“I can’t because I have sensitive skin”
There are so many times I have heard and used this phrase throughout my life. The latest glittery bubble bath my friends were using, the must-have fake tan that girls swore by, those amazing face washes for teenage spots – I could use none of them, as it would effect my sensitive, eczema-prone skin VERY badly. Endless trips to the doctors and never-ending antiseptic cream prescriptions would result in me never branching out into trying other products.
Then I thought enough was enough – I was fed up with hating my own skin. Your skin is, after all, the biggest organ of your body so it’s important to cherish it – the time had come to venture beyond the prescribed eczema treatments and into the brave new world of luxury skincare.
From past trips to the pharmacy, I have a pretty good knowledge of what particular ingredients to look out for in various beauty products, which might cause an eczema flare-up. I’ve also discovered ingredients kind to sensitive skin which have literally changed my life! I will also cover some natural ingredients worth making a note of if, like me, you suffer from sensitive skin.
I only ever used to use cheap, sensitive skin wipes to take my make-up off and just pure water to wash my face. I always used to think that if I used products constantly, it would irritate my sensitive skin even more. Luckily, I don’t suffer too badly on my face with eczema, however, when the weather changes or it’s quite cold out, my skin becomes very dry and red patches appear.
Then I was introduced to the wonder of hot cloth cleansing. This method of cleansing is so soothing for your face and doesn’t feel harsh or irritable on sensitive complexions. I have been using Emma Hardie’s Amazing Face Lift & Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm. This stuff is SO good! It leaves your face feeling amazing – just use a pea size amount, rub it together with a little water in your palms and apply all over the face. Then using a damp, warm cloth, wipe it all off your face et voila! A fresh, clean complexion. With natural ingredients of moringa seed extract, jasmine, rose and vitamin E, this beautiful balm will brighten your sensitive skin and help to minimise pores.
On the other hand, if you can’t be bothered some nights and just want to use something quick and easy, I thoroughly recommend Nuxe Micellar Cleansing Water. As advised by my doctor, I always try to choose products with as little alcohol in as possible, such as this alcohol-free miracle worker. The more alcohol, the more reactive the product will be to sensitive skin. Micellar cleansing water is fast becoming the cleanser of choice for people with sensitive skin, as it removes impurities without the risk of irritation.
“The more alcohol, the more reactive the product will be to sensitive skin”
After washing your face, it is important to restore the skin’s moisture by using a day cream. For me, it also calms down any redness I have. A gorgeous brand Ren was launched recently and I was so excited to hear they had a range dedicated to sensitive skin. I tried the Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream and instantly fell in love. Not only did it feel luxurious but also absorbed into my skin really quickly.
I hate wasting time in the morning waiting for any cream to absorb, especially before putting on any makeup. As a base before my foundation, I love to use Bare Escentuals Prime Time as a primer. I use the tiniest amount, rub it in and then use a sponge to apply my foundation. It has changed my makeup routine drastically and doesn’t give me that ‘caked on’ feeling. I can never go back now since using this, so beware, you will fall in love with it! For your foundation, try to use a hypoallergenic product to reduce any allergies, and something that feels lightweight – you don’t want products to feel heavy or uncomfortable on top of that dry skin.
The idea of using a body scrub on sensitive skin used to make me shudder with fear. I never thought I could exfoliate my skin without that harsh reaction or the feeling of something scratching my skin off! When I was given this Gureande Salt Exfoliating Body Balm by Ren, I admit, I was apprehensive. It’s quite a strange product to use, as you rub it straight onto dry skin before rinsing off in a bath or shower. You’re left with such soft skin you won’t even need to use a shower gel; it’s simply amazing. I’m converted!
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. It is highly important to do this if your skin is dry and dehydrated. I often alternate between two types of moisturisers so my skin doesn’t react as much when it becomes used to a certain formulation.
I use a fragrance-free, alcohol-free one nearly everyday (like First Aid Beauty Body Moisturizer) and then when I want something with a little more fragrance, I use something natural with no nasties. Korres is also a great brand as all their packaging includes a useful label showing exactly what ingredients are/are not in them. I use the Korres body milk as these absorb quickly and leave a luxurious smell and beautifully soft skin.
My hands are terrible. Because I wash them so regularly, I need to keep them moisturised constantly otherwise they can start to look like old lady hands! So, as you may have guessed, I have copious amounts of hand creams around my flat, in my handbag, on my desk – absolutely everywhere.
The two I always keep coming back to are Barefoot Botanicals SOS Rescue Me Face & Body Cream and Cowshed’s Cow Slip Hand Cream. As a natural health and skincare fanatic, I couldn’t resist trying the Barefoot Botanicals cream. It is recommended for eczema, psoriasis and seriously parched, distressed skin as it contains therapeutic herbs. Also pure essential oils help calm skin with a relaxing aroma. I often find that if aloe vera is contained within a product, it will most likely calm any itching or redness I have, so keep a look out if you suffer from eczema or sensitive skin conditions.
“I often find that if aloe vera is contained within a product, it will most likely calm any itching or redness”
And finally for my lips, I religiously use the Nuxe Reve de Miel Baume Levres Lip Balm. This extremely nourishing and repairing fragrance-free honey lip balm contains no preservatives or artificial scents and has no sticky effect, leaving lips supple and soft. Acacia honey and shea butter nourish and intensely repair any cracked areas. I also use daily Korres Lip Butters, which leave a tinted finish. My favourite is the nude shade Jasmine.
I hope this has helped my fellow sensitive skin lovelies looking for everyday products to help soothe their tired and distressed skin. If you have any other questions or need more advice, our excellent customer care team are always here to help.