How to Build a Skincare Routine for your Sensitive Skin

You know that relative that we all have who is highly sensitive, takes offense at everything, and reacts dramatically when something rubs him or her the wrong way? Well some of us have skin that’s exactly like that. For those with sensitive skin, every day is a delicate balancing act where we try to use products to make us beautiful and care for our skin, while at the same time does not irritate it in any way. Basically, our skin is a sensitive snowflake and we have to carefully tiptoe around it to avoid drama.

So, how do you build a good skincare routine when you have sensitive skin?

Morning Moisture

The first step in any good skincare regimen begins in the morning. Before applying makeup, it’s important to protect your skin with a good moisturizer with SPF protection. Having skin that’s easily upset can make this more difficult than for those with skin that’s more relaxed and easygoing.

A good moisturizer with SPF protection must first be labeled as a product for sensitive skin, such as Olay Complete Lotion Moisturizer with SPF 30 Sensitive. It’s gentle and fragrance-free. It contains skin soothing aloe and vitamin E, so it actually calms irritated skin while protecting it from the sun.

Beginning the day with this moisturizer soothes, hydrates, and protects, and it’s safe for most sensitive skin. For those with super-sensitive skin, you may want to perform a patch test with this product before beginning use.

Evening Routine for Sensitive Skin

In the evening it’s important to cleanse your skin to remove makeup, grime, and oily buildup. For those with sensitive skin, it’s important to find a cleanser with ingredients that won’t irritate your easily upset skin. Your cleanser should be free of alcohol, fragrance, parabens, and phthalates. Look for a product that’s specifically labeled for sensitive skin and also offers benefits to suit your particular skin type, such as dry, oily, or combination skin. A good example is Derma-E sensitive skin cleanser. It contains beneficial antioxidants from green tea to fight against damaging free radicals cells, while it cleanses and soothes with skin-calming chamomile and lemongrass extract.

After you cleanse, you should apply a gentle toner. A great toner for sensitive skin is one that’s alcohol-free and antioxidant rich. Look for toners with rose water, green tea, or grapeseed extract. These toners should contain only these key ingredients and water, and should be free of chemicals, alcohol, and artificial fragrances.

After toner, you should apply a drop of a great serum. Serums containing hyaluronic acid offer superior hydration for sensitive skin. Despite the scary sound, hyaluronic acid is naturally present in healthy young skin, but diminishes as we age. It can actually attract moisture from the air and draw it deep below the skin’s surface for a soft, dewy glow. A serum such as Khadi Global Natural Hyaluronic Acid Serum is ideal for sensitive skin. It is deeply penetrating to soothe and moisturize your skin on a cellular level.

Next, treat your skin to a great face moisturizer for dry skin. Sensitive skin tends to be dry and irritated from reacting to impurities in the environment, and a face moisturizer for dry skin can promote a strong skin barrier to seal in hydration. This can also help to reduce excessive oil production by sealing in moisture so your pores don’t have to go into oil-overdrive in an attempt to protect your skin.

Finally, pat an eye cream for sensitive skin around the fragile eye area. Burt’s Bees Sensitive Eye Cream is 99 percent natural and moisturizes sensitive skin while reducing puffiness, making it an ideal choice for sensitive skin.

Body Care for Sensitive Skin

Having sensitive skin also means you have to be careful about the products you use to moisturize the skin on the rest of your body. It’s best to moisturize your skin immediately after a shower or bath to help your lotion or cream to seal in the moisture in your skin cells that naturally occurs from warm water and steam. A good moisturizer for dry skin is especially important during the winter months when cold dry air and wind can leach the moisture from your skin, leaving it more sensitive than ever.

Pat your skin dry with a clean towel after showering or bathing. Be sure not to rub all the moisture from your skin. Then apply moisturizer while your skin is still slightly damp. This is when your pores are most open and receptive so you will get more out of your moisturizer. Your body moisturizer should be fragrance-free and allergy tested as well as being labeled as safe for sensitive skin.

Shaving with Sensitive Skin

Shaving can be a sensitive subject for those with sensitive skin. Naturally, the idea of scraping a razor on skin that’s sensitive and may already be irritated can be intimidating. Thankfully, a soothing shaving cream for sensitive skin can actually leave your skin healthier after shaving than it was before shaving.

For sensitive skin it’s always best to shave after a shower or bath when the hair on your legs and armpits are softened from steam and moisture. This means the hair will be removed easily with less irritating scraping.

If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to avoid shaving foams. Foams almost always contain alcohol and chemicals to make them foamy and to make the foam last. If you have sensitive skin, it’s generally best to choose a shave gel or cream.

EOS Shaving Cream for Sensitive Skin is one such product. It soothes and moisturizes skin with natural aloe, wild oats to prevent itching, and lavender butter. The lavender gives it a naturally subtle scent without any artificial fragrance.

For those with highly sensitive skin, shaving should be done in the direction the hair is growing, rather than against it, which can cause irritation and inflammation.

After shaving, it’s essential to apply a moisturizer, but it’s more important to moisturize with a good moisturizing cream or lotion that’s safe for sensitive skin and non-allergenic. Having the top layer of skin disturbed from shaving leaves it more vulnerable to irritation.

Living with sensitive skin can be a challenge. The best way to keep up a great skincare routine is to carefully read all product ingredients and perform a patch test before using any new product. After all, when your skin is sensitive, it’s the boss!

Kenneth Bennett

Atticus Bennett: Atticus, a sports nutritionist, provides dietary advice for athletes, tips for muscle recovery, and nutrition plans to support peak performance.