#MyLittleSkincareProject - Sensitive # 1

18 Aug 2013

For this week's #MyLittleSkincareProject, we will be delving into sensitive skin and my three sensitive skin bloggers will be sharing their thoughts and experience of having sensitive skin with you. I think sensitive skin is probably one of the more awkward skin types someone can have; although my skin type is oily, sometimes it can be sensitive and sometimes dry, so I have a little experience of sensitive skin myself. Sensitive skin can mean a life of reading ingredients on products, trial and error with products and dealing with skin which never settles and is constantly reacting to something or other - but that's the extreme of it. For some people with sensitive skin, simply avoiding some ingredients or products is enough to control their skin. If you think you might also suffer from sensitive skin, check some of the most common symptoms of sensitive skin listed below. If you're skin matches a few of these sensitive skin traits, you might well have sensitive skin but going for a proper skincare consultation is always recommended. If you have many of these traits plus others, and severe, I would advise seeking advice from your GP. Sensitive skin is complicated, so get a cuppa ready, it's going to be a long one!
  • Most sensitive skin has smaller pore size than other skin types.
  • Sensitive skin flushes quicker and experiences more redness than some skin types.
  • Can experience irritation, sensitivity to products or ingredients, rashes etc easily.
  • Can be in conjunction with other skin types.
  • Can feel tight, sore and uncomfortable when not treated properly.
  • Can be easily irritated by makeup as well as skincare, and sometimes even hair care.
  • Can be itchy and appear blotchy.
So that's the basics of a sensitive skin type. My sensitive skin type bloggers are Rosie, Scarlett and Becky. Let's see what they have to say about sensitive skin! 


"I've suffered from sensitive skin for as long as I can remember and when I was younger I was content to just take off my makeup and not try and tackle any other skin issues I might have. This would result in my skin always feeling so sore and inflamed, as I had no idea what I was doing. Now I use anything from facial washes to moisturisers, facial exfoliators and cleansers. Skincare became important to me when I was around 15; when I also suffered from the odd spot. As I've tried more and more products, I've learned which brands and products are best for my skin. Obviously, I like products which are on the gentle side, otherwise my face becomes inflamed and read. When I didn't know what was good for my skin and what products to avoid, my skin felt sore a lot of the time and didn't look great, either. Now, after getting into a product skincare routine, my face feels super clean, without feeling irritated. When I was younger I didn't pay much attention to what products were for, which skin type and their aims. Now, I always xcheck ingredients lists and the packaging of products for some key factors; it must be fragrance free and suitable for sensitive skin. I do have a handful of favourite brands, whose products I have really enjoyed using, such as Origins, Clean & Clear and Garnier. Although I like to keep my skincare routine as simple as possible, I'm always on the look out for more products to add to my skincare stash, to keep my skin looking fresh and healthy. I've tried multiple toners but I've never found one that is gentle enough for my skin. Some brands and products which have been designed for sensitive skin have also disappointed me, and I still find some products too strong for my skin. I use both high end and high street and don't always think a high end price tag means a better, more effective product. For me, as long as the product has lots of good ingredients; such as soothing properties like cucumber and aloe, and is fragrance free, I'll give it a try! My skincare routine is short and simple; I take off my makeup with my L'Oreal Micellar Solution and I wash my face with my Clean & Clear Exfoliating Daily Wash or my Clean & Clear Blackhead Clearing Facial Scrub. I then apply my Garnier Moisture Match Moisturiser. I love face masks and use them around twice a week, alternating between different masks. At the moment my favourites are the Origins Drink Up face mask and the The Body Shop Warming Mineral Mask." 


"A few months ago I was at the end of my tether (I sound like a little old lady here) with regards to my skin. It was dry one minute, then it would react to any kind of moisturiser I'd try to combat the dryness. Then I'd end up with angry red pimples under the skin which made going 'bare-faced' an embarrassing and rare occasion for me. I've never been one to suffer from spots, and even throughout secondary school I'd only get one a month (if that), but it was the steadily increasing red patches on my face that were getting me down. Regardless of the numerous amount of products I tried, nothing seemed to work and it got so bad that I ended up in my doctor's waiting room, desperate to find a solution. Luckily my doctor was very understanding and said that although I was very young, the sensitive skin and scaly skin on my face was unusual and could potentially be rosacea; something my mum also suffers from. She prescribed me with an antibiotic called Lymecycline, which is part of the Tetracycline family of antibiotics, for an eight week course, and away I went. I'm still currently on the course of antibiotics, so I can't claim they are my miracle cure. In fact, the changes are they might actually make my skin worse afterwards (I hope not!), but they have cleared my skin up to the point I can start focusing on what products work for me and how I can compact sensitive skin with a calm approach, rather than slapping on every product that claims to produce 'skin miracles' and then becoming frustrated because they aren't working immediately. Since using the products and routine I've found has worked for me, my skin has slowly started to improve and I'm going 'bare-faced' more often than I have been wearing a full face of makeup! My skin is still nowhere near perfect, but then again, whose is! But it's getting to a stage where I'm starting to feel a little more confident about it. I still only use products that are hypoallergenic and with no nasty chemicals (always read the label, as sometimes even products that say they are for sensitive skin still have fragranced ingredients and/or parabens which might react to your skin), but I am no longer afraid to try something new. Skincare has always been a part of my life, but now it's part of my daily routine; and I use it as a way of managing and caring for my skin rather than hoping for miracles. Sensitive skin is a real pain to deal with and sometimes, and before a year ago, the only skincare brand I'd ever used was Simple, as I was terrified to try another brand out of fear my skin would react badly again. Again, my skin is far from perfect, but I'm getting to the manageable stage and my routine is much better than it used to be!"

