swap soap for natural alternatives, such as the Mineral Energy Bath & Shower Gel.
What NOT TO DO If You Have Sensitive Skin
- Don’t use harsh exfoliants such as nuts and shells on sensitive skin as it will simply exacerbate the situation.
- Don’t use products containing harsh cleansers, sulfates, parabens, benzoyl peroxide, PABA, SLS or fragrances, as they will strip sensitive skin of natural oils and dry out or irritate your skin.
- Don’t use hot water to cleanse skin, use lukewarm water which is less irritating. (Saunas and steam rooms are also a no-no!)
- Don’t use petroleum-based products, as these just form a barrier on your skin but don’t nourish, soothe or hydrate your skin.
- Don’t touch your face throughout the day! Surprisingly we do this more often than we think and it is one way we can transfer bacteria that can irritate the skin.
- Don’t roughly rub your skin with a towel after showering, as this will irritate, just gently pat skin dry.
- Don’t consume foods you know irritate your skin such as red wine or hot spices.
Almonds for Sensitive Skin
If you have sensitive skin, look out for non-irritating, sweet almond oil, one of the most valuable and skin-healthy oils on the planet. Almond oil is rich in omega-6 essential fatty acids and naturally occurring antioxidant vitamin E, ideal for calming and soothing allergy-prone, inflamed and dry skin. Weleda has captured the goodness of sweet almond oil and created the Almond Facial Care range for sensitive skin. Free from essential oils, synthetic preservatives, stimulating ingredients, perfumes or colours, Weleda’s Almond Facial Care range is well tolerated by even sensitive and rosacea-affected skin, it allows your skin to rest and restore balance naturally.
Jojoba oil – A Multivitamin For Your Skin
Sydney-based naturopath Anastasia Zafiropoulos recommends jojoba oil as a moisturiser, particularly for dry skin, just a few drops applied to the face and body as needed helps to restore moisture to the skin. It can be used after showering, shaving or waxing. A few drops added to a lukewarm bath, helps leave your skin feeling soft and supple. Jojoba oil also makes a great natural alternative to using mineral based ‘baby oils’, as it is gentle enough to be used on baby’s sensitive skin.
The Jojoba Company of Australia was first in the world to make the connection between the ability of the jojoba plant wax esters to protect skin against moisture loss and their ability to deliver nutrients deep into the skin. After much research and international collaboration, they developed a natural skincare range with jojoba as the hero ingredient, ideal for dry skin conditions.
Revitalising Oils For Dull And Dry Skin
Another botanical oil product available at Go Vita is the Springfields Neroli Revitalising 100% Botanical Facial Oil. This unique blend of neroli, lemon, frankincense, and jasmine essential oils in a rich base of pure rosehip, jojoba and argan oils is ideal to relieve dryness and restore youthfulness and radiance to dull and tired skin. It also helps to minimise the appearance of uneven skin tone.
Be sure to talk to the staff at Go Vita to find the most suitable product for your skin type.
Adapted from Go Magazine March 2014