Help, my sensitive skin's in a mess!

Winter, damp weather, biting winds, and spring allergies leave their mark on sensitive skin. Endless flare-ups and nothing seems to calm it down. Time to follow these skin-saving tips!

Is your skin getting sensitive beyond belief?

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Our skin is composed of several layers of tissue that protect us from the elements. It's our body's first line of defence - the wall that prevents enemies from crossing its boundary. Once our epidermis can no longer fulfill its protective function, our skin will flare up, becoming red, hot, itchy and tight.

The causes?

Our skin becomes hyper-sensitive and reactive when its protective barrier is harmed. Environmental factors (cold, sun, damp) and irritating substances (pollution, allergens, cigarette smoke) are able to penetrate our epidermis. Sending our already sensitive skin into crisis mode. 

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Cleansing hurts my sensitive skin

Does cleansing hurt your irritated skin?

Does it turn red at the sight of a cleansing gel?

Does it feel tight just looking at a bottle of micellar water?

Don't panic! There are plenty of cleansers designed for reactive, sensitive skin. Treat yourself to a cleanser for super sensitive skin that doesn't contain surfactants - these will only further harm your epidermis. Opt for gentle treatments - milks, creams or cleansing oils with rich, emollient textures that will dissolve any make up or grime without the need to rub your fragile face. Rinse off with thermal water to soothe and hydrate your skin. Avoid tap water as its limescale will only dry out your already parched epidermis. Gently mop up any excess with a tissue or cotton pad. And feel your skin breathe a sigh of relief!  

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My sensitive skin can't bear to be washed

 Don't wash or cleanse your skin in the morning. A morning cleanse does get rid of toxins accumulated during the night, but sensitive skin needs a break if it's to preserve its protective hydrolipidic film. Simply spritz it with a calming thermal or floral water (chamomile, rose, orange flower water) to give it a gentle, refreshing wake up call.  
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My sensitive skin hates creams

If your skin can't handle day or night creams, it means its hydrolipidic film is no longer able to protect the epidermis. Your skin will dry out or feel unbearably irritated and itchy. But don't give up on creams, as your skin still needs hydrating, nourishing, soothing and, most of all, protecting from the elements. All you need to do is select a suitable product! Go for creams designed for sensitive skin that contain emollients (such as glycerin) to leave it feeling comfy, calming ingredients (such as panthenol) to soothe irritations, moisturising ingredients (such as shea butter) to compensate for water-loss and filmogenic ingredients (such as paraffin) to provide a protective sheath.

Our tip?

Apply creams that contain as few ingredients as possible, so as to avoid unnecessary flare-ups.  

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Even make up feels horrid

You want to cover up red, irritated patches but your skin wants to run a mile. Don't worry, we won't make you go out bare-faced!

Having sensitive skin doesn't mean you have to go down the nomakeup route. Quite the opposite - a bit of warpaint can provide an additional, protective barrier. You just need to choose products suited to your skin. Just like cleansers and creams, there are loads of make up products designed for reactive and sensitive skin. They're hypo-allergenic and dermatologically tested. Choose products that let your skin breathe, won't clog your pores, are mineral-based (kinder to skin) and non-comedogenic. Added tip: to camouflage red patches, apply a green colour corrector before your foundation. 

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How can I prevent flare-ups?

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To avoid flare-ups, you'll need to take some simple measures.These will all help to protect your skin:

- protect your skin from the elements (cold, heat, sun)

- avoid polluted areas (inside and out)

- don't overheat rooms and keep them at the right humidity level

- stop smoking

- eat a balanced diet, with plenty of omega 3 and 6

- take quick, warm (not hot!) baths and showers

- drinks lots of non-alcoholic beverages and/or 1.5l of water a day

- religiously moisturise with treatments suited to sensitive skin

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