If you have sensitive skin, you know that the simpler, the better when it comes to skincare products. Adopting a natural beauty routine for sensitive skin can be a bit of trial and error since everyone’s skin is different, but the effort is worth it. You will discover a way to care for your skin without using harsh chemicals, preventing allergic reactions and irritating rashes. However, check with your doctor if your skin doesn’t improve, you have an allergic reaction, or your skin is damaged.
How to Adopt a Natural Beauty Routine for Sensitive Skin
Finding the Right Products
1. Determine your skin type to find out if you have sensitive skin.
Not all skin types are sensitive. Many are oily, others are dry, and still others are considered “normal.” You can determine your level of skin sensitivity by looking for specific symptoms: itching, tightness after using soap, burning, or stinging.
Darker-colored skin is more prone to sensitivity.
You can also tell you have sensitive skin by the way you react to products, such as breaking out in a rash after using a cleanser or cream.
2. Look for fragrance-free products to reduce irritation
If you have determined that you have sensitive skin, one of the first things you need to look for is products labeled as fragrance-free. Fragrances cause allergic reactions, which weakens skin.
Look for products labeled as allergy tested or specifically designed for sensitive skin.
Fragrance-free products may also be more natural because they don’t contain synthetic scents.
Be wary of products labeled “hypoallergenic.” This is a process that is not regulated by the FDA, so you can’t be certain what each company means by this, nor do you know if it is truly good for sensitive skin or not.
3. Watch for skin irritants and test products before use
With sensitive skin, you need to be particularly cautious of possible irritants and always do a skin test before using any new product, even if it’s natural or not store-bought. In addition, if you have a skin condition like rosacea, which can be irritated by specific products, you must be careful what you purchase. Some ingredients are prone to cause skin irritation more than others. Ingredients that irritate rosacea include alcohol, witch hazel, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, and menthol.
Although most of these ingredients are natural, it is wise to be cautious about them — natural doesn’t mean you can’t have a reaction, or that you can’t be allergic, or that the product won’t be too harsh for your skin.
Always test products on your neck or the inside of your elbow to make sure you won’t have a reaction. Wait 48 to 72 hours and look for swelling, itching, burning, or redness.
Write down the ingredients of products that cause a reaction to help to narrow down which ingredients you are sensitive to.
4. Choose cosmetics that are free of dyes and preservatives.
You can still wear makeup with sensitive skin, but you must be careful which products you choose. For example, using mineral powder is a safe bet for sensitive skin because it usually lacks dyes and preservatives.
Avoid waterproof mascara because it can be difficult to remove it at night, often requiring products with harsh ingredients.
Use pencil eyeliner because liquid eyeliner is usually made with latex, a known allergen.
Throw out old cosmetics because expired ones can grow bacteria: three months for mascara and liquid eyeliner; six months for liquid makeup and cream eye shadows; two years for powder makeup and eyeshadows, pencil eyeliners, and all lipstick and lip liner.
Using Natural Ingredients
1. Try oil cleansing to gently clean your skin.
To adopt a truly natural beauty routine, you might try a pure oil cleansing regimen on your face to clear away acne and excess oil. Using natural oils you might find in your kitchen can help balance the skin’s natural oils. Mix up a blend of castor oil and olive oil to dissolve your skin’s natural oils that have hardened and blocked pores.
Mix up a solution of ¼ castor oil and ¾ olive oil (or ½ castor oil and ⅔ olive oil for oily skin).
Pour out a quarter size amount of oil and massage it very gently onto a dry face. Only massage for about a minute.
Remove the oil by running warm water over your face until you feel that the oil has completely dissolved. (Or hold a warm washcloth over your face for a minute, gently wiping away excess oil afterward.)
You probably won’t need moisturizer after this unless your skin is very dry.
