If you have sensitive skin, you know that it can make life difficult.
Unwanted reactions, breakouts, dryness, irritations, and other frustrations (like eczema and rosacea) leave you wondering if you’ll ever find a way to make your skin happy.
This year, we want to help you make peace with your skin. To that end, we have some recommended New Year’s resolutions you can make to improve your skin’s condition and enjoy an overall healthier-looking complexion.
The New Year is the perfect time to take stock of what products you have and replace any that you wouldn’t describe as “clean” with better alternatives.
Start with your cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. If any of these top three contain alcohols, harsh preservatives, synthetic fragrances, and other similar ingredients, toss them. Then look for more natural, gentle alternatives. Products with fewer chemicals and more natural ingredients lessen your chances of experiencing a reaction.
All of our CV Skinlabs products are made for sensitive skin. They are 100 percent free of ingredients linked to toxic and allergic effects. Plus, they’re filled with nourishing and anti-inflammatory ingredients that can help calm sensitive skin, and are clinically proven to increase hydration while reducing redness and irritation.
Then check your makeup too. It’s more difficult to find completely clean makeup, but it’s getting easier every day. More and more brands are responding to consumer demands for natural color products.
2. Protect your skin every day.
Though all skin types need protection, sensitive skin often needs it even more. Use a safe sunscreen like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide every day. This will help reduce your risk of skin cancer, as well as hyperpigmentation, rashes, and redness.
Remember too to protect your skin from pollution. Toxins in polluted air can assault your skin, potentially causing inflammation and premature aging. Avoid going out during the most polluted times of the day, and avoid exercising near high traffic areas. Then be sure to use a moisturizer that helps fortify your skin barrier. (We recommend our Calming Moisture or Restorative Skin Balm.)
Sensitive Skin Resolution 3: Become more aware of dirt and impurities.
Sensitive skin tends to be more reactive to dirt, impurities, and microorganisms. That means you need to be more aware of where the skin may come into contact with these, and try to limit that contact.
Some good ways to do that:
- Clean your makeup brushes more often.
- Clean out your makeup bag.
- Toss old makeup products.
- Replace your pillowcase more often.
- Replace your washcloths and towels more often.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Wash your face every night before bed.
Check out our post on the best makeup brushes for sensitive skin!
4. Change how you exfoliate.
If you’re someone who developed sensitive skin over time, you may have noticed that your old way of exfoliating no longer works for you.
If you use harsh scrubs or products containing nuts or crystals to physically exfoliate your face, you can create microtears in the skin that later react. The result could include redness, rashes, and acne breakouts.
Sensitive skin still needs exfoliating, though, so if your usual method of exfoliation is causing these side effects, change it up this year. It’s good to exfoliate regularly, but you don’t have to live with breakouts to do it. Choose gentle products that carefully remove those dead skin cells without tearing your skin.
Good options have natural fruit acids like salicylic and glycolic to break up the dead skin layer on the surface of your skin. Other gentle options include lactic, azelaic, mandelic acid. These can actually help improve sensitive skin’s resilience while strengthening the barrier.
There is confusion about what a toner is supposed to do. Some help remove remaining impurities on your skin after cleansing while preparing the skin for moisturizer. Most of these types of toners, unfortunately, contain alcohol and will dry the skin prematurely. This can also cause inflammation leading to a flare-up in those with sensitive skin.
Instead, use a toner that is calming and moisturizing and your skin will thank you. We suggest our Rescue + Relief Spray. A cooling, multi-use mist, it’s much more sophisticated than most toners. It contains ingredients that naturally tame inflammation while leaving behind a refreshed comfortable, smooth feel to the skin.
It also helps retain moisture, soothe irritation, minimize redness and balance out skin’s pH level. Gentle enough to use when skin is inflamed, it’s great for acne-prone or oil-prone skin. Feel free to re-apply throughout the day to wake up dull and tired looking skin.
6. Use a calming moisturizer.
It makes sense that after you use a calming toner, you use a calming moisturizer. As someone with sensitive skin, you want to be continuously on the lookout for products that will help you soothe the skin and avoid additional reactions.
We suggest our Calming Moisture, as it was made specifically for those with sensitive skin. It contains a powerful combination of anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing ingredients that help reduce redness and heal damaged skin while restoring a youthful glow.
Sensitive Skin Resolution 7: Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
When you are sleep-deprived, your body releases stress hormones to help you get through the day. These hormones damage the skin and can increase the risk of inflammation and reactions.
To keep your skin calm, do your best to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Keep your room dark and cool, and banish all technology. Take at least 30 minutes before bed to do something relaxing so you feel sleepy. And when you miss out on a good night’s sleep, try taking a 20-minute nap the next day.
8. Eat a healthy diet and regularly drink water.
We often forget that the skin is the largest organ the body has and therefore is nourished and cared for by the nutrients we consume in our diet. You can do everything right in your skincare routine and still suffer from reactive, inflammatory skin if your diet is poor.
Fast foods, fried foods, and high-sugar foods are all known to spike inflammation in the body, and that affects the skin too. On the other hand, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that supply the skin with what it needs to protect and repair itself.
Water, as well, is extremely important. If you are even slightly dehydrated, your body will draw water away from your skin to feed to your crucial organs, like the heart and lungs. That will leave your skin dry, and more likely to react to triggers.
Sensitive Skin Resolution 9: Practice a stress-relieving activity every day.
There is a new term in the world of dermatology called psychodermatology, which is the study of how emotions affect the skin and vice versa. This acknowledges what scientists know now about how the skin and the brain are connected.
If you are regularly stressed out, it’s going to show up on your skin. You’ll be more likely to suffer from breakouts, inflammation, redness, and rashes. The best way to avoid this frustrating outcome is to practice a stress-relieving activity every day.
Good options include deep breathing, exercise, journaling, meditation, yoga, tai chi, pet therapy, music therapy, crafting, and any other activity that helps you shed stress and relax.
10. Avoid your triggers.
After living with sensitive skin for a while, you probably have become aware of some of the things that can trigger a reaction. This year, resolve to do more to avoid triggers. These may include the following:
- Detergents, including laundry detergents
- Allergies (allergic reactions to products/lotions/plants/chemicals)
- Bad weather (wind, sun)
- Certain fabrics
- Certain foods
- Reactions to medications (check with your doctor)
If you’re not sure what your triggers are, make a point this year to pay more attention and get them all written down somewhere you can regularly refer to them.
What New Year’s resolutions are you making this year to help your sensitive skin?