Published: April 15, 2023
When you have sensitive skin, it can sometimes feel like you’re in the minority. There are so many intriguing and exciting skincare products out there, yet experimenting with them will likely only send your sensitivities into overdrive.
However, sensitive skin is actually far more common than most people think. In fact, 50-70% of people around the world deal with skin sensitivities, so you’re definitely not alone!
Of course, while that may be the case, understanding how to care for sensitive skin is a whole different matter. So, read on as Avinichi explains how to put together a skincare routine for sensitive skin.
But First, What Exactly is Sensitive Skin?
Sensitive skin is skin that’s hyper-reactive to various environmental factors that wouldn’t normally be considered irritants. These irritants can vary drastically – what causes sensitivities for one person may not pose a problem for another, even though both people may have sensitive skin.
What makes things a little confusing is that sensitive skin can occur at any point in life. You could go through the majority of your life with near-perfect skin, only to then be hit by sensitivities at an older age.
This is because of how those sensitivities are caused by a compromised skin barrier, and there is so much out there that can damage your skin barrier. Sun damage, hot water, cold temperatures, stress, and even genetics can lead to your skin barrier not functioning in the way that it should. As a result, rather than the skin barrier blocking different chemicals, bacteria, and irritants from entering into the deeper layers of your skin, it gives them easy access instead. Each time this happens, sensitivities flare up. They’re usually in the form of redness, irritation, tightness, roughness, stinging, and dryness, although everyone experiences slightly different symptoms.
So, in order to properly care for your sensitive skin, you need a skincare routine that focuses on ensuring that your skin barrier feels stronger, thicker, and more resilient. Since your skin easily reacts to different ingredients, a minimal routine is usually the best way forward. You don’t want to go overboard with a long list of different products. Instead, keep things simple, with gentle formulas that won’t irritate your skin.
Always Begin By Cleansing
No matter your skin type, the very first step of your skincare routine should be a cleanser. However, many cleansers are infamous for their harsh, barrier-stripping ingredients. Your sensitive skin definitely doesn’t need this, so look for a gentle cleanser instead.
Our top choice would be the Avinichi Noni Mousse Cleanser. Unlike foaming cleansers, which are known for leaving the skin super dry, mousse cleansers are much milder. Rather than relying on sulfates as cleansing agents, this formula makes use of coconut-derived compounds, such as sodium cocoyl isethionate. It also contains a number of other ingredients that are renowned for how they soothe the feeling of sensitive skin. From aloe vera leaf extract to calendula extract to almond oil, this cleanser not only cleanses the skin but also ensures that it’s left feeling calm and revived.
Tempted to skip the cleanser and move straight on to the rest of your skincare routine? This can actually make sensitive skin so much worse. A cleanser removes any dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. If you allow these to remain on your skin, they’ll sink deeper into your skin’s layers, where they’ll exacerbate your sensitivities. Sure, it may take a bit of trial and error to find a cleanser that plays well with your skin, but it’s definitely worth putting the effort in!
Use an Alcohol-Free Toner
Many people with sensitive skin choose to steer clear of toners. When you consider the concentration of alcohol and other common irritants in the majority of toners out there, it’s easy to understand why.
However, modern-day toner formulas are better than ever. There are now so many alcohol-free toners out there, including Avinichi’s Noni Pore Purifying Toner. Rather than drying your skin out and damaging your skin barrier even further, this formula is all about hydrating and replenishing the complexion. It’s packed with aloe vera leaf juice, cucumber fruit extract, noni fruit extract, and chamomile flower extract. All of these ingredients are known for how they reduce the look of redness and irritation while boosting the skin’s moisture content.
Wondering whether you really need a toner in your skincare routine? We’ll be honest – it’s not completely essential, especially when compared to a cleanser or a moisturizer. If your skin is ultra-sensitive, then it may be best to skip the toner. However, if your skin is able to tolerate a gentle, alcohol-free toner, then this is a great way to give your skin an extra layer of hydration while keeping the appearance of sensitivities at bay.
Apply a Serum Designed to Reduce the Look of Redness and Irritation
Again, if your skin is super sensitive, then you may want to avoid serums too. However, finding the right formula could prove to be extremely beneficial for your sensitivities…
Take the Avinichi Hydrating Antioxidant Serum as an example. Found in our Phyto Thermal Collection, this serum is loaded with multiple peptides. Studies have found that certain peptides are capable of leaving a compromised skin barrier feeling repaired and fortified. This is exactly what you want if you have sensitive skin. The stronger your skin barrier feels, the fewer sensitivities you’ll be dealing with.
