Woman enjoying a facial by Esthetics by Catie

Dealing with sensitive skin? Here’s what to do

Sensitive Skin

Catie Koraleski

March 18, 2024

I understand the struggle when dealing with sensitive skin and have years of experience working with it.

I will often have clients coming in telling me that their skin is sensitive because it’s red, dry, tight, itchy, flaking, feels like it’s burning, etc. They will describe their skin as being reactive to anything they put on it, sometimes even water will feel like it’s burning. I’ve been there myself many times over the years. If this sounds familiar, I will guide you through the process of repairing your skin.

First, we will need to look at your current routine and lifestyle. What products are you using? How often do you use them and when? How much water do you drink in a day? What are your stress levels and how do you manage them? What medications are you taking? How has your diet been? What temperature water do you use when you shower or wash your face? Do you normally have sensitive skin or did it recently develop?

The most common trigger I see is the products my clients are using at home. I’ve had clients come in giving themselves professional strength chemical peels weekly. I’ve had clients come in using retinol twice per day everyday. Some have come in using very stripping cleansers and exfoliating moisturizers every day. All of this leads to a disruption in your skin’s barrier. Our barriers are the building blocks that keep the structure of our skin intact. Think of it like a brick wall. If there’s a loose brick or any bricks out of place, the foundation of the wall is compromised. When there’s a disruption in the barrier, it allows water to leave the skin and leaves the opportunity for bacteria to enter the skin. This wrecks havoc on our skin and leaves us with the sensitized symptoms mentioned before. 

My tried and true tips for sensitive skin

To combat this, you’ll need to do a few things, all of which I’m happy to help you with because I know how overwhelming it can be. First, we need to switch your cleanser to something gentle and barrier supportive like Hale and Hush’s Quiet Wash, Face Reality’s Barrier Balance Cream Cleanser, or Lira’s MYSTIQ Iluminating Cleanser. These cleansers will get your skin nice and clean while maintaining and supporting your barrier. They will not strip the oil your skin needs or cause further disruption. Next, I recommend a hydrating essence or mist like Face Reality’s Moisture Balance Toner or Glymed’s CBD Facial Mist or Skin Recovery Mist. You need to add water back into your skin to help heal your barrier. These products will do just that!

Once we have these core steps down, we need to add in a serum that will support repairing and healing. I like to use Lira’s BIO Hydra Infusion or Hale and Hush’s Soothe Essence. Both are designed to replenish hydration, heal irritation, and calm inflammation. Next, it’s important to follow up with a supportive moisturizer like Hale and Hush’s Vital Lipid Lotion (my current fave!) or Glymed’s Comfort Cream. These are essential for locking in moisture and preserving your skin. Both offer healing, calming, and soothing benefits. Finally, our most important step to protect our barrier health: SPF! Sunscreen is an absolute MUST when restoring barrier health (and everyday!), without it, your skin will only continue to get more irritated and damaged. Opt for a zinc based SPF for extra healing properties. 

When dealing with sensitive skin, it’s important to get on it as soon as you can to prevent further damage and discomfort. Healing the barrier takes time, patience, and love. It will not happen overnight, even with these tips. I’ve experienced sensitized skin throughout my life and really understand the discomfort that comes along with it. 

Things to keep in mind with sensitive skin

– TURN DOWN THE TEMP! If you’re showering or washing your face with hot water, you need to bring the temperature down. Hot water dehydrates and disrupts the skin and causes premature aging. Using lukewarm or cold water will help tremendously! If you can’t handle a cold shower, just drop it a bit at the end and wash your face before you exit the shower

– Stay hydrated. If you’re not drinking enough water, your skin is going to be naturally dehydrated. Up your water intake and consider adding in a high quality Omega 3 supplement to help condition the skin and jumpstart healing.

-Use a combination of Hale and Hush’s Hush Hydrate Gel and Relief Bio Powder to act as a masque when you’re feeling extra inflamed. 

-Work with an esthetician! Even if you don’t choose to work with me, finding someone who is skilled and knowledgeable will have a huge impact. Just follow their recommendations and you’ll be set!

I hope this has been helpful for you if you’re dealing with sensitized skin. I know how miserable and overwhelming it can be so please reach out and I’m happy to assist you in picking products that will truly transform your skin! I’m available for in person care in Omaha, Nebraska, or I also provide virtual services so you can get the care you need from the comfort of your own home.

You can book your service here or if you want to learn more about the services I offer, click here!

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