It's always a daunting task to find skincare that doesn't make your face angry, right? We're here to help.
Know that sensitive skincare is not a perfect science. Anyone who tells you there's an algorithm to cure your skin issues is not being honest with you. Don't be fooled.
Your best game plan is to get to know your skin, study ingredients, learn your triggers and what works for you.
Put your skincare through the Starling test:
- Seek out product lines that feature a "less is more" formulation strategy. A smaller number of ingredients in formulations is always more sensitive skin friendly. The "less is more" clean beauty brands usually use common ingredient names on ingredient listings. It's always easy to miss an allergen or irritant if the label has a long botanical name that you haven't heard of. It is also easy to miss an ingredient in an excessively large ingredient listing.
- Don't buy a product without seeing the full product ingredient listing. READ THE LABEL to ensure it doesn't contain any ingredients you are sensitive to.
- Any product noted as "hypoallergenic", "dermatologist tested", or "non-irritating" you may see, there's not a guarantee the products are safe for you. Many companies use these terms without any commitment to testing for tolerance with sensitive skin or allergic skin. Also, what works for others is never a guarantee it works for you. Allergies and sensitivities can occur with any ingredient known to mankind (including water!), and so it is impossible these items are safe for everyone. Maybe safe for most, at best.
- Don't try a product you think you might react to and hope for different results this time. It won't happen. It will only trigger inflammation, rashes and a sense of dread.
- Only introduce one new product at a time to your skincare routine. That way if you do have a reaction, you will be more able to pinpoint the irritant.
- Avoid products containing synthetic fragrances. The fragrance formulator industry is not required to list any ingredients they place in a synthetic fragrance. Products containing "natural fragrance" may contain an irritant as well. Please do a patch test prior to use of natural fragrances, to ensure safety.
- Patch test EVERYTHING you try! How you do it? Easy. Clean a patch on your neck close to your face. Apply product to test. Cover area with a bandage. Leave in place for at least 24 hours. If you feel any sense of irritation, wash area immediately and forgo using this product. No irritation after 24 hours? Feel free to use with caution. Please note if you have a known contact allergen, it may take a few days longer to have the reaction show. In this case, patch test for three days before using this product on your face.
- Keep a skincare journal for a while to track food, skincare routine/products, sleep and mood, in comparison to skin condition. This exercise will help you understand your skin and how to make improvements.