I started experiencing symptoms of sensitive skin last year; dry patches all over the shop, major irritation to the lips and infuriating itchiness – fun, right? Having never had to deal with this kind of malady before, I was confused. Products I had used before, were now an irritant. “Natural” beauty products were equally inflammatory, I now realise my skin was probably reacting against the strong essential oils often used in these products. I also no longer use lip balm, as I’m confident this is what initially caused the problems with my lips.
It has taken almost a year of cautious experimentation to find a routine that works. For some months, I simply stopped using skincare, save for cleansing and removing my makeup with micellar water. Spending £30+ on a product that was likely to do nothing but bring on an allergic reaction didn’t seem like a good idea.
I’ve referenced this article before and can’t recommend it enough; Tory Frost gives sound advice on choosing products for sensitive skin and the ingredients to watch out for. Earlier this year, I kept getting breakouts and had no idea what was causing them; they were more like sores than spots. After reading Tory’s article, I deduced that a foaming cleanser I was using could be the cause, as my breakouts didn’t improve with dietary changes. SLS (sodium laureth sulphate) is one of sensitive skin’s worst enemies and used to create the lather in foaming cleansers. After two weeks of removing my makeup with just micellar water and cotton pads, my skin was in excellent condition.
After hours of searching for the right products, I have now settled on a cleanser, moisturiser and eye cream, all of which work marvellously.
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
Not only is this cleanser probably one of the best I’ve ever used, it ticks all the boxes for sensitive skin; fragrance, alcohol and SLS free. The consistency feels a little like Vaseline but it melts onto the skin. I still remove my makeup with micellar water and then use a little of this all over the face, before removing with warm water.
La Roche Posay Toleraine
My current night cream is not only non-irritating, it’s beautifully light, soothing the skin without blocking pores. I use a small amount, mainly on my cheeks to avert dryness. I’m glad to have found this in time for winter!
La Roche Posay Toleraine Ultra Eye Contour
This is a gentle, cooling eye cream and seems to have improved the skin around my eyes, after a couple of weeks of using it. Although it’s lightweight, it works really well to hydrate the eye contour and give the wearer a wide-awake, healthy gaze. I love it.
These are the products which have worked well for my sensitive skin but I would love to hear any of your recommendations! Have you been able to pinpoint the triggers for your sensitive skin?