Whether your sensitive skin tends towards dry, normal or combination, learning how to correctly cleanse is the all-important first step towards a calm and comfortable complexion.
Your Complete Guide to Cleansing Sensitive Skin
Beyond simply removing dirt, cleansing plays an important role in balancing and strengthening the skin, and enhancing absorption of skincare ingredients. For sensitive skin in particular – skin prone to redness, tightness and discomfort – choosing the right cleanser is crucial. And soothing, minimalist formulas are key. Whether your sensitive skin tends towards dry, normal or combination, learning how to correctly cleanse is the all-important first step towards a calm and comfortable complexion. So, let’s get started.
Cleanse with caution
Sensitive skin has an impaired barrier function, making it more susceptible to irritation from pollutants and allergens. The right cleanser will gently remove these impurities, while avoiding harsh, moisture-stripping ingredients. Not all sensitive skin is the same, however, and each type will benefit from a different formulation.
Normal-to-dry sensitive skin
If your sensitive skin is normal to dry, try a gentle cleansing milk. Soap-, fragrance-, and preservative-free, new La Roche-Posay Toleriane Caring Wash contains a single, well-tolerated surfactant, Cocobetaine, to effectively remove make-up and impurities without causing dryness or irritation. Meanwhile, four powerful actives are enlisted to soothe, repair and protect the skin. La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water provides antioxidant protection; Panthenol is intensely soothing; Niacinamide targets the causes of itching and strengthens the skin barrier; and Ceramides help preserve skin moisture.
How to use: Using a small amount of the cleanser, create a lather with wet hands. Gently massage into the face, avoiding the eye area. Rinse and pat dry, without rubbing, using a soft, clean towel.
Normal-to-combination sensitive skin
For normal to combination skins that enjoy the fresh sensation of a foaming cleanser, without the usual dryness, Toleriane Foaming Gel is ideal. With a skin-friendly pH of 5.5, the cleanser is free from soap, fragrance and preservatives, gently removing all traces of make-up, oil build-up, and impurities. Glycerin helps maintain the skin’s moisture balance, leaving the complexion soft, supple and calm.
How to use: Create a foam in your hands using warm water. Massage into the face, avoiding the eye area. Rinse well and gently pat dry.
Dry, ultra-sensitive skin
Ultra-sensitive, dry skin needs extra care, and a true minimalist formula to cleanse and remove make-up. Enriched with moisturising glycerin, Toleriane Dermo Cleanser contains just eight high-tolerance ingredients. Free from fragrance, tensio-active ingredients and preservatives, it has a soothing rinse-off or rinse-free milk texture that is gentle enough for even the fragile eye area.
How to use: Pat on the skin with fingers, massaging gently in a circular motion. Carefully wipe off with a cotton pad, without rubbing. Alternatively, rinse off and follow with your moisturiser.
Cleanse morning & night
At La Roche-Posay, we recommend cleansing twice daily, for several reasons. During the day, the skin faces a barrage of aggressors – sun, smoke, pollution – and defence is its main priority. At night, the focus shifts to repair. By removing dirt, excess oil and irritants, as well as potentially pore clogging make-up, cleansing before bed helps accelerate this repair process. Freshly cleansed, the skin is better able to absorb serums and/or moisturiser. For sensitive skin, it is especially important to moisturise at night as greater transepidermal water loss (TEWL) occurs as you sleep, often causing the skin to become irritated and itchy. Morning cleansing is also important to slough away dead skin cells that accumulate as regeneration takes place. Cleansing also removes the oils and bacteria transferred from your pillowcase, and increases the efficacy of your daily skincare products.
To shop the Toleriane range of cleansers, shop the full range here.