Ask the expert: Sensitive skin
Anyone with sensitive skin knows how difficult it is to maintain a healthy complexion.
Whether you suffer from eczema or allergies, or your face just always feels tight and dry, it’s not easy coping with irritable skin. This week Natalie Balmond, founder of purepotions, gives us her top tips on managing this skin type.
Natalie believes people often struggle to find the right skincare products and make-up.
“There are many products available on the market that are labelled as ‘suitable for sensitive skin' - unfortunately, these products often still contain ingredients that can be skin irritants such as perfume, preservatives and fragrance masking chemicals,” Natalie told Cover Media. “Make sure you read and understand the ingredients in your cosmetics if your skin is sensitive.
“Test a small patch of skin when trying a new product to make sure there is nothing that will act as an irritant before liberally applying it across a problem area.”
Natalie also says people sometimes use too much moisturiser on dry or chapped areas. While hydration is essential for the complexion, you can have too much of a good thing. “The skin needs some time to breath as over applying can lead to other skin conditions, so make sure your moisturiser is semi-occlusive if possible,” she said.
It’s often assumed that exfoliating should be avoided if your face is easily irritated. However, removing dead cells can encourage a healthier complexion. There are plenty of mild exfoliators available that rely on enzymes and usually contain papaya or pineapples, rather than grainy particles.
“Exfoliation is a good way of removing dry or dead skin, but it is really important to moisturise after to help the skin replace its natural oils,” Natalie explained. “If you already have a skin condition such as eczema it is recommended not to exfoliate as it could aggravate the condition further. And it is important not to over exfoliate!”
Natalie urges anyone with this skin type to avoid scented products and look out for natural ingredients. Always read the label before you apply anything to your face, so you know exactly what is in it.
“Using a high quality yet gentle, natural and soothing moisturiser such as the purepotions Skin Salvation Daily Moisturiser will help tackle dry sensitive skin,” she said. “Avoid synthetic based products wherever possible, particularly those that contain perfumes and parabens. For skin that is really struggling try using a natural ointment rather than a cream to avoid stinging on application.
“Check the ingredients carefully of the products you are using to make sure they are not adding to the condition or even causing it.”