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Winter is usually the time of year when my skin can flare up and feel a bit irritated, so I thought I'd share a routine with you today that's safe for sensitive skin. Obviously: disclaimer, I can't say with 100% certainty that no one out there will react to any of the products or ingredients included within this post, it's just a routine that's simple and free of common irritants. Please do click through to the product pages linked to see the full ingredient list and decide if this routine is right for you. That being said, let's take a look at the products...
I have two cleansers here; you could use one in the morning and one in the evening, or the cream formula also removes makeup so can be used as a first cleanse. A bit of a cult favourite amongst those with sensitive skin is the Cerave Hydrating Cleanser* | £9.50. It has a gel formula, but doesn't foam up and strip my skin. It's formulated with glycerin and hyaluronic acid to draw water into the layers of your skin and provide that deep hydration. It's also formulated with three forms of ceramides; these lipids are not only nourishing for the skin but help replenish and strengthen its barrier, making it perfect for compromised skin. There are no bells and whistles but it works! It hydrates my skin and leaves it soft and calm. A richer option is the Wow You! Zen Cleanser | £16 (get 15% with code JASMINE15). This is a nourishing cream cleanser that still has a nice, light texture. It's formulated with antioxidants like cucumber, oat and avocado to moisturise and protect the skin from the elements. It's so gentle and nourishing, making it perfect for dry skin types.
I have two toner options - one that's just calming and everyday-appropriate, and one that exfoliating to use a few times a week. The Body Shop Aloe Calming Toner | £8.50 | is refreshing, softening and hydrating without any stickiness. It's a simple product that works; formulated with soothing aloe and water-attracting glycerin. It's great if you're suffering with irritation and just want something to calm your skin down. I also have a light exfoliation option in the mix because I think chemical exfoliation is far gentler than using a manual scrub. The Inkey List PHA Toner | £9.99 | is about as gentle as it gets, but I'd still recommend introducing it gradually into your routine. PHAs tend to cause less irritation than more famous options like AHAs and BHAs, as they have a larger molecule size, so tend to operate on the surface of the skin to even out its texture and remove dead skin cells.
Moving onto moisturising products, we'll start with the Cerave Eye Repair Cream* | £10.99. This is also formulated with ceramides and hyaluronic acid, alongside niacinamide (a skin-protecting vitamin), glycerin and softening vegetable oils. It's not remotely greasy, it's nothing too rich but hydrates my eye area nicely. A great affordable serum is the Superdrug Simply Pure Hydrating Serum | £2.99. Again, it's a very basic formula, but that's really what you want when your skin is acting up. This also contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid, as well as lactic acid - whilst this is an AHA, it's considered the best one for dry skin and is gentle in small quantities. It also has humectant properties so can draw water into the skin.
Finally, I have a moisturiser and an oil. The La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Fluid* | £18.50 | is a really old favourite of mine. A few years back I became allergic to the enzymes in biological laundry detergent, but before I figured out what was causing it, I had the worst time. My skin was sore, tight, itchy, red and covered in tiny bumps. This was the only thing I could use and the only thing that gave me any sort of relief! It's nourishing without being thick or greasy and softens and smooths sensitive skin. It's formulated with hydrating glycerin and nourishing shea butter to take care of dryness and calm everything down nicely. I also really recommend the Ordinary's 100% Plant-Derived Hemi Squalane | £2.75. Squalane is an emollient oil that mimics the natural oils our skin produces, so is very sensitive-skin-safe. This particular formula has a water-light, fast-absorbing texture, meaning you can even use it during the day for some extra moisture and to soften your skin without looking greasy.
Do you ever suffer from sensitivity? How do you change your skincare routine up when you do?