What does it mean to have sensitive skin? There is no specific or medical definition, but typically this term refers to easily red, irritated, or itchy skin from using skincare products. These types of reactions will usually happen on the face, neck, eyelids, or underarms. If you have additional skin issues such as eczema or rosacea, then, of course, skin is more likely to be sensitive and react to products.

Why does it seem like everyone thinks they have sensitive skin? Social media is part of the reason why- TikTok and Instagram have gone beyond just making people aware to making people borderline paranoid or obsessed. We need to be careful not to create more problems or make them worse by listening to those without the expertise. Sensitive skin can be managed with the proper guidance or help. The best rule of thumb is boring can be best- keep things simple.

First things first- no hot water 🚿. Always use lukewarm water to wash with, whether it’s your face, your shower, or washing your hands.

Introduce products one at a time and never more than one per week.

If you’re nervous, apply a new product to a small area for one week (like your inner wrist or inner elbow) before applying it to your whole face or larger areas.

Avoid fragrances. Sometimes companies make it hard to avoid fragrance by using other words like “scent.” A good piece of advice is if an ingredient sounds like it should be in a bouquet 💐 (lavender) or you could eat it 🍋 (lemon, chamomile), then avoid it. Again, social media makes us think that lovely herbs and citrus are always good for our skin. Not true.

If it burns or stings, stop it. Generally, if a product irritates you out of the gates, it probably isn’t going to get better by using it more.

Finally, if you have a routine that works for you, don’t rock the boat! No need to jump on the bandwagon of the “skincare product buffet” at the cost of making your skin unhappy. Remember, like we said, less is more. You are not alone- if you don’t know how to handle your skin sensitivities, we can help you stay in control. 💪

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