People with sensitive skin need to take special care to the selection of skin care products. If you usually experience skin tightening, tingling sensation, or other sensitive skin symptoms, you should always do a patch test before you apply any product. Apply a small amount of a product behind your ear. Leave it for 24 hours and see how the skin reacts to the product. If there is redness or irritation, do not use that product. If there is not, it is fine to use it on the whole face.
Avoid using a cleanser that contains alcohol and other harsh ingredients like lauryl sulfates and fragrances on your sensitive skin. Rather, use a soap- and fragrance-free cleanser such as Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser or Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash.
It is very important to avoid cleansing your skin with hot water as it strips natural oils from the skin and causes the capillaries to break out. Sometimes you may notice that your skin is very dry and tight after you cleanse it even without a cleanser. This problem may be caused by chlorine in tap water. If you experience this problem, you should install a charcoal filter for shower head to reduce chlorine and other chemicals.
Your skin needs to retain moisture balance in the top layer to heal and protect sensitive skin from inflammation and infection. The skin loses moisture through evaporation after cleansing so you should apply moisturizer soon after cleansing. Apply a light, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free moisturizer designed for sensitive skin. You should also avoid a moisturizer that contains parabens, imidazolidinyl urea, Quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, phenoxyethanol, methylchloroisothiazolinone, and formaldehyde because all have been linked to skin allergies (Source: WebMD).
To slow down the aging process, you may want to apply anti-aging skin care products. However, some anti-aging products may not suitable for your sensitive skin. If you have heard about benefits of a retinol or retinoid for wrinkles and want to try, you need to consult a dermatologist to see if you are a good candidate for one. You also have other choices of anti-aging skin care products to fight against signs of aging. Those products contain natural ingredients such as antioxidants like Coenzyme Q10, Functional Keratin, and Phytessence Wakame. All of them help your body stimulate the collagen production.
Like other skin types, sensitive skin needs exfoliation to get rid of dead skin cells. The buildup of dead skin cells cause dullness, uneven skin tone, and acne as well as prevent a moisturizer to properly penetrate into the skin. If you have sensitive skin, use a very gentle exfoliator which contains natural ingredients such as rice powder or oatmeal once a week. Avoid a granular scrub and a scrub that contains chemicals and fragrance as they can cause allergic reactions.
Alternatively, if you want to avoid chemicals and fragrance in an exfoliator, you can use a soft washcloth to exfoliate sensitive skin. Cleanse your skin with lukewarm water. Then rub the skin with the washcloth using a circular motion. Limit the exfoliation to once a week.
You need to apply a sunscreen with SPF 15 and above every morning to protect the skin from sun’s rays. UVA and UVB accelerate the aging process, causing wrinkles, sagging skin, age spots, uneven skin tone, and freckles. Look for a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection which prevents the skin from both UVA and UVB. Avoid a sunscreen that contains fragrance and chemicals such as oxybenzone. Choose one that contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as these ingredients are physical sun blockers.