Sensitive skin can show up on any part of the body, but it is most noticeable on the face. It usually appears as redness, with other symptoms such as itching, peeling, and burning. Sensitivity occurs when the skin’s natural barrier is compromised with symptoms that can be exacerbated due to exposure to certain factors and triggers.

How to Care for Sensitive Facial Skin

Do you have sensitive facial skin?

One important component of having glowing or radiant skin is having a healthy skin barrier. Also referred to as the moisture barrier, the skin barrier is the protective film on the skin’s outermost layers. Its job is to keep moisture in and irritants out, guarding your skin against environmental aggressors. 

The sad part is this barrier can weaken or be compromised due to age, genetic predispositions, and external influences. Some of the things you do and apply to your skin can also affect its healthy function, and lead to dryness or redness in some cases. A damaged or compromised barrier usually presents itself in dryness and sensitivity.

Signs of sensitive facial skin may include: 

  • Redness, bumps, rashes, or swelling
  • Flaking and roughness
  • Sensations such as itching, burning, and tightness
  • Prone to having broken capillaries or tiny blood vessels on the surface of the skin
  • Prone to breakouts
  • Dullness

Sensitive skin can occur due to internal and external causes. Some of these things can also trigger sensitivity and make the symptoms worse. These may include: 

  • Hormonal changes (puberty, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause)
  • Chronic stress and sleep deprivation
  • Having Type I allergies or hypersensitivities
  • Existing facial skin conditions 
  • UV radiation, excessive cold, and other environmental pollutants
  • Certain ingredients such as alcohol, colorants, synthetic fragrances

How to care for sensitive facial skin 

Sensitive skin can sometimes bring discomfort or affect your confidence. Below are a few tips on taking care of or keeping your sensitive skin calmer and happier. 

1. Be gentle when cleansing 

Your face shouldn’t feel squeaky clean, tight, or dry after cleansing it. The right formula is something that gets rid of excess oil, dirt, and makeup while maintaining your skin’s natural moisture. Look for a gentle cleanser that is also soap-free and fragrance-free. Just make sure not to over-wash your face, as this can result in further dryness and irritation. 

2. Don’t forget to moisturize

Moisturizers do more than hydrate the skin and lock in moisture. These products also help slow down the signs of aging, soothe sensitive skin, and assist in restoring your skin’s natural moisture. Just be sure to look for a product formulated for sensitive skin or those with ingredients that can help soothe skin, such as oatmeal, aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, and lactic acid. 

3. Limit time in the sun

If you have skin that is easily irritated, it only makes sense to limit your sun exposure, especially during peak hours, between 10 am and 3 pm. And if you are outdoors during those hours, seek shade, wear a hat, or use an umbrella if you can. Don’t forget to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 or a product formulated for sensitive skin. 

4. Identify and avoid triggers 

Sensitive skin reacts to certain triggers, so it only makes sense to identify what yours are. These could include fragrances, dyes, too much time in the sun, or certain types of fabric. Weather changes, makeup, and air conditioning could also be the culprit. Making a list of these triggers and understanding them can help you manage sensitive skin better.

5. Go easy with exfoliation

Although regular exfoliation can help remove dead skin cells and promote glowing skin, it could also backfire when you overdo it or use harsh exfoliants. Some facial scrubs are abrasive and can cause further irritation. We recommend looking for a product that is specifically formulated for your skin and exfoliate no more than once a week to avoid drying out and irritating your skin too much. 

6. Patch-test new products

To know how your skin will react to the product, do a patch test on a small area of your face that is easily covered (along the jawline, behind the ears, or the side of the neck). Wait for about 24 hours and if you have no reaction, you can use it on your face. It is also important to start slow first when using a product with exfoliants, retinoids, or similar ingredients. Give your skin some time to adjust.

7. Remove makeup gently

When it comes to removing makeup, use a gentle makeup remover and avoid applying too much pressure when doing so. A formula that is specifically made for the eye area can effectively break down dirt and makeup without applying too much friction. You might want to skip facial wipes, as they are meant to be rubbed on the skin. Some wipes also contain alcohol and chemicals that can irritate the skin and disrupt its pH balance. 

Further reading: Are You Guilty of These Makeup Removal Mistakes?

How Cutis can help

If you’re dealing with signs of sensitive skin and other skin concerns, we can help. We have a range of non-surgical procedures and medical-grade skincare products that can assist in taking better care of your skin. If you, for instance, are dealing with skin redness and broken blood vessels, we have skin rejuvenation treatments that can improve these concerns. 

Let Cutis be your partner in skincare. Contact us today to learn more about our services or book a consultation with one of our aesthetic doctors