Time to ditch the 10-step routine, because less is more
Our skin, being the largest organ of our body, protects us against microbes and elements, and thus needs proper care and attention. Depending on skin type, every person’s skincare routine is different. But among different skin types, those who have sensitive skin are susceptible not just to various skin irritants in the environment but even from the ingredients of skincare products. Manila Bulletin Lifestyle talks with a dermatologist, Dr. Mara Huber, to shed light on how a person with a sensitive skin should take care of themselves, and what ingredients to look for in a product.
What is sensitive?
But first, what is sensitive skin and how can someone determine if their skin is it? “Sensitive skin is skin that is easily irritated by different factors that are generally tolerated by non-sensitive skin such as fragrance, preservatives and dyes in skin care, and environmental triggers like high and low temperatures,” she says. “For some people, sensitive skin is a chronic issue secondary to a skin condition like atopic dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, or rosacea.”
Here are Dr. Huber’s five tips on maintaining this certain skin type.
Maintain and protect the skin barrier
“The best way to do this is by using a gentle, hydrating cleanser and by using moisturizers,” she says. “Cleansing can be a very damaging step in the skin care routine because it can remove both good and bad particles. It can remove dirt, oils, and soils, but it can also remove the skin’s natural oils and moisture.”
When it comes to gentle cleansers, one of the most recommended brands by dermatologist is Cetaphil. According to the good doctor, some of the ingredients to look for in a cleanser are glycerin, butylene glycol, hyaluronic acid or sodium hyaluronate, and panthenol.
“It’s good to use a cleanser with moisturizing ingredients so that it replaces what was lost in the cleansing process,” she says. “Avoid long baths. Limit to once or twice daily, for 10 to 15 minutes using lukewarm water.”
Keep a simple routine
“For any skin type, a good process to follow is to cleanse, moisturize, protect, and treat,” she says. “Protect refers to protecting from the harmful effects of the sun like dark spots, wrinkles, and other signs of aging, while treat means addressing current conditions like hyperpigmentation, acne, etc. Active ingredients with multi-functionality and synergistic effects are the way to go. For example, a cleanser that moisturizes, a moisturizer that also protects, and a product that addresses both acne and dark spots. This is why you don’t need so many products. Less is more!
When trying new products, start low and go slow
“Patch test before use,” she says. “Once it passes the patch test, start slow. You can start once or thrice a week and then increase to daily.”
Know what to avoid
Fragrance, essential oils, some sunscreen filters like PABA, avobenzone and oxybenzone, alcohol, dyes
Extremes of temperature and humidity
Rough and synthetic clothing
Consult a board-certified dermatologist
If there’s skin issue, Dr. Huber reminds everyone to seek the advice of a board-certified dermatologist.