Since I was eleven, I feel like I’ve been at war with my skin. Desperate for the flawless skin that every celebrity/model seemed to have, I begged my mom to let me try Proactiv®. I mean, Jessica Simpson was using it so obviously it had to work, right? Instead, it did quite the opposite. One of the main ingredients used in Proactiv® is benzoyl peroxide, which is an extremely harsh chemical that people with sensitive skin should avoid. The product caused my skin to completely dry out, resulting in harsh red bumps and flaking. I’m not relaying this story to bash Proactiv®, as the product does work for thousands of other people, but I’m explaining how difficult curing acne can be with sensitive skin.
Through trial and error, I have discovered what works best for my skin and have a few pieces of advice. Here are 5 tips for taking care of sensitive skin:
1. Start with your diet
You can use all the best products but if you are constantly eating junk food and drinking sugary pop, your skin will not be the best that it can be. Water is the best–and least costly–thing you can give your skin. Make sure you are staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet with healthy fats (i.e avocado, salmon, sweet potatoes, etc.).
2. Wear sunscreen
Even in the middle of winter, even when it’s dreary and gray outside, wear sunscreen! With sensitive skin, I am especially prone to sunburns which cause lasting damage to your skin. My personal favourite is the Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 60+.
3. Moisturize Daily
Finding a good moisturizer is key to healthy skin. I’ve tried handfuls of different brands, but my favourite moisturizer to use on a budget is the Nivea Sensitive Day Care. This cream is composed mainly of Licorice extract which is known for calming irritated skin and reducing redness. I also love this product because it has SPF 15+ which means you are covered even if you forget to apply sunscreen.
4. Use oil
In addition to moisturizing with creams, I think that oil is essential for attaining soft, glowing skin. There a handfuls of essential oils that are great for your skin, but I’ve found lavender oil to be especially good for sensitive skin; you can buy it at most natural health stores. I used to never think about adding oil to my skincare routine, but it really changes the game.
5. For acne, use natural products
My experience with benzoyl peroxide taught me that harsh chemicals and sensitive skin do not mix! To treat acne, I believe that more natural products are key. My personal favourite is Tea Tree Oil from The Body Shop. This product is specially designed to fight blemishes without drying out/irritating your skin. Whenever I feel a pimple coming, I use a dot of the oil on the area. By morning, the pimple is generally nonexistent. A little goes a long way, so this product will also last you a long time. In short, this is my holy grail of skincare products.
It’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different, however, and although these tips may be perfect for me, they might not work the same for you. If you feel like you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work, I would suggest consulting your doctor or a specialist. In addition, keep in mind that no one has perfect skin all the time, and most pictures are heavily edited. Acne is completely normal and you should never be embarrassed for having it. As always, the goal should be health, not perfection.
Images taken from google.ca