When skin is sensitive, we recommend starting with a ritual that’s formulated to bring soothing relief to the complexion. But outside of your routine, there are many ways to support sensitive skin. From daily habits to the food you eat, being thoughtful about these choices can help skin find a sense of calm. Below are 8 sensitive skin solutions.
Choose a Gentle Cleanser
As Dr. Laszlo famously said, “If you do nothing else, wash your face.” Even if you forego a full skincare ritual, be sure to cleanse—and choose a cleanser for sensitive skin. Use a gentle, pH balancing cleanser both morning and night to wash away lingering dirt and environmental aggressors that can irritate skin.
We recommend our VTM Cream-to-Foam Cleanser. Formulated with our Gentle Cleansing Blend, this luxurious cleanser is full of nourishing Amino Acids to leave skin soft, never stripped. The complexion feels replenished, hydrated, and more resilient. Shop VTM Cream-to-Foam Cleanser.
Avoid Hot Water
Hot water can strip your natural oils leading to dry, raw skin. The appearance of redness becomes more prominent due to dilated blood vessels. With dry skin, the moisture barrier is weakened, and skin becomes easily aggravated as a result. Instead, use lukewarm water to soothe the skin, reduce the look of redness, and leave the complexion nicely balanced and hydrated.
Pat Dry—Don’t Rub
Along with choosing a gentle skin cleanser, remember to be gentle with yourself and your skin. Aggressively rubbing skin dry can cause irritation and redness from the harsh, abrasive motion. Wrinkles and fine lines are also the direct result of rubbing. Tugging the skin, particularly the delicate skin around the eyes, breaks down elasticity and quickens the process of wrinkle formation. Instead, softly pat skin dry, taking the extra moment to also calm your mind.
Follow Cleansing with a Sensitive Skin Ritual
Skincare formulas for sensitive skin will feature thoughtfully-chosen, clean, and calming ingredients. Our new Sensitive Skin Collection uses science-backed technology and a highly-focused blend of advanced ingredients to soothe signs of skin irritation, diminish signs of redness, and support skin barrier repair. Together, our Soothing Relief Hydration Lotion, Serum, and Emulsion form a three-step ritual that works to restore calm to sensitive skin. Shop the ritual here.
Practice Smart Hygiene
When it comes to maintaining a healthy complexion, the cleanliness of your linens makes no small difference. To avoid breakouts, change your pillowcase weekly. Use a clean towel that’s dedicated solely to your face. Using the same towel that you use to dry your hands or body is a recipe for lingering bacteria and cross-contamination, so choose the very freshest towel every time.
Enjoy Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Your diet can influence your skin health, for better or worse. Foods rich in antioxidants can help soothe and comfort sensitive skin, while common triggers like spicy foods, alcohol, and coffee can heighten sensitivities.
Some of our favorites: Broccoli helps keep the immune system from overreacting to allergy-related substances, lessening their impact and lowering the risk of inflammation. Avocado is rich in vitamin B, and olive oil has anti-inflammatory polyphenols—both helping to calm sensitive skin.
Rest & De-Stress
Stress impacts our immune system and skin barrier, causing the complexion to be more reactive and sensitive. It also increases the stress hormone Cortisol. In fact, stress affects skin to such an extent, the third season of our Mind Your Skin podcast will focus solely on stress.
Global Wellness Ambassador and podcast host Poppy Jamie spoke with Dr. Terry Loong for our Skin and Hormones episode last season. According to Dr. Loong: “When we have an increased level of Cortisol, it pokes holes in our epidermic barrier, so our barrier has ‘leaky skin.’ This slows down the healing process, so we're more susceptible to environmental triggers, and the skin becomes more sensitive.”
To de-stress, experts recommend breathing exercises, taking a walk, and journaling. The key is to take some quiet time for yourself. Not only is sensitive skin soothed with lowered stress, but mental and physical health will improve. For more on how stress affects skin, tune into Stress and Skin, the first episode of Mind Your Skin Season 3. Listen here.
Keep Skin Hydrated
Dehydration can weaken skin’s moisture barrier, causing an uptick in sensitivity and symptoms like dryness, itchiness, and skin tightness. Here are a couple of ways to help skin stay hydrated: Sleeping with a humidifier delivers hydration to the skin, strengthening the moisture barrier. Eating foods rich in essential fatty acids, such as walnuts, flaxseed, salmon, and olive oil, can also help hydrate skin from the inside out.