Sensitive Skin Tips
Okay first off, this is a lot of information and I am not recommending that you incorporate every single one of these things into your skincare routine – that would be a lot! I personally do not do all of these things consistently, I have just found each of them to help my skin at one point or another. For those of you wondering why I care so much about healthy skin, I have had serious rashes on my face, neck, arm, and wrists for the past few years from Contact Dermatitis. To take care of these sensitive areas, I have tried numerous natural beauty products and incorporated various lifestyle changes in search of ones that are the least irritating and most healing. Of course, your skin is different than mine so carefully test these out and find what works best for your specific skin type!
My first suggestion is to cleanse with a very gentle cleanser. So many cleansers out there have harsh chemicals that can actually break down your skin’s protective barriers, and for someone with dry or sensitive skin, you definitely don’t want that. Especially if you have contact dermatitis or eczema; cleansing is crucial for preventing infection. A natural skin doctor recommended Face Reality’s ultra gentle cleanser to me and it works wonders. My skin is the smoothest it has ever been since I started using it and it calms my areas of dermatitis. Another great option for cleansing is coconut oil. When I am out of face wash, I slather a light layer of coconut oil over my face and then gently wipe it off (Extra tip: coconut oil works great for removing makeup - even waterproof mascara).
Next, find a gentle, natural lotion with few ingredients for everyday use. If everything seems to be irritating you, try buying only unscented lotions like Everyone’s 3-in-1unscented lotion. Another gentle product is Evanhealy’s blue chamomile day moisturizer that works incredibly well for me. So does Just Nutritive’s skin calming and healing lotion (what I currently use daily) that is a lot cheaper than Evanhealy and lasts a long time. Those are just a couple brands that I trust, but there are a few more I will list below. Lotion is something you obviously have to be very selective about because you leave it on all day!
For painful and broken skin, the brand Babo Botanicals sells an all natural healing ointment that I use religiously. It relieves all of my pain from contact dermatitis and moistens my skin for hours. It is also extremely safe - so safe it is advertised as a baby brand! I sometimes use it under my eyes at night to prevent puffy eyes and dark circles, and occasionally on my entire face for some extra moisture (although it can look greasy, so use sparingly). I also recommend using Silver Wing’s herbal ointment for healing broken skin.
Overall, I recommend keeping it simple if you have dry or sensitive skin, because the more products you put on your skin, the more likely you are to react to something. And who really likes long, tedious skincare routines?
If you do want to add another step, I suggest doing a very gentle face mask occasionally. I use a chlorophyll mask by Cocokind skincare whenever I remember (once a month or so) and that seems to brighten and tone my skin a lot. The brand also carries a moisturizing matcha stick that is great for traveling when you don’t want to put lotion on your face! All of their products have very few ingredients and are reasonably priced. Another mask I do, on my face and body, is a bentonite clay mask by Aztec Secret that is super affordable. This one is very detoxing, and I will warn you that it can make your skin feel like its throbbing. I would test this out on your arm or somewhere before putting it on your face! This one is also incredible at getting rid of acne.
As for makeup, I have worn very little in the last few years and have rarely had a breakout. Makeup usually dries out and irritates my skin. However, I recently switched out the Clinique stuff I’d been using for years and bought Beauty Counter makeup– I trust that these products are safe and won’t dry out my skin like others do because they are made of truly natural ingredients. My favorite product is the tint skin hydrating foundation that is non-irritating and protective. Then I just use their blush and bronzer and I’m good to go.
For sun protection, I use Andalou Natural’s 30 SPF CC cream that has a tint to it. I also use Sun Bum’s products for regular sunscreen. I have put Sun Bum right onto my itchy, broken dermatitis spots and it doesn’t irritate it at all.
Healthy skin is not a quick fix. It takes intentional decisions and habits to heal your body from the inside out.
One habit I recommend working into your life is dry brushing. To use, gently brush all over your body in either small, counter-clockwise circles or long strokes going towards your heart. This drains your lymph nodes, helping detox your body and encourage circulation. Lymph node drainage is often a need for people with irritated skin (inflamed lymph nodes is one of the main culprits of my skin problems). It also gets rid of dead skin cells and smooths the skin. I have found it’s easiest for me to do right before I shower, but find a time that works best for you and stick with it (it is kind of a hard habit to form). Another thing that can drain your lymph nodes is a lymph node drainage massage (more affordable than a regular massage) or simply switching from cold to hot water in the shower, 10 seconds on each, for about 5 minutes.
Diet-wise, I recommend eating healthy fats like avocadoes, bananas, nuts, and coconut oil. Work foods like carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, and other foods that are rich in Vitamin A, into your diet to encourage cell renewal and repair. Ultimately, try your hardest not to eat refined flours and sugars, and try cutting down on gluten and dairy as well (common causes of skin irritation). Drink lots of water! This is SO important, and something I still struggle to do. It makes such a significant difference when your body is hydrated from the inside out. You may also want to take a collagen supplement, as well as vitamin C, to ensure your body is producing enough collagen and elastin that keeps your skin toned and healthy. You can also get collagen from your diet by eating foods like fish, bone broth, spinach, garlic, and berries. Eating a whole foods diet with a lot of variety will significantly impact the appearance of your skin.
If you need additional help finding the internal sources of your skin problems, find a holistic nutritionist or doctor that can safely test you for any food or environmental sensitivities. I have been to several natural doctors and done some pretty unusual tests, but they have helped more than regular medical doctors/dermatologists BY FAR. I learned I had to cut out nightshades and dairy (through the AIP diet), and that helped heal my skin dramatically! If you’re in the Denver area, definitely check out Colorado Life Changing Care. If you’re in Minnesota, I recommend Valeo Health and Wellness Center. Referring to a Nutrition Therapy Practitioner is often the most affordable option, and since that is what I am training to become, I can get you connected with an NTP in your area (just contact me on my “About” page).
On another note, I know sensitive, dry skin can look awful and lead to a lot of negative thoughts on self-image. There have been so many times where my skin looks so red and gross that I don’t even want to leave the house. There have also been times when I’ve blotted it all up with makeup attempting to hide it (and just felt even more uncomfortable). I have been trying to resist that urge and work on seeing myself as God sees me. I encourage you, the next time you look in the mirror and feel disgusted about what you see, ask yourself if that is what God thinks about you? It probably isn’t, in fact, if it is anything negative, than you can be SURE that God doesn’t think that about you. God doesn’t think you’re gross – he thinks you’re beautiful – no matter how red and blotchy your skin looks! And as hard as it is, let’s try to thank him for these flaws that can humble us and remind us how human we are. How this world isn’t our home and we won’t have this skin in heaven. Let’s look at our skin as a reminder of how much we need His healing – physically and spiritually!
If you have any questions about any of this please contact me! I would love to help you find what is best for you.
Some other brands I’ve found to be safe:
Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care (specifically their kukui nut oil)