11 Must-Know Skincare Tips for Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin? Same. If your complexion is easily irritated, prone to breakouts, and sensitive to what seems like every skincare product, we see you. It's true - sensitive skin requires a little extra, loving care. And the truth is, most skincare lines and beauty brands don't cater to sensitive complexions. Enter Wabi-Sabi Botanicals. If you know us, you know that we're all about our sensitive skin sisters. So say goodbye to irritation, redness, and that mystery rash that appears every time you walk through the cleaning aisle of the grocery store. Today we're bringing you 11 must-know skincare tips that will have your sensitive skin singing instead of lashing out. 

1. Use an oil cleanser

If you're not oil cleansing yet, get ready for your life (and skin) to be changed. Did you know that many (arguably most) conventional cleansers strip your skin of it's natural oils, causing dryness and therefore sensitivity? Many cleansers also have a high pH that irritates and throws your skin off balance because our skin naturally has a low pH (4-5.) Using a simple, beautiful, non pore-clogging oil cleanser like The Giver Ritual Cleanser & Makeup Dissolver is such a game changer for sensitive skin because it gently cleanses away all of the pollution and makeup of the day without stripping your skin of it's natural (much-needed) oils. It leaves your skin beautifully moisturized, not greasy or 'squeaky clean' aka. dry as a desert. 

2. Avoid all fragrances (yes, even essential oils)

Fragrances, especially synthetic ones, can contain literally thousands of unspecified chemicals that irritate and inflame skin. But it's not just synthetic fragrance - even natural fragrance, including essential oils, can be overly harsh and concentrated to use on sensitive skin. To keep your complexion calm and clear, opt for fragrance-free skincare - that is, skincare that contains no added fragrance, synthetic or otherwise.

3. Reduce how often you cleanse

Believe it or not, there's a good chance you're cleansing your face more often than necessary. Over cleansing, especially if you're using a conventional (non-oil) cleanser, dries out your skin and throws off it's pH balance, causing redness, irritation, dry patches and other uncomfortable symptoms. Try cutting back on how often you cleanse, ideally to once or twice per day. Your skin is an intelligent organ and tiny ecosystem that will care for and 'cleanse' itself throughout the day if you allow it. Use an oil cleanser in the evening and something as simple as cold or warm water to splash in the morning and refresh throughout the day. You might be surprised to see how well your skin responds and you can always adjust as needed. 

4. Don't cleanse or wet your face in the shower

If you take steaming hot showers like we do, you'll want to avoid exposing your sensitive facial skin to overly hot water. The same goes for your evening jacuzzi sesh as well! Instead, reserve cleansing and wetting your face for cold or lukewarm water to avoid potential irritation. 

5. Look for whole plant skincare actives

Isolated skincare actives like Vitamin A (retinol), Vitamin C, exfoliating acids, and more, can be overly concentrated or harsh for sensitive skin. Instead, opt for the 'whole plant' versions of these actives - that is, look for products that contain plant oils and botanical ingredients that have naturally-occurring actives to help you reach your skin goals without causing irritation and upset. Want the amazing 'anti-aging' benefits of retinol without all of the side effects? Try our Age Gracefully serum, brimming with naturally-occurring retinol from Brazilian Cacay Oil. Want something brightening and exfoliating that won't leave your skin raw? Try the Valley of Light Illuminative Mask with naturally-occurring alpha-hydroxy-acids (AHA's) from Balinese Hibiscus. 

6. Use an organic, unbleached facial cloth (that's super soft!)

Is your facial towel too rough or harsh for your sensitive skin? Possibly! Conventional towels and cloths are often sprayed with chemicals, contain traces of pesticides, or are bleached and dyed with synthetic, environmentally-unfriendly dyes that may irritate your skin. Opt instead for an organic, unbleached, super soft facial cloth made of natural materials. Your skin will thank you!

7. Pat, don't rub

Speaking of facial cloths...pat, don't rub! Pat your skin dry to avoid tiny micro-tears in your skin. However, you don't have to worry about this as much if you're using the right cloth (*ahem* see tip #6!)

8. Check your laundry detergent for sensitizing ingredients

Your clothing touches your skin every day, all day, so you want to make sure that the laundry detergent your using isn't irritating your skin! Conventional detergents contain all kinds of questionable ingredients - from chemical fragrances to harsh surfactants - that you don't want anywhere near your sensitive skin. Check your current laundry detergent for potentially irritating ingredients and when it's time to re-up, opt for something 'fragrance-free' and ideally completely natural and non-toxic like these soapnuts!

9. Avoid clays and harsh exfoliants

Most clays are overly drying for sensitive skin and physical exfoliants (ie. apricot shell, walnut shell, etc.), well, they tend to be harsh and large or uneven particles may cause micro-tears on the surface of the skin. The only exception for clays is possibly white Kaolin Clay, but even that can be too much for the most sensitive of complexions. Look for detoxifying masks that don't include clay (or fragrance!) in the ingredients list like the Valley of Light Illuminative Mask - a multi-tasking mask that detoxifies without clays and gently exfoliates with ultra-fine Balinese Coffee and Hibiscus petals. 

10. Stay hydrated (inside & out)

Dehydrated skin is synonymous with sensitive skin. You want to keep your skin moisturized, but you also want to keep your skin hydrated both inside and out. (Curious about the difference and how to know which your skin is lacking? Check out our previous blog here.) Be sure to drink a minimum of eight glasses (or 64 ounces) of water per day and incorporate a hydration step into your skincare ritual. We recommend any one of our Ritual Facial Mists misted in between each step of your ritual to keep your skin dewy and hydrated (plus, it feels and smells ah-mazing.)

11. Look for soothing skincare ingredients

Last but not least, look for products that contain skin-soothing ingredients like turmeric, probiotics, mushrooms, and more. Sensitive skincare doesn't have to be boring or have the same ingredients you expect like lavender or tea tree. You can find a unique and luxurious, essential oil free skincare routine designed for sensitive skin here.

There you have it! We hope you've found these tips helpful. Start making these simple shifts and your sensitive skin will be clear, calm and collected in no time. Do you have tips for your sensitive skin sisters? Let them know in the comments below!