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Dr Schröder: Sensitive skin 101
Caring for sensitive skin and problem skin can be a daunting task - we know. That's why we put together a simple ABC to get you started.
Skincare can be all about targeting certain skin issues, such as acne, dryness, pigmentation etc. However, a good general layout for what to consider when caring for one’s sensitive skin is suitable cleansing, maintaining and restoring the skin’s acid mantle and its moisturisation, and protection.
When choosing a cleanser, make sure it’s both effective and gentle enough. Even for skin that is not sensitive or dry, you want to cleanse your skin and remove makeup and dirt, not strip it of its natural oils. A cleanser usually cleanses either with some type of surfactant, with oils, or a mix of oils and e.g. glycerine, which in this case will also function as a solvent apart from being a humectant. Our Gel Cleanser contains a mild, plant-based, non-ionic surfactant, while our Milk Cleanser does the job with canola oil and plant-derived glycerine.
Cleansing your skin can raise the pH of your skin, even more so if you live in an area with more alkaline water; e.g. tap water in Europe has a pH of 8. Healthy skin is slightly acidic, anywhere between 4.7 and 5.9 according to recent research, and studies shows that disrupting this acid mantle has a direct link to poorer skin health all over. So, after cleansing, it is important to restore the pH of the skin, and for this a toner or serum, which also moisturize, are a handy choice. Our sprayable Face Toner contains ectoin, glycerin and liquorice root for humectancy, and has a slightly acidic pH at around 5.5. If your skin is very sensitive, you may want to avoid very acidic toners in your everyday routine.
With skin clean, balanced and hydrated, it’s time for protection. If your skin is extremely oily, and you live in a warm and humid climate, you may be good with just moisture, but in general it’s a good idea to pair a moisturising product with a protective one, i.e. a cream or lotion containing oil. Humectants will need some sort of emollient to lock them in; conversely an emollient, e.g. a plant oil, will soften, condition and protect the skin, but not moisturise it. Our Face Cream contains both humectants and emollients, plus colloidal oatmeal which reduces trans-epidermal water-loss (TEWL), a critical factor in the skin’s barrier function. Our Face Oil contains only oils, i.e. emollients, while our All-Around Balm is our most nourishing and protective product, with both oils and sunflower seed wax.
Final note – remember to use a good broad spectrum SPF in the morning, especially if you live in sunny climates or spend time outdoors. Read up on our choosing sunscreen and protecting your skin in our blog.