2. Add fruit juices to your skincare routine.
There are many ways to use fruit to refresh your skin, making it the perfect addition to a natural beauty regimen. The vitamins in fruit can supply your skin with nutrients. Many fruit juices can tone your skin and give you a healthy glow. Add them to lotions, face masks, or scrubs.
For example, you can use cranberries to prevent wrinkles and reduce redness. You can also use oranges to reduce fine lines in your face.
Try lemon and tomato juices to reduce large pores.
Kiwi’s natural acids provide a toner that treats acne and fights signs of aging.
3. Use food to make toner, masks, and skin treatments.
Others foods can be good for your skin too. Yogurt, honey, and oats are all known for their benefits to the skin. For instance, Greek yogurt can be used to reduce pimples. Apple cider vinegar can be applied to the skin as a toner to kill bacteria and reduce large pores.
Raw honey is useful for moisturizing the skin.
Sake, a Japanese wine, may lighten up age spots if you get a cotton ball wet and rub it on the spots.
Coconut oil can be applied to the eyes and face to remove makeup. Gently massage a small amount of coconut oil on the eyelid and eyelashes, and then use a cotton pad to wipe the oil and makeup away.
4. Use coffee grounds to exfoliate your skin.
The caffeine in coffee grounds can reduce the appearance of cellulite. You can make your own coffee scrub by grinding up fresh coffee beans—or purchasing some pre-ground—and mixing them with oil. Make sure they are caffeinated because it’s the caffeine that does all the work— reduces swelling and can increase blood circulation to the skin’s surface.
Apply a handful of the coffee ground/oil mixture in circular motions onto problem areas. Let it sit a few moments before rinsing it away.
5. Make natural scrubs to gently exfoliate your skin.
You can easily make your own exfoliating scrubs by using ingredients you purchase at the supermarket. For example, sugar scrubs are a popular do-it-yourself option. Fruit like cranberries and grapes can be chopped up and combined with lemon juice to make a hydrating scrub. Oats are also a great way to naturally exfoliate.
You can make your own cranberry treatment by combining 1 cup of cranberries with 1 cup of seedless grapes, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, and one packet of unflavored gelatin in the blender and then refrigerate it. Leave it on your face for 15 minutes to exfoliate and hydrate your skin.
A useful do-it-yourself sugar scrub calls for ½ cup of sugar, ½ cup of oil (coconut or olive oils are best), and an option of adding a few drops of whatever essential oil you like best.
You can make an oat scrub by combining 1 tablespoon of oats with about 3 tablespoons of warm water. Wait five minutes for the oats to soften, then massage the paste gently onto a clean face for one to two minutes. Rinse off with warm water followed by cold water to close your pores.
Maintaining Healthy Skin
1. Wash your face daily with warm water and your fingertips.
When it comes time to washing your face, no matter what cleanser you use, only use warm water. Hot water might burn and dry out sensitive skin, and cold water can close pores, preventing them from opening and being cleansed of impurities.
Choose a cleansing solution that is made for sensitive skin but won’t be hard to wash off.
To wash away the cleanser, splash your face with water rather than scrubbing it off with a cloth.
Blot your skin dry with a soft towel, but don’t rub your face with the towel.
2. Apply any medication you’re using for your sensitive skin.
After your face is dry, apply any medication you might need for sensitive skin, such as if you are having a rosacea or dermatitis breakout. If your medicine causes stinging, this means your face was still too moist.
You might want to wait about 30 minutes after washing your face to apply medication.
Apply moisturizer five to 10 minutes after applying the medicine.
3. Moisturize your face with oil or lotion.
After applying any sensitive skin medication, apply sensitive skin moisturizer. Make sure the moisturizer that you purchase is gentle by testing it out on another body part like the neck or the back of a forearm.
To be truly natural, you can simply use a tiny dab of coconut oil or shea butter, rubbing it gently into your skin.
4. Protect your skin with a fragrance-free sunscreen.
After finishing washing and moisturizing your face, it is wise to apply sunscreen beneath your makeup. Use a natural sunscreen with simple ingredients to minimize your exposure to allergic reactions to sunscreen lotions.
