Even during better days, sensitive skin was already a pain. Sensitive skin is often reactive, meaning it responds to the presence of specific triggers such as soaps, perfumes and sun exposure. Responses can vary and often range from redness to itching. That’s not all. Sensitive skin is usually dry, which indicates a weak moisture barrier hence your skin is prone to acne, flaking and sunburn.
Covid-19 has worsened the going for those with sensitive skin. Having our faces covered up for most part of the day has resulted in maskne.
Harry Dao, a dermatologist at the Loma Linda University Health in Southern California, explains: “Masks impose heat, friction and occlusion on the skin and when combined with a moist environment from breathing, talking or sweating, this is a recipe for breakouts. Pores get clogged and can become pimples or acne cysts. On top of that, the prolonged occlusion, heat and sweat can cause skin to become dry, itchy and raw.”
Cleansing is especially crucial to managing sensitive skin. A good cleanser doesn’t just remove surface dirt, sweat and other impurities; it does so gently, that is, without irritating or further drying out the skin. As a guide, cleansers or any other skincare products for sensitive skin should be non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic, non-irritating and non-allergenic. Make sure that these are free of parabens, sulfates and fragrances, all of which can exacerbate existing skin problems or bring about new ones.
And when a good cleanser does its job, your skin will be able to experience the benefits of other skincare products that follow. Here, five that we have rounded up.
Chanel Le Gel Anti-Pollution Cleansing Gel
Blue micro-algae helps strengthen skin cells against damage brought on by pollution, such as hyperpigmentation and wrinkles, while marine salicornia preserves and improves hydration. The gel transforms into a creamy foam to mop up impurities on skin surface and leave your complexion looking fresh and bright.
Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Meltaway Cleanser
This nourishing formulation offers hyaluronic acid, marine algae, kiwi and aloe to rid grime, grease and makeup, but doesn’t leave skin feeling tight or dry. Rinsing is optional; massage onto dry face and remove with dry cotton round. It’s so gentle, you can even use it around the eyes.
Available from 24 September here.
Lagom Cellup pH Cure Foam Cleanser
Featuring Himalaya Crystal Mineral Salt, which helps regulate and maintain moisture in skin cells, this creamy foam cleanser removes impurities and dead skin cells without exacerbating irritation and dryness. It is also formulated with a slightly more acidic pH level to better match that of sensitive skin and protect against presence of bacteria and minimise breakouts.
The Gentle Label Face Wash
Led by witch hazel (which helps control excess sebum and prevent blemishes), willow bark (unclogs pores) and elderflower (protects against inflammation), this 90.3%-certified organic foaming wash from the homegrown skincare brand cleanses deeply but gently.
BSKIN Vita Advanced Soft Bead Cleanser
BSKIN, founded by former lawyer Chia Su-Mae who struggled with serious breakouts among other skin problems, features a 6Core Anti-Oxidant System developed by South Korean scientists. Leading the ingredients is B20, a proprietary ingredient comprising natural extracts of honey, royal jelly, propolis and pollen, and Jeju spring water. Enriched with microcrystalline cellulose beads, this creamy cleanser does more than keeping skin fresh; it also helps bring about other benefits for the long-term, such as slowing down ageing signs such as sagging and dark spots.