Sensitive skin can be a real challenge to deal with when it comes to skincare. It can be difficult to find products that don’t cause irritation, redness, or inflammation.
In this article, we will explore:
- What Is Sensitive Skin?
- Causes And Characteristics Of Sensitive Skin
- What Are The Best Natural Ingredients For Sensitive Skin? (including 9 recommendations to get you started)
- Simple Skincare Solutions For Sensitive Skin
- How To Formulate Your Own Natural Skincare Products For Sensitive Skin
This article is part of a series of articles about the skin, and if you haven’t done so already, it would be a good idea to check them all out.
You can develop a good understanding of how skin works in this article, and of why good skin anatomy and physiology is important when it comes to formulating your own natural skincare products here. You’ll want to learn about dry skin here, oily and acne prone skin here and aging and mature skin here.
What Is Sensitive Skin?
Sensitive skin is a condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is characterized by a heightened sensitivity to products, environmental factors, and physical stimuli. People with sensitive skin may experience itching, stinging, burning, or redness when exposed to certain ingredients or environmental factors. Sensitive skin can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, hormonal changes, and lifestyle choices.
When diagnosing sensitive skin, dermatologists look for: skin reactions such as pustules, skin bumps or skin erosion, very dry skin, and (in lighter skin tones) a tendency toward blushing and skin flushing.
However it can be complicated to diagnose because sensitive skin may not be that severe and it may present itself as youthful, delicate looking or baby-like in appearance. It’s important to know this so we don’t jump to conclusions too quickly.
Additionally, when it comes to formulating products for more sensitive skin types, it’s important to understand that many people feel that certain household or skincare ingredients may cause sensitivity upon contact with the skin, causing inflammation, stinging, burning, dryness and discomfort. So, we have to be very careful and considered in our ingredient selection process.
Having a good understanding of the causes and characteristics of different skin types will enable you to formulate better products, whilst at the same time taking your knowledge and skill to an advanced level.
Causes And Characteristics Of Sensitive Skin
It is also tricky to identify the causes of sensitive skin because they are largely unknown, however below we list several potential causes of sensitive skin reactions:
Overly dry, dehydrated or injured skin:
This can lead to skin rashes and reactions.
Weak lipid barrier:
This occurs due to many different reasons (e.g. the wrong skincare routine and products, hormonal changes, nutrient deficiencies), the protective lipid barrier on the skin can be damaged and thus leave the skin more exposed to environmental factors.
Excessive exposure to environmental factors that cause skin damage:
Such as sun, wind and excessive heat or cold.
Allergic skin reactions:
Results from recurring exposure to an irritant or allergen that may result in an overactive response by the body’s immune system, often presenting itself as eczema, rosacea, or allergic contact dermatitis.
Overuse of detergents:
Avoid the temptation to over-wash, as it will strip the natural oils, fats and nutrients, which protect and keep the skin hydrated, balanced and healthy.
Poor diet or lifestyle choices:
For example, not consuming enough water, poor nutrition choices, poor personal hygiene, excessive stress or insomnia/lack of regular sleep, could all contribute to sensitive skin or eczema outbreaks.
This may also play a role in skin sensitivity and eczema; however further research is required on this subject.
Hormonal fluctuations can cause changes in the skin’s sensitivity.
The typical characteristics of sensitive skin can vary and can also be tricky to identify but they include:
Tightness and dryness:
Sensitive skin often lacks moisture and can feel tight or dry, especially after using certain skincare products or exposure to certain environmental factors.
Redness and irritation:
Sensitive skin may become red and inflamed due to irritants or allergens in skincare products, as well as exposure to environmental triggers such as pollution, wind, or cold weather.
Itching and flaking:
Sensitive skin may also experience itching and flaking due to dryness and irritation, and may be exacerbated by harsh ingredients or fragrances in skincare products.
Rashes and bumps:
Sensitive skin may develop rashes, hives, or bumps in response to certain ingredients or environmental factors. These may be localized to certain areas of the body, or may occur more widely.
People with sensitive skin may be more prone to sunburn and other adverse reactions to sun exposure, as their skin may be more vulnerable to UV damage. It’s important for people with sensitive skin to use sun protection and seek shade during peak sun hours to avoid further damage.
What Are The Best Natural Ingredients For Sensitive Skin?
Natural ingredients can be incredibly beneficial for sensitive skin, as they are often gentler and less likely to cause irritation. Here are nine natural ingredients that are great for combatting sensitive skin:
- Aloe vera:
This plant has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that can help calm and hydrate sensitive skin. We wrote an article all about Aloe Vera that you might find interesting. Take a look at it here.
- Chamomile essential oil:
Chamomile has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that can help soothe and heal sensitive skin.
- Cucumber extract:
Cucumber has a cooling effect that can help reduce redness and inflammation in sensitive skin.
Calendula has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe and heal sensitive non-irritating.
- Co-enzyme Q10:
It has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help protect and soothe the skin. CoQ10 is naturally produced in the body and plays a key role in cellular energy production, but its levels can decline with age and exposure to environmental stressors.
