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Your Guide to Building a Skin Care Routine for Sensitive Skin

Posted by Nikki Wisher on Dec 6th 2021

Your Guide to Building a Skin Care Routine for Sensitive Skin

Real talk: finding your ideal skin care routine is hard. There are so many options out there, and how do you know if your skin is living its best life with your current product lineup or whether it could be better? To make matters worse, it’s all a moving target. Your skin’s composition can change with age, with hormone shifts, with changes to the stress in your life, and so on. A routine that worked great last year could suddenly start to fall flat.

So how do you nail down the skin care routine that works for you? Ultimately, it’s all a matter of trial and error, but you can make educated guesses when you’re picking the types of products to try. Today, let’s specifically talk about sensitive skin and our suggested skin care routines for sensitive skin.

Do I Have Sensitive Skin?

First of all, how do you know if you have sensitive skin? There’s no tried-and-true test that will give you a definitive answer, unfortunately. But, in general, you may have sensitive skin if your skin tends to get inflamed or irritated easily.

Does your skin become inflamed when you try new makeup products? What about new skin care products? Does your skin get red easily? Are you prone to breakouts and rashes? If so, you may have sensitive skin. But don’t worry, because you’re about to find out how to tailor your skin care routine to that sensitivity!

From Our Experts: Morning Skin Care Routine for Sensitive Skin

When it comes to sensitive skin, one of the cardinal rules for skin care is, “less is more.” The more products you use, the more opportunities there are for a product (or a combo of products) to disagree with your skin. So you’ll notice that these morning and evening skin care routines are rather simple.

Step 1: Cleanse

Cleansing is an important part of anyone’s skin care routine because it gets rid of dead skin cells and debris, creating a clean canvas that allows your other skin care products to work their magic. It’s especially important for people with sensitive skin, though, because you want to get rid of any potential irritants that have found their way to your skin so you can avoid a breakout.

At the same time, people with sensitive skin also tend to get dry skin easily, so you don’t want some crazy industrial-strength cleanser that will strip all the natural protective oils from your skin. Choose a gentle cleanser specifically meant for sensitive skin, like Dermaceutic Oxybiome Cleansing Micellar Water .

View & Shop: Dermaceutic Oxybiome Cleansing Micellar Water

Step 2: Tone

Toner is another step in your skin care routine that is important for people with sensitive skin but also carries risks if you don’t choose the right product. A good toner will rebalance your skin’s pH levels which can help to minimize inflammation.

The key for choosing your toner is to pick an alcohol-free toner and a toner that isn’t loaded with harsh astringents. My suggestion? Obagi Nu-Derm Toner .

View & Shop: Obagi Nu-Derm Toner

Step 3: Moisturize

Hydrating is one of the best things you can do for your body, and surprise, it’s one of the best things you can do for your skin too! Your skin’s moisture barrier also protects your skin from irritants, so keeping up with a daily moisturizer is an important way to cut back on your inflammation.

Make sure you’re using a moisturizer that’s non-comedogenic so you don’t add an acne breakout to your skin woes. Opt for a moisturizer that’s also gentle and free from other irritants like fragrances and dyes. SkinMedica’s Replenish Hydrating Cream is a solid choice.

View & Shop: SkinMedica Replenish Hydrating Cream

Step 4: Protect

Sure, a bit of sunlight feels great on your face, but your skin would beg to differ. Even small amounts of unprotected sun exposure can accumulate damage in your skin over time, leading to premature aging and possibly even skin cancer.

That’s why sunscreen should always be a part of your morning routine. Try EltaMD UV Sheet Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ for serious protection that’s still safe for sensitive skin.

View & Shop: EltaMD UV Sheer Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

From Our Experts: Nighttime Skin Care Routine for Sensitive Skin

You’ve mastered your morning routine, but when it’s time to catch some z’s, how do you make sure your skin is sleeping soundly and restoratively? Try this quick and simple nighttime skin care routine for your sensitive skin.

Step 1: Cleanse

Whether it’s the morning or the evening, it all starts with a good cleansing. Remember that keeping your number of skin care products to a minimum will help you to lower your risk for irritation, so when the evening rolls around, just reach for the same cleanser you used in the morning.

Step 2: Revitalize

Sleep repairs and restores your body, so why not make sure your skin is doing the same thing? That’s why your nighttime skin care routine should feature a great serum.

Serums contain concentrated and powerful ingredients that reach the deeper layers of your skin to create real change and rejuvenation in your skin. There are serums designed to address just about any problem your skin may have: dryness, aging, irregular pigmentation, and so on.

Keep in mind, though, that because serums are so powerful, some contain harsh ingredients that might be too much for sensitive skin. Choose a serum that’s designed for the more sensitive among us, like iS Clinical GeneXC Serum if you want to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles.

View & Shop: iS CLINICAL GeneXC Serum

Step 3: Moisturize

Once your skin is clean and you’ve infused it with a top-notch serum, it’s time to replenish that all-important hydration. As with your cleanser, you can use the same moisturizer from your morning routine to keep it simple and safe.

Fine-Tuning Your Skin Care Routine for Sensitive Skin

I leave you with one important reminder: you are one of a kind. The guide above is a great starting point with suggested routines and products, but everyone’s skin can work differently with any product. Start with the tips above, but if it’s not having the effect you had hoped, start trying other products and using trial and error to find the perfect combo for your unique skin.