Do you have sensitive skin?
If you do, you probably remember the exact moment you realized that your skin was not equipped for certain products. For me, this happened when I was twelve years old; the incident involved my “girl-stache,” a jar of Sally Hensen’s Depilatory Cream, and my mother’s bathroom sink. To make a long story short, the hair did come off, but it ended up taking some of my skin along with it.
That experience taught me two things: 1) The phrase, “If it’s burning, it’s working!” is not a universal truth, and 2) I had sensitive skin.
It took me many years of trial and error to finally figure out what worked for my sensitive skin. But if you don’t have the time (or the traumatic experience) to learn the way that I did, you’re in luck! Here at Bauhaus Salon + Spa, we have the luxury of having some of the top estheticians in the area to give us advice about skincare! Today, Bauhaus Esthetician Shontel Grubbs will be helping me out in giving you Bauhaus’s Top Five Tips for dealing with Sensitive Skin!
1. Check the Ingredients!
Our number one tip for any product is to check those ingredients! Unfortunately, product labels are not always reliable when it comes to judging their suitability for sensitive skin. Just because the product is labeled as “gentle” or “mild” doesn’t mean it really is. If you have sensitive skin, Bauhaus Esthetician Shontel Grubbs recommends avoiding these ingredients:
- Glycolic Acid
- Salicylic Acid
- Benzoyl Peroxide
- Perfumes (Fragrances)
- Essential Oils
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
These products can be harsh and irritating to the thin skin on the face. So, while it may be tempting to reach for that alcohol-based toner or fragranced moisturizer (or $7 hair removal cream), resist the urge! In the end, products like these will cause more harm than good for those of us with sensitive skin.
2. Avoid Harsh Peels
Our second tip for living with sensitive skin is to avoid harsh peels. Facial peels use powerful enzymes to speed up the cell turnover process so that new skin cells are resurfaced more quickly. Sensitive skin reacts more strongly to irritants than regular skin, so even a mild peel might subject sensitive skin to extreme reactions such as dermatitis or chemical burns.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to close the door to peels completely if you have sensitive skin. “Peels can be appropriate for sensitive skin if done properly by a professional,” Shontel says. “There are peels like PCA’s Sensi Peel that can be done.”
But if you’re thinking of an at-home peel, forget it. “I would give a hard ‘no’ on at-home peels for sensitive skin, simply because they should be done under the advice of a licensed esthetician.”
*Bonus tip: Instead of a peel, try a mask! There are many masks on the market that are tailored for sensitive skin. Bauhaus Salon carries FarmHouse Fresh, an organic brand known for making natural, sensitive skin-friendly products! One of their most popular products is the Guac Star Mask, which is made from avocados and soothes redness + irritation.
3. Chill Out on the Exfoliation
I know, I know. Our third tip seems counter-intuitive considering how exfoliation is hailed as one of the pillars of skincare. Of course, exfoliation is good for the skin – when done periodically. Shontel says that over-exfoliation is one of the most common mistakes she sees her clients make: “Over-exfoliating, either with a physical* or chemical** exfoliant, can actually make your skin sensitive, even if you’ve never had sensitive skin before.”
Yikes! So over-exfoliating can make your skin even more sensitive than it already is! To avoid irritating the skin, keep exfoliation at a minimum – once a week is usually sufficient for most people.
*A physical exfoliant is a product that manually removes dead skin cells. Scrubbing your face with a washcloth or using a scrub product are examples of physical exfoliation. The Pore Refining Treatment from PCA and the Finely Wake Plantfoliant by Farmhouse Fresh are examples of physical exfoliants.
** A chemical exfoliant is a product that removes dead skin cells via ingredients that break down cells. These products are not rubbed into the skin, as they do not remove dead skin manually. The Pudding Apeel Mask by FarmHouse Fresh and the Glycolic 10 Overnight Treatment from SkinCeuticals are examples of chemical exfoliants.
4. Invest in Good Skincare As Directed by an Esthetician
The verdict is in: your skin is worth investing in! Shontel suggests consulting with your esthetician for the best products for your skin specifically. “It’s super important to take care of sensitive skin,” she says, warning of what might happen if one neglects their skincare routine: “It can lead to other complications like dehydration and premature aging.”
On the flip side, the right products can actually correct issues related to sensitive skin: “Proper skin care can prevent and reverse ailments that come along with sensitivity, like heat, redness, broken capillaries, itching, and irritation.”
Some of Shontel’s favorite products for sensitive skin are the Peat Perfection Mask by FarmHouse Fresh, the Hydrating Toner from PCA Skin, and the Phyto Corrective Gel by SkinCeuticals!
5. Do What’s Best For You
Of course, all of the above advice means nothing if you’re not listening to your skin. You are your own biggest asset when it comes to determining what does and doesn’t work for you. If you know that a certain ingredient causes you to break out, don’t buy a product with that ingredient just because it’s trendy or comes in a cool package.
Remember, burning ≠ working in most cases. If a product is irritating your skin, stop using it. Continuing to use products like these will ultimately result in damaged skin that can be difficult to repair. There really is a product out there for everyone, so don’t settle for one that isn’t right for you!
So let’s recap our five top tips, shall we?
- Check the Ingredients
- Avoid Harsh Peels
- Limit Exfoliation
- Invest in Your Skincare
- Do What’s Best For You
And there you have it! Bauhaus’s Top Five Tips for Sensitive Skin! We hope that this post has been informative and helpful to you. If you’d like to see more content like this, follow us on our socials and subscribe to our newsletter!
Good luck with your sensitive skin, Bauhaus Babes!