Published: 24 February 2020

How to Soothe Irritated Skin

Sensitive skin is a condition that can affect us intermittently or be a constant affliction.  Reactions can vary from mild irritation, redness and skin dryness, to larger issues such as rosacea and skin peeling.  Factors such as weather, cosmetic products, diet and hormones can trigger reactions and these can be further aggravated by inappropriate treatment.  Personal issues such as stress or anxiety can exasperate the problem further.  If you have sensitive, reactive skin and are prone to irritation here are some things to consider trying.

Cut out the triggers

It might seem obvious but the easiest way to calm sensitive skin is to make sure it never flares up.   Keep a diary of what you consume, this will help you identify if there are diet triggers to any flare ups, once you’ve identified any offenders you can avoid them.  Common trigger foods are dairy, sugar, meat, and saturated fats.  Try to maintain an antioxidant-rich diet of leafy greens, fruits and vegetables instead.  Coffee, alcohol and sugary fizzy drinks are likely culprits too so limit your consumption of these and only have as a treat, once in a while.  Water, herbal teas and fresh fruit juices are a far healthier choice.

Spritz and sooth

If your skin starts reacting you can counteract feelings of heat and redness with a spritz.  Use a water-based product with soothing qualities and formulas with lavender oil, cucumber or calendula, which can be hydrating and calming and make your skin feel and look better with a few spritzes.  Keep a mist on hand particularly in skin-irritating situations such as post-workout, on a plane or in an extremely hot climate.  Follow the spritzing with a moisturiser so your skin stays hydrated even after the water evaporates.

Us calming moisturiser

First and foremost use a moisturiser with minimal ingredients.  Ensure it does not contain fragrance or alcohol, and it should also be non-comedogenic.   Look for products that contain ceramides and hyaluronic acid and have restorative qualities.  Also consistency is huge for skin that flares up easily.

Green is good

Think green tea; you can buy cleansers, toners and moisturizers with this ingredient to help calm your skin.  Alternatively you can create a homemade soothing toner by steeping a few green tea teabags then letting the water cool off, pop it in a spray bottle and you have the perfect spritz to cool and calm.  Green-based primer is the perfect concealer to neutralise redness, this is a good way to create a base so that you can apply foundation evenly.

Gently does it

Cleansing and exfoliating are big parts of having healthy skin but they can also be major triggers for irritation.  Cleanser or toners containing alcohol or fragrance are best avoided as they can irritate your skin.  And steer clear of gritty, harsh exfoliators that contain sand or crystals and opt for one containing plant enzymes or gentle acids that aren’t abrasive but gently peel away any dead skin cells.  

Simplicity is really the best way to treat irritated skin, no need for fancy products and wonder ingredients, just strip back your routine and keep it simple.

Published: 24 February 2020