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All skin types require a specifically tailored skin care routine, and that’s especially true when it comes to sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, you know that it can be tricky to manage. Oftentimes, you may not know which skin care products (from facial cleansers to moisturizers to face masks to eye creams) are right for your skin type. Ready to develop a sensitive skin care routine? Here are some common signs of sensitive skin along with tips for caring for sensitive skin and our best skin care products for sensitive skin. (Need more skin care product recommendations for specific skin concerns? Here are our best options for dark circles under the eyes.)
Before getting into the nitty gritty of putting together a sensitive skin care routine, you first need to determine if you do, in fact, have sensitive skin. Unfortunately, there isn’t a set dermatologist-approved checklist to make the answer clear as day. The best thing you can do is to pay attention to how your skin responds. Ask yourself this: How does your skin feel after using a skin care product—especially one that’s formulated with fragrance, alcohol, or soap? According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), sensitive skin types can be irritated by all of the above.
Regardless of where you fall on the skin spectrum, following a daily skin care routine tailored to your skin type is key. If you’ve got sensitive skin, consider the following skin care tips as you’re putting together your beauty regimen.
1. Wash and shower with lukewarm water. Yes, we know that hot water can feel oh-so-relaxing, but there are some downsides. Hot water can strip your skin of essential moisture and make dry, sensitive skin feel even more angry. According to the AAD, you should wash off in lukewarm water to help alleviate dryness.
2. Steer clear of ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, the AAD recommends using skin care products—including facial cleansers, moisturizers, face masks, and eye creams—that are free of fragrance, alcohol, and soap.
3. Be gentle! When you have sensitive skin (and really, this goes for all skin types), treat your complexion gently—that means no harsh rubbing or tugging. Micellar water is a facial cleanser that doesn’t require any rinsing or rubbing. All you have to do is saturate a cotton pad with the cleanser and wipe the pad (gently!) across your face.
4. Take sun protection measures. Whether you have sensitive skin or any other skin type, sun protection should be a priority in your daily skin care routine. According to the Food & Drug Administration, you should apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily as directed (remember to reapply at least every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating!). In addition to applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher as directed, you should also limit your amount of time in the sun (especially during the sun’s peak hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.), seek shade, and cover up exposed areas in long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
When you have sensitive skin, shopping for skin care products can get complicated. Look for skin care products that say they are specifically formulated for sensitive skin or ones that work for all skin types, including sensitive skin. One of our favorite options? The L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types. Micellar water is a no-rinse alternative to traditional facial cleansers—and it can also be used as a makeup remover. This micellar water is suitable for all skin types—including sensitive skin. To use, saturate a cotton pad with the micellar water and wipe it over your face. For eye makeup removal, hold the cotton pad over your closed eyes for a few seconds, then wipe.
If you haven’t had your fill of sensitive skin type talk for today, read up on our 8 Skin Care Hacks for Sensitive Skin.