Sensitive Skin? 6 Common Beauty Mistakes to Avoid

Apr. 28, 2020
Sensitive skin is more prone to redness, itching, dryness, and burning. Keep sensitive skin at bay with these six skin tips.
Could you be causing your skin harm without even knowing it? Sensitive skin has unique needs. It can be hard to continually maintain dry, irritated, red, or acne-prone, sensitive skin. More often than not, we may be approaching our skin woes with a few common mistakes. From not using dermatologist approved moisturizers to over-washing your face, here are six sensitive skin mistakes you should avoid at all costs. 
1. Introducing new products too quickly
Did you just purchase a new mask, beauty oil, or face cream that you're just dying to try? Even if the label says it's safe for sensitive skin, it's still best to introduce new products into your routine slowly. Try only adding a new product once per week. This way, if your skin reacts negatively, you can quickly pinpoint which new product caused the irritation and stop using it. Doing a patch test is also essential when implementing a new product into your skincare routine. Try doing a patch test on the back of your neck with a new product, and if after 24 hours, there's no adverse reaction, it's safe for continued use. 
2. You're overdoing it with skincare products
A new product launches from your favorite brand, and you try it only to see that it caused a rash or redness. The more products you use, the higher chances you have for a reaction because you're putting more ingredients on your skin. If you find something that works for your skin, stick to it. Keep your sensitive skincare staples on hand like your daily cleanser, serum, moisturizer, and a face mask that's targeted to treat your specific skin issues, whether it be itchiness, dryness, rosacea, acne, or aging skin. Use a face mask once a week to prevent product overload. 
3. Your sunscreen is casing your sensitive skin to flair
If you're using an SPF as part of your daily routine, hats off to you! While it's incredibly important to wear it every day (even if it's not sunny), some sensitive skin sufferers are using the wrong kind of sunscreen. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), you should be using broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection, that has an SPF of 30 or higher and is water-resistant. The problem for the sensitive skin gals out there is what goes inside. Chemical sunscreens usually contain active ingredients like oxybenzone and avobenzone, homosalate, and octinoxate, which could be harmful on sensitive skin. Mineral sunscreens contain active ingredients like zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. The AAD suggests opting for this type of sunscreen if you have sensitive skin.
4. You're not using dermatologist approved face creams
Have you ever noticed some products are labeled "dermatologist approved?" This means an MD has carefully inspected the ingredients, tried the product, and given a positive review. Dr. Cynthia Bailey, a Board Certified Dermatologist, based in Sebastopol, CA, with 30+ years of experience, says: "Even products marketed specifically for people with sensitive skin can be irritating." Many moisturizers are made with ingredients, fragrances, and synthetic materials that may make them smell heavenly, but ultimate people with sensitive skin should try to avoid them. Try looking for facial moisturizers that are fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and made with botanical oils. The herbal oils will help replenish lost skin lipids to create a healthier skin barrier. 
5. The facial scrubs you're using are too harsh
Sensitive skin sufferers, be on the lookout for exfoliating cleansers with large exfoliating particles - these will further irritate the skin causing dryness, irritation, redness, and potentially acne. Instead, look for facial scrubs that are ultra-gentle on the skin. Scrubs containing glycerin, glycolic acids, and some sort of natural oil, like coconut, or castor oil, will still remove buildup and dead skin, without over-exfoliating. If your skin is ultra-sensitive, instead of scrubbing every day, limit it to two or three times per month. 
6. Forgetting to remove your makeup before bed
While we've all come home from a late-night and skipped our night routine, it's always best to try and at least remove makeup before bed. Especially if you're sensitive, leaving makeup on overnight increases the risk of redness and irritation the morning after. Plus, it can clog your pores, ruin your pillowcases, cause breakouts, and accelerate the aging process. 
While caring for sensitive skin may take a little more effort, avoiding common skincare mistakes can help. Use these tips and tricks to keep redness, rashes, rosacea, and dryness at a minimum. 
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