Sunday Mail - Body and Soul - - FRONT PAGE -

Whether you’re born with sen­si­tive skin (red­ness, itch­i­ness and flak­i­ness) or you’ve de­vel­oped it over time, it’s im­por­tant to use the right prod­ucts and prac­tices to avoid wors­en­ing the con­di­tion.

“Many peo­ple will claim to have a sen­si­tive skin type,” Tracey Beeby, Ul­traceu­ti­cals skin ex­pert, says. “Most of the time, the skin is sen­si­tive due to the bar­rier be­ing im­paired. This means the out­er­most layer of the skin, also known as the epi­der­mis, isn’t healthy.”

Beeby says to keep the skin at op­ti­mum strength, en­sure your ba­sic es­sen­tial prod­ucts, in­clud­ing your cleanser, mois­turiser and sun­screen, are suit­able for your skin type and not dam­ag­ing this highly ex­posed area of skin.

While cleans­ing morn­ing and night is im­por­tant to en­sure your face is clear of pore-clog­ging dirt, sweat, make-up and pol­lu­tants, it’s also es­sen­tial you use a prod­uct that doesn’t strip the skin.

“Never use soaps, as th­ese are al­ka­line and will dam­age the skin’s sur­face,” Beeby says. She also rec­om­mends avoid­ing prod­ucts with sodium lau­reth sul­fate ( SLS) or sodium lau­ryl ether sul­fate ( SLES), as th­ese sur­fac­tants can strip the skin and cre­ate sen­si­tiv­ity.

Min­eral make-up can work well for sen­si­tive skin be­cause it’s of­ten low in ir­ri­tat­ing in­gre­di­ents. Try (1) Jane Iredale Cor­rec­tive Colours Kit ($ 54, 1300 850 008).

How you wash your face is as im­por­tant as what prod­uct you ap­ply. Never use hot wa­ter, as it’s too ir­ri­tat­ing; a cool-to-tepid tem­per­a­ture is best. You also want to re­duce the amount of fric­tion you’re cre­at­ing, so just rinse with wa­ter rather than us­ing a fa­cial cloth or cleans­ing brush. Aim to mas­sage a cleanser gen­tly; never scrub skin clean. For ir­ri­tated skin, try ( 5) Tril­ogy Sen­si­tive Very Gen­tle Cleans­ing Cream ($ 35.95, 1800 651 146), which has sooth­ing in­gre­di­ents like camel­lia oil. Us­ing a mois­turiser morn­ing and night helps keep the skin bar­rier healthy and pro­tected. But Beeby notes that many peo­ple with sen­si­tive skin have is­sues with de­hy­dra­tion. So she rec­om­mends us­ing a hy­drat­ing serum, such as (4) Ul­traceu­ti­cals Ul­tra B2 Hy­drat­ing Serum ($ 85, 1800 355 890), un­derneath your mois­turiser for an added boost of hy­dra­tion.

Opt for mois­turis­ers formulated for sen­si­tive skin with ben­e­fi­cial in­gre­di­ents such as hyaluronic acid, an­tiox­i­dants and es­sen­tial fatty acids. Also look for an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory licorice ex­tract and turmeric as well as sooth­ing in­gre­di­ents in­clud­ing aloe vera. Ex­ces­sive sun ex­po­sure can cause sen­si­tive skin to flare up, so pro­tect­ing it with a broad spec­trum sun­screen is a must. “Gen­er­ally, min­eral sun­screens (zinc and ti­ta­nium diox­ide) are more suit­able for sen­si­tive skin, as they’ve been shown to be sooth­ing on re­ac­tive skin,” Beeby says. ( 3) Bil­lie Goat Soap Nat­u­ral Zinc Sun­screen SPF 30 ($ 24.95, ( 02) 4389 3455) is a light­weight sun­screen with zinc ox­ide to pro­tect the skin and aloe vera to calm any ir­ri­ta­tion. When it comes to treat­ment prod­ucts, take it easy. “Don’t use scrubs and don’t ex­fo­li­ate too of­ten,” Beeby advises. She’s found that many peo­ple think that if their skin is red and a lit­tle flaky, they need to ex­fo­li­ate more, but this isn’t al­ways the case.

Need to soothe red skin? ( 2) Aveda All-Sen­si­tive Mois­tur­izer ($79.95, 1800 706 377) gen­tly calms and mois­turises the skin with in­gre­di­ents such as co­conut emol­lient and or­ganic jo­joba oil.

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