Having sensitive skin can be like a vicious circle: first, your skin is irritated, then you try a new product to calm it. Then you find yourself layering products in search of balanced skin. You've also probably invested a considerable amount of money in your skincare routine, which can include many steps. Now what?
Over the years, through my personal and professional experience as a dermatology resident, I have learned that there is only one rule for sensitive skin: Keep it simple. For my patients and myself, I am constantly looking for safe care productseffective and affordable for sensitive skin. After all, healthy skin shouldn't have to break the bank.
The sensitive skin can mean different things to different people. Some people may experience tightness, redness and dryness, while others may feel burning or pain. While some of us are born with sensitive skin, others can develop sensitivities over time. Common triggers can include weather conditions, physical or mental stress, and even certain skincare ingredients. Whichever category you fall into, less is more when caring for sensitive skin.
Your skin care products should serve two purposes: first, to maintain and protect your skin barrier, and second, to minimize stressors. Choosing carefully formulated products designed for sensitive skin can simplify your routine and reduce flare-ups. Ingredients like ceramides, fatty acids and hyaluronic acid can help protect your skin from water loss and strengthen your barrier. To minimize irritation, avoid products containing alcohol and fragrances.
Your key to calmer, healthier and protected skin is a routine built with a few effective products made with simple ingredients. To help you out, I've rounded up my favorite tested and recommended products that are gentle on your skin and your wallet.
Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser is a derma favorite for sensitive skin, and this creamy formulation helps remove excess makeup and oil while leaving skin balanced. It's non-comedogenic, which means it won't clog your pores and it's also fragrance-free. It is also identified as a Product SkinSAFEmanufactured without allergens and common irritants.
Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser
This dermatologist-developed facial cleanser helps remove excess oil and dirt while remaining gentle on the skin. With a touch of water, this cleanser creates a satisfying lather without over-drying the skin. The formula is oil-free, soap-free and hypoallergenic, leaving the skin clean and balanced.
Regular petroleum jelly Vaseline is a Holy Grail for dermatologists because it locks in and seals in moisture, soothes damaged skin and accelerates wound healing. Compared to other ointments, petroleum jelly contains no potential allergens, making it an effective emollient for sensitive and eczema-prone skin.
Night balm for baby against eczema with natural oats
You don't have to be a baby to enjoy the benefits of this balm. It's made with colloidal oatmeal and ceramides, which lock in moisture and protect our skin barrier. This balm is a great way to moisturize your hands and soothe sensitive areas of your skin, especially during the colder winter months.
Sensitive skin is prone to irritation, especially when shaving. However, choosing the right skin care products can minimize these side effects. Aveeno Therapeutic Shave Gel contains vitamin E and oatmeal, which help moisturize our skin and protect it from razor burn. The lightweight gel provides a rich lather, leaving the skin soothed and moisturized after each shave.
Winter can be tough on our hands, so it's essential to find a hand cream you can rely on and will want to use frequently. La Roche Posay's Cicaplast Hand Cream has a non-greasy formulation that leaves skin soft, smooth and moisturized. Powerful ingredients in this product include niacinamide, which is soothing and restorative, and shea butter, which replenishes skin's moisture.
Anti-itching cream with hydrocortisone
You are probably prone to skin irritation, inflammation and eczema if you have sensitive skin. Having CeraVe Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream in your toolbox can help with these conditions. This dermatologist-developed product contains a combination of 1 % hydrocortisone (the highest concentration available over the counter) that helps reduce inflammation. It also includes three ceramides and niacinamide, which help moisturize and soothe irritated skin.
Most experts recommend double cleansing to remove makeup, oil and dirt. However, makeup removal wipes can irritate sensitive skin: Enter Bioderma Micellar Water. This product is formulated to perfectly balance the composition of our skin. Micellar technology captures impurities and fine particles from our skin, leaving us comfortable and clean. This cleanser is generally tolerated by all skin types and is fragrance free, making it an ideal way to start your skin care routine.
The thermal water mist of Avène is your secret to soothed and moisturized skin all year round. This product is rich in postbiotic microflora to calm and soothe the skin. In the summer, this mist is the perfect way to refresh and calm the skin; in the winter, you can use it to boost hydration before applying moisturizing skin care products, such as hyaluronic acid.
Even if you like long, hot showers, they cause our skin to lose a considerable amount of water. Choosing the right cleanser for your Body care is essential, especially for sensitive skin. Dove Body Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar is one of the most recommended soap bars by dermatologists and pediatricians because it effectively cleanses the skin while moisturizing. It is fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and safe for the face and body.
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