- Jojoba oil:
Jojoba oil is a lightweight, non-greasy oil that closely resembles the sebum (natural oils) produced by our skin. It’s rich in vitamins and antioxidants, and is easily absorbed by the skin, making it a great option for sensitive skin. Take a look at our article, Jojoba in Natural Skincare and Haircare: Properties, Functions, and Benefits for more information.
- Rosehip oil:
Rosehip oil is a nourishing oil that’s high in vitamins A and C, as well as fatty acids. It’s known for its regenerative and healing properties, and can help soothe and calm sensitive skin. Have a look at our article, 9 Natural Benefits of Rosehip Oil for Your Skin, to learn more about rosehip.
- Evening primrose oil:
Evening primrose oil is a nourishing oil that’s high in gamma-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that can help reduce inflammation and soothe sensitive skin.
Glycerin is generally considered safe and beneficial for sensitive skin. It’s a natural humectant, meaning it helps attract and retain moisture in the skin, which can be helpful for those with dry or sensitive skin. Glycerin is a gentle ingredient that can help hydrate and soothe the skin, without causing irritation or breakouts. It’s also non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores or contribute to acne.
Remember to always research your ingredients first and check for any contraindications that might mean they are not suitable for you to use. Also, always patch test new ingredients and products and to consult with a skincare professional if you have any concerns or questions about your skincare routine.
Simple Skincare Solutions For Sensitive Skin
Here are some skincare solutions that can be helpful for sensitive skin:
Keep it simple:
Stick to a simple, gentle skincare routine with just a few basic products. Avoid using too many products with fragrances, dyes, or other potential irritants.
Patch test new products:
Before using a new skincare product all over your face, patch test it on a small area of your skin first. This can help you avoid any potential allergic reactions or irritations.
Use lukewarm water:
Avoid using hot water when washing your face or showering, as it can be drying and irritating to sensitive skin. Instead, use lukewarm water to help protect your skin’s natural moisture barrier.
Use a face mask:
Using a face mask can help to soothe and hydrate sensitive skin. Look for masks that contain natural ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, or oatmeal.
Use a gentle cleanser:
Cleansing helps remove dirt, oil, and impurities from the skin, which can contribute to breakouts, irritation, and other skin issues. However, it’s important to choose a gentle, non-irritating cleanser that won’t strip the skin of its natural oils or disrupt its pH balance.
Look for cleansers that are fragrance-free, soap-free, and formulated with mild, non-drying ingredients. You might want to avoid foaming cleansers and you could even start off with Micellar water to see how it works.
There are a couple of articles about cleansers on our website that you might find helpful. Take a look at Formulating Your Own Cleansers: A Detailed Guide to Effective, Safe, and Sustainable Cleansers For All Skin Types and The Different Types of Natural (non-foaming) Cleansers You Can Formulate
Moisturizing is key for sensitive skin. Look for fragrance-free, non-comedogenic moisturizers that are formulated specifically for sensitive skin.
Protecting your skin from the sun is important for everyone, but especially for those with sensitive skin. Look for a broad-spectrum, mineral-based sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Look for sunscreens that are labeled “broad-spectrum” and contain natural ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
Avoid potential triggers:
If you know that certain ingredients or products, foods, environmental factors, or other triggers can irritate your skin, try to avoid them as much as possible.
Consult with a dermatologist:
If you’re struggling with sensitive skin, a dermatologist or skincare professional can help you develop a customized skincare routine that’s tailored to your specific needs.
Avoid hot water:
Hot water can be harsh on sensitive skin, so it’s important to avoid using hot water when washing your face or showering. Use lukewarm water instead.
Remember that everyone’s skin is different, so it’s important to listen to your body and pay attention to how your skin reacts to different products and treatments. With the right skincare routine and a little bit of patience, you can help keep your sensitive skin looking and feeling healthy and beautiful.
How To Formulate Your Own Natural Skincare Products For Sensitive Skin?
Formulating natural skincare products for sensitive skin can be a challenge, but by using gentle, natural ingredients and following our top skincare solutions, you can help to soothe and protect sensitive skin. Making your own skincare products can also be a great way to ensure that you’re using gentle, non-irritating ingredients that meet your specific skincare needs.
Making your own skincare products can be a great way to ensure that you’re using gentle, natural ingredients that won’t cause further irritation or damage to sensitive skin. When you make your own products, you have full control over what goes into them, and you can customize them to meet your specific skincare needs.
Additionally, making your own skincare products can be more cost-effective in the long run. While some natural skincare products can be expensive, making your own products can be much more affordable.
The School of Natural Skincare’s Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation is a complete curriculum teaching you everything you need to know and do to formulate professional quality natural & organic skincare products from scratch like the professionals, either for yourself or to sell.
The course covers everything from the basics of skincare formulation to creating your own customized products using natural ingredients and you’ll learn to deliberately select the right ingredients for specific skin types with specific needs and preferences. The course also includes access to a supportive community of like-minded individuals who can provide feedback and support as you develop your skills in natural skincare formulation.
To find out more about the Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation, go to the course page here, and download a copy of the course prospectus here. If you have any questions, please reach out to our customer service team by email using email@example.com
If you’re interested in learning more about natural skincare formulation, consider enrolling in the School of Natural Skincare’s online course.
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