Anyone who has sensitive skin has probably noticed a variety of things can set off a reaction. As a Naturopath I have seen many clients with these issues, but also have sensitive skin myself, so I know the struggle. Managing this irritating condition takes a multi-pronged attack. Here are my top 3 considerations:
What you put on your skin is the most obvious place to start. Using products that contain chemicals, fragrances, sulphates, alcohol and parabens are unlikely to suit your skin. Going for natural skincare products is a great place to start and seeking out a range that excludes common skin irritants is important. I choose to DIY so that I know every ingredient going on my skin, as for me, even some natural products can cause a reaction.
In terms of skincare actions, you will want to choose ingredients that will help to calm the skin, add nourishment and protect the skin from environmental damage. Ingredients like Lavender, Neroli, Chamomile and Calendula Infused oil will help to heal, calm and balance aggravations. Carrier oils such as Jojoba oil, Avocado oil and Apricot oil will provide nutrients and essential fats to hydrate and soothe. Butters such as Shea Butter will provide a nutrient filled barrier to protect against wind, sun, makeup and other external factors.
While it’s easy to see a correlation between the products you apply to your skin and reactions, thinking about other potential exposure can help to eliminate some triggers. Try swapping these common personal and household products for natural alternatives to see if they make a difference- Haircare products, washing powder, dishwashing liquid, handwash, deodorants, perfumes, cleaning products and more.
Want more DIY skincare ideas? See our Recipes.
If you haven’t already seen a correlation between your mindset and your skin, it’s time to take notice. In most cases of sensitivity, you will see flare ups when you’re going through times of stress. Taking care of your emotional health as well as your skin health can really make a difference. Supplements like Magnesium, B Vitamins and Vitamin C both calm and support the nervous system in times of stress. Meditation, yoga, exercise and simply doing more of what you love can nourish the mind and soul. Try vaporising calming essential oils around the home, when you’re feeling uptight and before bed to promote a relaxing environment. Try our Quiet Time Essential Oil Blend Recipe, or any combination including Lavender, Geranium, Cedarwood, Frankincense or Ylang Ylang.
As much as I hate to say it, what your put IN your body is probably even more important than what you put on it. Skin can truly be a reflection of what you’re eating, and when you have sensitive skin, it is quite likely that your body is telling you that something is agreeing. Common foods that can cause reactions in sensitive people include: Wheat, Dairy, Gluten, Sugar, Caffeine, Eggs, Red Wine, Vegetables from the Nightshade Family. No fun, I know! But trying to eliminate one of these groups at a time for a period of a week or 2, will start to give you an idea of what could be causing a reaction. Gut health also has a strong part to play in reactivity, so incorporating fermented foods, probiotics and fibre can help. Other skin soothing foods include oily fish, nuts, avocado, alkalizing green vegetables and papaya.
It can be overwhelming to tackle sensitive skin, but incorporating the above tips into your healthy lifestyle will not only help your skin, but your whole wellbeing.
If all else fails, having a bottle of our Skin Rescue Serum on hand to calm down a reaction can be a lifesaver!