You’ll also find reishi mushroom extract in our Hydrating Antioxidant Serum. This is another ingredient that can help to reduce the feeling of inflammation in the skin (provided you’re not allergic to mushrooms, of course!). When combined with the various fruit extracts in this formula, it won’t be long before your sensitive skin looks significantly brighter and more naturally radiant.
Moisturize Your Skin
While using a toner and a serum isn’t absolutely essential, keeping your skin moisturized most definitely is. Why? Well, as we mentioned earlier, sensitive skin is caused by an impaired skin barrier. A rich moisturizer will form its own barrier on the surface of your skin. This will essentially help to double up on your own natural barrier.
As a result, with a good moisturizer, your skin won’t feel quite so sensitive anymore. Use it regularly and you’ll give your own barrier the chance to feel stronger and less damaged, which could help you to finally overcome the look of redness, inflammation, and everything else that your sensitive skin throws at you.
Where can you find a good moisturizer for sensitive skin?
Right here! If you’re looking for a daytime moisturizer, check out Avinichi’s Noni Morning Glow. It’s loaded with vitamins and plant extracts, all of which will help your skin to feel more protected as it comes across various irritants over the course of the day.
In the evenings, turn to our Noni Night Repair Cream. This formula is slightly thicker than our day cream, which is what your skin needs at night. With plant butters and plant extracts, this cream will not only soothe your complexion while you sleep, but it will also give your skin cells the moisture that they crave.
Since sensitive skin has a weaker structure than other skin types, it’s particularly vulnerable to sun damage. This makes sun protection more important than ever.
However, with sensitive skin, you need to be careful about the sunscreen that you choose. There are two types out there; chemical and mineral. Chemical sunscreens are the most common. They contain certain chemical compounds that sink into the skin. Once there, they absorb UV rays and convert them into heat, which is then emitted from your skin. They work well, but the extra heat created is known for exacerbating inflammation and sensitivities.
On the other hand, mineral sunscreens sit over the top of the skin and deflect UV rays. The downside to these formulas is that they’re usually thicker, making them slightly harder to spread. Some mineral formulas can also leave a white cast behind on the skin, although there are now many out there that don’t do this. Either way, mineral sunscreens tend to be the best choice for people with sensitivities.
When choosing a sunscreen for sensitive skin, always go with a product that’s labeled as broad-spectrum. This means that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Of course, the sun protection factor is important too. While SPF 30 is recommended for most people, those with sensitive skin need something a little higher, such as SPF 50.
Exfoliating Sensitive Skin
All of the steps that we’ve shared so far can be implemented as part of your daily skincare routine. However, there’s one extra product that you need; an exfoliant. This shouldn’t be used daily – with sensitive skin, you only need to exfoliate every 7-10 days. Do it more often and you’ll end up causing further aggravation and damage to your already compromised barrier.
Now, exfoliating sensitive skin can be tricky. Harsh face scrubs will only tear at your skin’s fragile barrier. Meanwhile, strong acids will likely irritate your skin and trigger more sensitivities.
So, what’s the solution? Avinichi’s Noni Polishing Peel. This exfoliant is truly unique because it combines elements of both physical and chemical exfoliation. It contains bamboo powder, which physically dislodges dead skin cells, but in a much gentler way than scrubs do. It’s also infused with mandelic acid, which is an alpha-hydroxy acid. Compared to other chemical exfoliants, this acid has a much larger molecular size. This means that it works on the surface of the skin rather than penetrating deeper, which is far better for sensitive skin.
Remember – once you’re done exfoliating, always immediately follow up with a serum or a moisturizer. Even with a gentle exfoliant like ours, freshly exfoliated skin will always feel a little more vulnerable. Applying a serum or a moisturizer straight after will help your skin to feel more protected.
There’s no denying that coming up with a skincare routine for sensitive skin can be a little tricky. Since everyone has different sensitivities, it can sometimes take a little trial and error to find products that don’t irritate your skin. After all, just because a formula is labeled as being designed for sensitive skin doesn’t necessarily mean that your skin will take well to it. However, once you manage to create a routine with products that your skin happily tolerates, it won’t be long before your skin starts to feel stronger, healthier, and much less sensitive.