How to Manage Different Sensitive Skin Types
Those with normal, oily, dry, combination and breakout-prone skin types can also experience sensitive skin as the two skin types are not mutually exclusive. Understanding what your sensitive skin type is will help you to develop a routine which meets all your skin care needs.
Developing a tailored skin care routine for sensitive skin will help protect and nurture your skin. Those with sensitive skin should choose gentle facial care products that strengthen the skin’s barrier while providing 24-hour hydration.
Sensitive Skin Overview
When caring for sensitive skin types it’s important to find a balance between avoiding the symptoms of sensitivity while still managing your underlying skin type. All types of sensitive skin require a similar approach, however, the products you choose will vary depending on whether you also have dry, oily, combination, or breakout-prone skin.
Skin Care Tips For all Types of Sensitive Skin
• Avoid very hot water as it can aggravate sensitive skin (1)
• Highly-fragranced products can aggravate sensitivity, opt for fragrance-free whenever possible (1)
• Introduce a gentle soap-free facial cleanser into your sensitive skincare routine, this will ensure your skin’s barrier is not compromised whilst cleansing (1)
• People with sensitive skin should not use harsh exfoliants or chemical peels
• Apply moisturisers as needed throughout the day (2)
• Protect your sensitive skin by applying at least SPF15, which protects skin from harsh UV rays (1)
• Incorporate products with hydrating and nurturing ingredients into your skincare routine specially formulated for sensitive skin (2)
Dry Sensitive Skin
Due to a lack of hydration, skin that is both sensitive and dry often feels tight and uncomfortable. Dry sensitive skin may also become red and inflamed as the weakened skin barrier enables moisture to evaporate and irritants to enter the skin (3).
A skincare routine for sensitive dry skin should focus on infusing the skin with lasting moisture. Try to incorporate ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that retains moisture to help rehydrate skin, and niacinamide for its nourishing properties. As a sensitive skin’s barrier is usually compromised in some way, three essential ceramides help strengthen the skin’s natural barrier and seal in moisture.
When developing a skincare routine for dry sensitive skin, choose a facial cleanser that washes without disrupting the skin’s protective barrier like the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. Dry sensitive skin should be moisturised throughout the day for extra care. The CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion is a lightweight, oil-free facial moisturiser for normal to dry skin.
Oily Sensitive Skin
Having both sensitive and oily skin can be a testing duo. Certain ingredients made to remove oil can trigger sensitive skin, causing redness and inflammation. Those with oily sensitive skin should look for fragrance-free facial cleansers that are oil-free and won’t clog pores (4). The CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser’s fragrance-free non-greasy formula makes it ideal for those with oily sensitive skin.
Sensitive Breakout-Prone Skin
Sensitive breakout-prone skin can be one of the most difficult to manage. Harsh ‘breakout-fighting’ products may aggravate the skin and increase sensitivity, so try finding more gentle cleansers and moisturisers.
Include a facial cleanser into your skincare routine for sensitive skin that will leave your face feeling fresh and hydrated while removing the excess oil and dirt that can cause breakouts. Like oily skin, those with sensitive breakout-prone skin may prefer oil-free facial cleansers as they won’t clog pores (5). Avoid fragranced products as they can also cause increased sensitivity.
Look for cleansers which incorporate ingredients like three essential ceramides for strengthening, hyaluronic acid for a burst of hydration, and niacinamide for its nourishing properties. After cleansing, your skin should feel clean and light, without feeling tight or stripped of its natural oils.
Following cleansing, apply a facial moisturiser with at least SPF15 such as the CeraVe AM Facial Moisturising Lotion with SPF 15. Protection from UV is important for all skin types, however, breakout-prone skin is particularly vulnerable as blemish treatments can leave the skin more susceptible to sun damage. If you’re ever unsure how to protect your skin from the sun and manage your sensitive breakout-prone skin, speak to a dermatologist for expert advice.
Recommended ProductsCeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
CeraVe’s Foaming Facial Cleanser is suitable for normal to dry skin types
CeraVe’s SA Smoothing Cleanser is a foaming gel that uses salicylic acid for a clean and smooth complexion.
The CeraVe Moisturising Cream is a rich cream ideal for sensitive, dry, and very dry skin.
The CeraVe Moisturising Lotion is for dry to very dry skin and can be used on the face and body.
- Berardesca, E. , Farage, M. and Maibach, H. (2013), Sensitive skin: an overview. Int J Cosmet Sci, 35: 2-8.
- Baumann, L. (2015) Cosmeceuticals and Cosmetic Ingredients (pp.83-91). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical (4)
- Baumann, L. (2015) Cosmeceuticals and Cosmetic Ingredients (pp.20). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical (7)