Sensitive Skin? Don’t Be Afraid To Use Powerful Ingredients

With over 25 years experience as a makeup artist, our star sales executive Alberto Gonzalez has witnessed all types of skin. You name it: oily, irritated, acne prone, discolored, sensitive. The list goes on, and often there is a simple fix to any ‘self-diagnosed’ concern, namely sensitive skin. The skincare connoisseur debunks the myths behind this common complexion trait.

What’s the biggest mistake people make when they ‘think’ they have sensitive skin?

People that think they have sensitive skin are often under the impression they are not able to use products with active ingredients!  As a licensed and practicing esthetician, I often see clients self-diagnose themselves as “sensitive”, due to past product experiences or online information.  The fact is that a very small percentage of people are actually “sensitive.”  It is very important to know what key ingredients are actually triggering any type of skin sensitivity to enable you to make smart decisions when purchasing products.

Is sensitive skin a permanent thing? Or can it be addressed.

Sensitive skin can definitely be addressed.  I find that having a seasonal skin care regimen can make a huge difference – skin often has different needs in the summer versus in the winter.  Using products that are fast-absorbing and light-weight can also have a calming effect on sensitive skin.  And of course, using a good quality sunscreen is vital.

Can you explain what ‘sensitive’ versus ‘sensitized’ skin in?

“Sensitive” skin is genetically prone to irritation, while “sensitized” means the skin is more vulnerable due to poor product selection or environmental factors (free radicals, wind). Basically, it means the skin more prone to irritation versus being born that way. Sensitive skin can be very reactive – often red or discolored in appearance.  At times, just touch will make the skin appear more pink or red.  Sensitized skin has “behavioral issues.” The most common reasons are: utilizing too many products, not utilizing the right products for your skin type, or using products addressing a condition you do not have.  Having a streamline skin care regimen in the A.M. and P.M. can “retrain” your skin to behave and look it’s best.

What type of peel would you recommend and why?

Without question:  Dr. Dennis Gross Ultra-Gentle Alpha Beta Daily Peel.  This formula contains a beautiful cocktail of botanical and soothing ingredients including:  Cucumber and Colloidal Oatmeal which have a soothing, cooling, and anti-redness effect on sensitive skin.

Do you or have you had any personal experience with sensitive skin? Tell us how you overcame it, or recommend the steps for someone suffering.

During my training in Esthetician school, my skin became completely sensitized and extremely sensitive.  During our training time, we often try hundreds of products to test efficacy which unfortunately confuses the skin and creates this issue.  My skin looked like it had been stung by bees – red, flaky, irritated!!  I had to stop all product usage and start with the basics – cleanser, moisturizer, eye cream, and SPF.  After several weeks, I was able to slowly re-introduce active / anti-aging products, allowing my skin to slowly get use to active ingredients with great results.  You ARE able to “re-train” your skin and get it to “behave” and look the way you want it to.

How can retinol help this skin type?

You may have sensitive skin and still have anti-aging concerns.  Incorporating products that contain Retinol will primarily address the issues of fine lines and wrinkles, but also stimulates cell turnover and collagen production.  Products that contain a time-released form of Retinol, is in my opinion, the smartest choice.  Slowly incorporating a Retinol product (serum or moisturizer) in the evening 2-3 days a week will get skin use to this key ingredient, paying close attention to skin tolerance.  After several weeks (depending on one’s own skin) you can introduce other Retinol products, such as a Retinol Peel, which exfoliate on a deeper level.

Sensitive skin? Shop the best skincare for your skin type, click here.

Image source: Shutterstock

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