Beauty SOS: How To Care For Sensitive Skin

22 May 2013 by

Beauty SOS: How To Care For Sensitive Skin

Estee, Essie Button

La Roche Posay Soothing Repairing Balm

'If you're suffering from sore, dry or itchy skin, it becomes the only thing you can focus on! I've tried almost every single lotion and potion there is, but I've found the La Roche Posay Soothing Repairing Balm to be most effective on my elbows and other areas of my skin with eczema. It's packed with minerals such as copper, zinc and manganese as well as antibacterial agents to ensure long lasting relief.'

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Kristy Cimesa, Founder, Elemental Herbology

Calendula and Rose Damask Moisturiser

'If you suffer with sensitive skin ensure you keep your skincare routine simple with a ‘less is more’ approach - layering products is a cocktail for disaster for sensitive skin. Use a moisturiser that helps to reduce inflammation and redness and to help improve the barrier function of the skin against the environment. Look for ingredients such as Calendula, Essential Fatty Acids and Horse Chestnut all of which have a calming effect on the skin. On the food front, avoid excessive hot and spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol all of which can have a heating effect on the body and can cause the skin to become red and inflamed.  Also sip cucumber water and Chrysanthemum Tea throughout the day. Crysanthemum has been used in Eastern Medicine to cool and soothe the body and mind for generations and can also be used as an external topical compress to soothe inflamed skin.'

Liz Hambleton, Grazia's beauty director


This never fails to calm and soothe my skin when it’s irritated. It’s packed with anti-inflammatory   zinc which is vital when you’re dealing with sensitive skin. It’s designed for babies bottoms so is super gentle. If my skin is very dry and stressed  I apply a layer of face oil and then a thick layer of this over the top. If it’s been irritated I apply the cream alone and leave it to work its magic overnight.

Meg Lucas, Lipso Facto

Nude Perfect Cleansing Oil

'Ditch the foaming face washes. The foaming agent (SLS) can strip away the protective oils on your skin making it more vulnerable. Stick with balms, milks or gels and make sure you remove them with warm, not hot, water. Nude Perfect Cleansing Oil is ideal for removing makeup from sensitive skin, dissolving even the smokiest eye without leaving the skin feeling raw. Opt for alcohol-free toners to finish the cleansing stage. Increasing your intake of Omega 3 or taking Fish or Flax Oil capsules may also help calm sensitive skin over time. Omega 3 has been shown to decrease inflammation and improve the health of the skin's cell membrane  - protecting it from future irritants and leaving it feeling softer and looking healthier.'

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Sophie Chretien, Caudalie Training Manager

SOS Thirst Quenching Serum

Causes of sensitive skin are down to two factors – either it’s due to your genetic make-up and you have easily irritable skin, like eczema, or it’s due to external factors such as cold weather conditions, air condition, harsh changes in temperature, or using products that are too harsh or abrasive. Steer clear of anything with AHA (check the back of the bottle - it's a chemical exfoliant) or Vitamin A, as well as strong exfoliators, products containing alcohol, concentrated essential oils or glycolic acid. Something with anti-oxidants to prevent, preserve and protect the skin from every day wear and tear and external skin aggressors, like the Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching Serum would be perfect – it's oil free, made of 97% natural ingredients, and clinical trials found that it decreased participants’ skin sensitivity by 61% and redness by 77%.

Tor Cardona, Grazia's Beauty Co-Ordinator

S5 Calm Serum

'Being a beauty junkie with sensitive skin is tricky work indeed, I can assure you. Redness and irritation are the bane of my life and I have to be really careful when trying out new products on my face. However, this little serum is total genius- my number one recommendation for stressed out, fussy skin. The formula is 80% organic and is designed to break the cycle of inflammation in sensitive skin. It smells amazing too and is so soothing. This actually works!'

Marie Reynolds, Facialist and Origins Brand Ambassador

 Dr Weil for Origins Mega Mushroom Serum

'Sensitivity can be born from pollutants, diet, anxiety, genetic or simply harsh topical products. Harsh weather conditions continually batter the skin leaving it chaffed and sensitive include a reputable SPF in your skincare routine preferably a daily moisturiser with an SPF included. Eating spicy foods or a diet rich in red meats can also cause sensitivity. Look at what you eat and your diet including fish and lessen the spice! Anxiety causes the stomach to create acid which will then cause sensitivity in the skin so look at how you deal with issues, take some time out for yourself and learn to pass over things we cannot control.

Harsh topical products - avoid using ingredients that will strip the skin, ingredients like SD alcohols, sulphates, isopropyl myrastrate, artificial colours or fragrances as these can strip the acid mantle. The Dr Weil Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Collection includes specially-formulated products that work to combat irritation and contain Dr. Weil’s “Signature Six” ingredients, enhanced with key ingredient Lily Bulb, which helps defend skin against silent skin agers, making skin stronger and more resilient.

Bao-Tam Phan, Eau Thermale Avene Pharmacist

Eau Thermale Avene Face Mist

'Sensitive skin should use a skincare brand that is designed for their fragile skin, such as Eau Thermale Avène, which contains a high percentage of Avène Thermal Spring Water – clinically proven to have soothing and anti-irritating dermatological properties. We recommend people with intolerant skin, use a simple regime – cleanse with Avène Extremely Cleanser, a fragrance-free, no-rinse, tissue off formula containing natural and gentle ingredients, and follow with a spritz of the Avene spray, which allows skin to recover after irritations such as cold weather, stress or adverse reactions. Allergic skin can now benefit from Avène’s Tolérance Extrême range which contains a limited number of ingredients to minimise the risk of irritation or allergic reaction. They now benefit from pioneering tube technology which keeps the Tolérance Extrêmeformulae completely free from bacteria in a large-size tube - without the need for parabens, preservatives or preservative-like ingredients. The products are so gentle that they can even be used after cosmetic surgery.'

Rose Beer, Grazia's Beauty Writer

Crème De La Mer The Moisturiser

'When my skin is feeling really sensitive I bring out my Crème De La Mer The Moisturiser.  It’s extremely rich so not one for every day but contains a top secret potent Miracle Broth which acts as the most incredible skin healer.'

Sensitive skin has to be the most common beauty woe - trust us, you're not alone. From slight irritations to full-on allergic reactions, sensitive skin can make trying new trends and products rather tricky and often painful. We've rounded up experts, bloggers and the Grazia beauty team to help you understand what irritates your skin, give advice about how to care for sensitive skin and pick their top products to try out. So what are you waiting for? Take a look through the gallery above to find out how to tackle sensitive skin...

- By Daniela Morosini of Couture and Crumpets


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