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"The main indicator of my sensitive skin is my big red face. No beating around that bush. On good days I like to call it an ‘English rose complexion’, but truthfully, it really bothers me. Genetically, I have very prominent veins, and the redness in my skin is from tiny, burst blood vessels that sit close to the skin - and if my skin becomes dry, these become irritated and flare up. If I don’t conceal my redness well, it shows up from under my make-up and makes me look like I've just had a hardcore workout at the gym. To the touch, my skin is dry, and this is how I've always classed it. I've always been very lucky to have totally invisible pores and I rarely get break outs. Why it took me years to realise that these were symptoms of sensitivity I don’t know; but now that I do, I've found a routine that really helps me calm my skin down and keep the redness at bay. Looking at the ingredients list of a product is my first step - knowing that dryness triggers redness and soreness, adequate moisture is a must. Hyaluronic acid, jojoba oils, aloe vera, borage oil, coconut oil, and grape seed oil are all ingredients that I know soothe and hydrate my skin. Caudalie’s Divine Oil, to take just one example, is fantastic and I know if I slap it on before bed, I’ll wake up with a really soft, even complexion and no tightness. Caudalie as a brand I trust hugely with my skin, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone with dry and/or sensitive skin. My major secret to reducing redness is to keep all my skincare products in the fridge - the cold temperature cools and calms the capillaries so they don’t become inflamed. Not only is it super refreshing and relaxing, but it actually makes a massive difference. Similarly, using a product with a high enough SPF - my favourite is the Coola Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturiser - protects your skin against the heat, which is a major trigger of redness and a sure fire way to upset your skin. In terms of ingredients to avoid, anything that dries out my skin is a firm no-no: a product which features alcohol near the beginning of its ingredients list is a sure-fire way to irritate and dry the skin. The much-raved about glycolic and alpha hydroxyl acids - Pixi Glow Tonic, Alpha-H Liquid Gold - are a real Catch-22 for me. Whilst they’re great for exfoliating dry skin cells off the face, they also sting and burn like hell - so I use them very, very sparingly and only a maximum of twice a week. Like with all skin types, my sensitive skin has its curses and its blessings, but I’m constantly learning how to deal with it, and I hope over the course of #MyLittleSkincareProject I’ll be able to offer at least a small amount of advice to anyone who—like me—faces the daily battles that come with having sensitive skin!"

Thanks so much Rosie, Scarlett and Harriet for sharing your experiences of sensitive skin with us all! It's so interesting hearing the ways you have learnt to control and live with your sensitive skin.

Like last week, I asked on Twitter for people to tweet me their sensitive skin tips. Here's some of the replies I got!

@LauraMeredith said... If your face stinges when using sunscreen, try Lancaster - used it since I was a kind when everything else hurt!
@YasmineC9 said... Don't introduce too many new products at once. It's better to introduce them gradually so you can see which ones suit your skin.
@MollyLoves_Blog said... Don't overload your skin with products! Sticking with the basics is usually the best... oh and Lush Ultrabland is fab!
@It_Aint_Kansas said... Any products I've tried from Simple or Clinique have resulted in really bad reactions! Don't follow the trend, yoru skin will go through a lot of punishment before you find what's right for it.
@FaerieCorpsey said... Stuff that's unscented I find is the best. If my skin is flaring up, products with a strong scent will make it worse. I also find baby oil a gentle way to remove eye makeup without upsetting your skin.
@Amys_Loves said... Use gentle skincare products containing soothing properties such as calamine, and avoid products that contain alcohol!
@xoxo_Morgi said... Stay away from products that contain fragrance and always opt for hypoallergenic and dye free. I like Clinique!
@Floresymoda said... Always read the label thoroughly to check for perfumes or nasty chemicals. If in doubt, do a patch test!
@SophiePatty said... For me it's about using a high-end foundation; drugstore ones break me out. I also use products by Simple and things with no mineral oil.
@BNBeautyReviews said... Always have aloe vera gel and witch hazel handy!

Well I don't know about you, but I think between my own research and experience, my sensitive skin bloggers experiences and all of your top tips, I've learnt quite a lot about sensitive skin! I hope this is of help to anyone either with sensitive skin or who suspects they might suffer from sensitive skin. Keep your eyes peeled on the rest as the series as my fab sensitive skin type bloggers will be sharing two more posts with you; their product recommendations and sensitive skin product reviews! Next week, we'll be talking oily skin!

Introduction to #MyLittleSkincareProject bloggers
#MyLittleSkincareProject Introduction Post 
#MyLittleSkincareProject - Dry Skin # 1

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