The best skincare ingredients for sensitive skin (especially now that it’s allergy season)
27th Apr 2021
If you have reactive skin, there are certain ingredients that you should introduce to your skincare routine to help prevent flare-ups.
We may have previously thought that an enforced period of staying at home would do wonders for our skin. Many of us are wearing less make up, or have given it up completely. You might no longer have to venture into the city centre with its more polluted air, and with less to fill our days, surely we should be getting more sleep?
In reality though, there are plenty of reasons why your skin can still be unhappy, like our increased screen time, less exercise, and high stress levels. Or perhaps you’ve been trying out products with too high a concentration of active ingredients for your skin, which can cause sensitivity. When trying new products, and if you have reactive skin, you should always patch test and start on a low percentage concentration, especially for retinoid or vitamin C products.
You may also find that during allergy season you experience extra sensitivity in your skin. This is because allergens weaken the skin’s barrier function and stop it from holding onto moisture as effectively.
However, it can be hard to know what will trigger your sensitive skin, so we like to look out for these ingredients in our skincare that can be helpful when dealing with sensitive skin.
You can also look for accreditation stamps such as The British Allergy Foundation’s UK seal of approval and ECARF’S allergy friendly quality testing. This proves that the product has gone through rigorous dermatological testing and is suitable for the needs of allergy-prone and sensitive skin.
A dipeptide found naturally in our skin, Neurosensine has been shown in clinical tests to help to reduce sensations of discomfort. It is particularly useful where the skin barrier function has been impaired, and will strengthen the skin’s barrier to help prevent future irritation.
It can be found in La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Ultra Dermallergo Serum, which is a hydrating serum that has been proven to reduce signs of sensitivity such as dryness, tightness, and itchiness, and combines Neurosensine with Thermal Spring Water and osmolyte.
It’s also in the Toleriane Ultra Cream for Sensitive Skin, where it is combined with glycerin, shea butter and Thermal Spring Water to instantly soothe and moisturise sensitive skin.
Also known as provitamin B5, panthenol is a moisturising ingredient that can attract water to the skin, as well as smoothing and softening the skin. This is an ingredient that can be helpful when cleansing, as it prevents skin drying out during this process.
It’s found in La Roche-Posay’s Cicaplast range, including Cicaplast B5 Baume, a complete multi-purpose soothing balm which can be used for so many everyday skin irritations and is ideal for use on sensitive skin and babies from 3 months.
It’s also in Cicaplast Lavant B5 Soothing Wash, where it is formulated with antibacterial metallic salts and glycerin to cleanse and restore sensitive and fragile skin. This ultra-gentle soothing cleanser can be adapted for use for all the family from babies to adults. It preserves bacterial balance and skin barrier function, and can be used on the body, face, scalp and sensitive areas.
Niacinamide supports the outer surface of the skin and helps it become more resilient to outside irritants. Serums and moisturisers that include it can help restore skin’s barrier function, as well as help soothing feelings of irritation.
Niacinamide is used in La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Ultra Soothing Night Cream with Neurosensine, Carnosine, Vitamin A, plus Thermal Spring Water to soothe, hydrate and reduce feelings of skin sensitivity overnight.
It’s also found in Toleriane Ultra Eye Contour alongside Neurosensine and Thermal Spring Water, a hydrating formula that helps alleviate feelings of skin discomfort and soothe the eye contour area, particularly useful when eyes are irritated during hay fever season.
If you experience itchy eyes during allergy season, you may touch them more than normal and make the skin around them dry and red. Toleriane’s Ultra Eye Contour cream is specifically formulated to hydrate skin and relieve feelings of irritation.
Thermal spring water
We love products containing mineral-rich thermal water to soothe skin, and it’s found in formulas across La Roche-Posay’s range, making it easy to incorporate into your skincare routine.
The Toleriane Dermo Cleanser is a wipe-off milk that gently removes dirt and impurities and is suitable for ultra-sensitive skin. Its minimalist formula is simply enriched with glycerine and La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water, so it makes a great option during allergy season.
When it comes to UV protection, regardless of skin type you must wear a broad spectrum SPF everyday. Sensitive skin conditions such as rosacea can be triggered by UV rays but the key to UV protection is to find a product that you will use. Consider texture, formulation and UVA and UVB protection.
However, it is important to choose a product that won’t itself irritate the skin, so we like to look for formulations that won’t aggravate sensitivity, like these options from La Roche-Posay which are hypoallergenic and have been specifically developed for sensitive skin and have tailored formulations depending on your skin type.
Normal to dry skin
Normal to sensitive skin
Oily, blemish-prone skin