Look for active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are less likely to cause a reaction.
Active ingredients like oxybenzone, octocrylene, and octinoxate are more likely to cause reactions. They are also less natural and can cause other damage.
You can make your own sunscreen with olive oil, beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, and non-nano zinc oxide. Remember that you can still have an allergic reaction to these ingredients, so make sure you test the mixture on a small patch of skin before using it on larger areas of your body.
5. Monitor your skin’s health by checking it for changes.
Watch for blemishes on your skin so you can treat them, but don’t squeeze them because this will increase skin irritation. Also check your skin for damage from the sun and for new growths. Finally, if you notice odd changes to your skin while on medication, ask your doctor about drug interactions with skin.
If you have a sore that does not heal or see changes to an old growth (like a mole or beauty mark), tell you doctor. They may recommend that you get your skin checked by a dermatologist every few years.
Medications like blood thinners and aspirin can make you bruise easily.
Some antibiotics and vitamins can increase your susceptibility to sunburns.
6. Drink lots of water to keep your skin hydrated.
More intake of water actually flushes the body of toxins, including the skin. The theory is that more water in your system can make your skin glow, but this is more of an observation made by individuals than a fact of science. Naturally cleansing your skin, then, means drinking at least eight 8-oz glasses (2 liters) of water a day.
If this is a challenge for you, try getting a water bottle that you can fill up and carry with you throughout the day.
7. Reduce wrinkle-causing activities to naturally prevent wrinkles.
If you want to reduce wrinkles in your skin, you don’t have to apply a bunch of chemical-laden creams and lotions. These treatments can cause your sensitive skin to react, and are certainly not natural. Instead, focus on lifestyle changes that prevent wrinkles in the first place.
Eat foods containing antioxidants, which combat the free radicals that cause your skin to age. Foods like blueberries, spinach, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, bell peppers, papaya, broccoli, carrots, and green tea all contain powerful antioxidants that can help your skin on a cellular level.
Manage stress so that you aren’t carrying stress in your face, such as a furrowed brow or frequent frowning.
Quit smoking or make a commitment to never smoke. Also avoid second-hand smoke. Wrinkles from smoking can start to occur only 10 years after starting to smoke.
When to Seek Medical Care
1. Talk to your dermatologist if your natural beauty routine doesn’t help.
While your skin care routine won’t cure your skin sensitivity, it should help you avoid itching, irritation, and discomfort. If you’re still feeling bothered by your sensitive skin after adopting your natural beauty routine, see a dermatologist for advice. They can help you make additional changes so you can find relief.
Bring a list of all of the products you’re using on your face so you can show it to your dermatologist.
Let them know how often you’re washing, exfoliating, and moisturizing your face.
2. Ask a dermatologist before using a product with a strong ingredient.
Some skincare products can cause your sensitive skin to react, even if they’re made from natural products. Your dermatologist can help you determine if a particular product is a good choice for you. Ask them about products you want to try to find out if they’re generally safe for sensitive skin.
Getting advice from your dermatologist could save you money in the long-run because it will help you avoid buying products you can’t use. Additionally, it’ll save you the time and aggravation of dealing with irritated skin.
3. See your doctor if you have an allergic reaction.
While using natural products may be less likely to trigger your sensitive skin, you may experience an allergic reaction to a commercial product or homemade treatment. Since your skin is sensitive, it’s more prone to a reaction. If this happens, it’s best to see your doctor for advice and any necessary treatment. Visit your doctor if you have the following symptoms:
4. Get immediate care for broken skin or scaling.
While you likely don’t need to worry, it’s best to see your doctor for treatment if you notice that your skin is damaged. Broken skin may get infected, and scaling may not go away without a topical treatment. Visit your doctor or an urgent care center to get your skin checked and learn about your treatment options.
Your doctor may be able to give you a topical cream to help your skin heal faster.