How to Look After Sensitised Skin

how to look after sensitised skin

This week’s skincare routine guides you through how to look after compromised and sensitised skin. A simplified routine to promote skin health and protection of your skin barrier. Especially during this time of lockdown, I’ve had more questions regarding sensitive/irritated skin issues. From redness to itchy skin, raw sensitivity and flakiness. Stress, hormones and a dry environment are all factors that affect this. However, during this period of lockdown I’ve noticed people becoming more consistent with their skincare routines leading to experimenting with more actives and new products.

I will always encourage you to enjoy your skincare routine – it is a huge form of self-care to look after the largest organ we have – and of course, it’s a mood boosting act too. But, it’s important to do this in a balanced way without overusing actives or overcleansing which can lead to skin irritation and a compromised skin barrier. This skincare guide is all about treating and soothing the skin to calm it down. You can also read my how to calm irritated skin guide here.

Step #1: Streamline Your Skincare Routine

This first step is to always stop what you’ve been using. Don’t use any cleansers with sulfates (foaming agents) which strip your skin of its natural oils and weaken the skin barrier. Remove any fragranced products. Plain and simple is key. Find my full list of how to step back and streamline your skincare routine here.

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sensitised skincare tips and products

Step #2: Choose a Gentle Cleanser

The cleanser I reach for when I have any kind of irritation is the Dermalogica Ultra Calming Cleanser*. A very simple gel-cream texture that’s light. I’ll wash this off with cool water.

Step #3: Treatment (Water-Phase Replenishment)

For this treatment step we’re staying away from exfoliation and acid treatments. You want to get the balance right between water and oil in your skin. When your barrier is weakened you need to replenish both.

To replenish the water phase with hyaluronic acid and glycerin I love the new Vichy Instant Recovery Mask*. A sheet mask made from a gentle microalgae fibre soaked in a serum that soothes, hydrates and calms. After 10 minutes, I’ll remove the mask and massage the remaining serum into my skin. The perfect treatment for sensitised skin.

You don’t have to use a mist but if you enjoy this step go for it. I’ve been reaching for the Dr Barbara Sturm* hydrating mist which I love. I talk about this and my other facial mist favourites in this edit.

Whilst skin is still damp I apply my hydrating serum. The new La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra Dermallergo* is specifically targeted towards compromised skin barriers. It stars ingredient neurosensine which calms and soothes the skin alongside thermal spring water. A lightweight formulation that will also suit oily skin types.

Step #4: Treatment (Oil-Phase Replenishment)

I’m enjoying the new Delikate range from Kate Somerville designed for stressed and sensitised skin. The Delikate Recovery Cream* is enriched with peptides and ceramides to replenish the oil phase of your skin barrier. I love this cream! It has this butter, balmy texture that spreads really easily and seals in all that hydration creating a barrier to lock in that moisture. Remember, the fundamental job of a moisturiser is to prevent water loss so you want to use something that is a blend of emollients and occlusives.

Step #5: Don’t Forget Your Lips

A nourishing lip treatment is always my preferred final step to any skincare routine. Lumene’s Rich Lip Cream* is great to repair sensitised lips. It has a rich, dense cream texture (fragrance and flavour free) and feels super restorative on dry, parched lips.