For those with sensitive skin that can react to certain ingredients or environmental factors, putting together a skincare routine can sometimes be an experimental process of trial and error.
Perhaps you’ve found yourself carefully checking the ingredients of each product you select for your face and body. Fortunately, this comprehensive guide on how to manage and care for sensitive skin contains everything you need to know to build a skincare routine that suits your needs. Read on for a step by step guide to sensitive skin care, with tailored product recommendations from our Toleriane, Cicaplast and Lipikar ranges.
WHAT IS SENSITIVE SKIN?
Understanding whether you have sensitive skin is the first step to developing the perfect skincare routine for your skin’s needs. Sensitive skin refers to skins that tend to react to certain skincare ingredients, fragrances and more. Sensitive skin may also react to friction, wind or sun.
Your skin may be sensitive if it is prone to redness, blotchiness or sensations of burning or itching after exposure to triggering conditions or substances. Sensitive skin isn’t something you’re born with. In fact, you can begin experiencing skin sensitivity at any age.
WHAT IS THE IDEAL SKINCARE ROUTINE FOR SENSITIVE SKIN ON THE FACE?
As a general rule, people with sensitive skin should look for skincare products that are fragrance free and alcohol free. We also recommend seeking out formulas that have been specially tested for use on sensitive skin. Follow these recommendations from the La Roche-Posay experts for an easy to implement skincare routine for sensitive skin.
CLEANSER FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
How to cleanse sensitive skin without stripping the natural lipid barrier requires careful product selection. Look for a cleanser for sensitive skin that’s designed to be hydrating and gentle.
For example, our Toleriane Gentle Cream Dermo-Cleanser contains glycerin and La Roche-Posay Thermal Water to ensure skin remains hydrated and comforted throughout the cleansing process. This combined makeup remover and cleanser thoroughly removes dirt, makeup and impurities without the need for friction or scrubbing. Pat on, gently massage in a circular motion with the fingertips, then gently rinse with lukewarm (not hot) water. Be sure to pat your face dry rather than rubbing to avoid friction.
Read our Complete Guide to Cleansing Sensitive Skin for more information on this essential first step of your skincare routine.
SERUM FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
Next, apply a comforting and hydrating serum designed for sensitive skin. While serums can contain active ingredients such as exfoliating acids and retinoids, those with sensitive skin should look for serums with glycerin or hyaluronic acid. Our Toleriane Ultra Dermallergo Hydrating Serum is tested on sensitive skin and formulated with Neurosensine and glycerin to help soothe skin and support the skin barrier. Gently smooth on a few drops morning and night to hydrate and visibly reduce redness.
MOISTURISER FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
After a serum, it’s time to learn how to moisturise sensitive skin. While moisturiser is important to create a barrier between sensitive skin and environmental aggressors such as wind and pollution, heavy formulas can sometimes be too heavy for sensitive skin. Look for a non-comedogenic, fragrance free formula like our Toleriane Ultra Overnight Sensitive Moisturiser. This dual action light daily moisturiser with Neurosensine helps to both hydrate and comfort sensitive skin.
EYE CREAM FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
Skin in the eye area is especially vulnerable, so hydrating and protecting your under-eyes with an eye cream for sensitive skin is a must. Look for a fragrance free formula designed for sensitive skin, such as our Toleriane Dermallergo Eye Cream For Sensitive Skin. This eye cream is formulated with niacinamide and Neurosensine to help comfort sensitive and reactive skin. Use your ring finger to gently pat a small amount of eye cream on, morning and night.
SUNSCREEN FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
Sun damage can lead to a weakened skin barrier and increased sensitivity, so daily sun protection is especially important. We recommend seeking out a high SPF, broad spectrum formula like our Anthelios Invisible Fluid Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+. Apply liberally at least 20 minutes before sun exposure.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE. Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure. Sunscreen is only one part of sun protection so wear protective clothing and seek shade. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, towelling and perspiring in accordance with directions.
FACE MASKS FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
For an extra boost of hydration, you may wish to use a comforting face mask once or twice a week. We recommend masks with vitamin B5 as an ingredient, as this vitamin is known for its supportive properties for the skin barrier. Our Cicaplast B5 Facial Sheet Mask contains both vitamin B5 and Madecassoside for a comforting and hydrating effect. Apply this sheet mask for 15 minutes before gently patting any remaining serum into your skin.
SENSITIVE SKINCARE ROUTINE FOR THE FACE
WHAT IS THE IDEAL SKINCARE ROUTINE FOR THE SENSITIVE SKIN ON THE BODY?
When considering how to hydrate sensitive skin, it’s important to think beyond the face. Skin on the body can also be prone to dryness and sensitivity, so follow the below recommendations to help care for skin on the body.
Soaps and soap-based body washes can be fragranced and too harsh for sensitive skin. Instead, look for an oil cleanser to cleanse without the need for rubbing or drying out the skin. Our Lipikar Huile Lavante Ap+ Body Cleansing Oil does just that, as well as helping to rebalance the skin’s microbiome. Pat dry after using to avoid friction.
Our hands are frequently subjected to harsh soaps, so we recommend swapping your regular soap for a sensitive formula to minimise dryness and sensitisation. Our Lipikar Syndet Ap+ Body Wash Shower Cream won’t dry out already dry or sensitive skin due to its soap free formula and comforting La Roche-Posay Thermal Water.
Body moisturiser specially designed for dry, sensitive skin can help comfort these skin types more effectively. Seek out a formula that supports the body’s natural lipid barrier. Our Lipikar AP+M Body Balm is a lipid-replenishing body balm for dry, sensitive skin suitable for use once or twice a day.
SENSITIVE SKINCARE ROUTINE FOR THE BODY
GENERAL CARE TIPS FOR SENSITIVE SKIN TYPES
Now that you’ve established an ideal skincare routine, here are a few general care tips. Try to avoid hot showers and baths and minimise sun exposure as these can both be disruptive to sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin on the body, try switching out your laundry detergent for a hypoallergenic version. Lastly, if you think you might have a skin allergy, consult with your healthcare professional.
If you haven’t always had sensitive skin, read our article 5 Reasons Your Skin is Suddenly Sensitive to learn more about sensitive skin triggers.