I have the most sensitive skin in the world. Though that's not the biggest problem with my skin. My biggest problem has been acne for most of my life. Once I hit puberty at 11 until my late 20s I was constantly breaking out (and still to this day in my 30's I get zits, but I don't consider it acne). And so really, I've been using skin care products since I was 11. I've been through 2 rounds of Acutane. On top of that I've tried all kinds of prescribed topicals from sulphur, benzyl peroxide, and salicylic acid. And pretty much ever over the counter stuff there is, from Neutrogena, Clearisil (both too harsh) and Proactiv (which worked for a little while). But in the end, I think you just have to grow out of it. Now that I'm less concerned with acne, I'm more obsessed with the elasticity of my skin (which really changes once you hit 30). But I still have sensitive skin issues to navigate around. So after two decades worth of trying skin care products what have I learned?
1) Don't be afraid to try new products.
I am constantly buying and trying products with Sephora because they have the best return policy in the world. You can return anything. Even products that you've opened and tried.
2) Only try one new product at a time
Like any good experiment, change only one variable at a time. If you change your cleanser and your moisturizer at the same time and break out or have a reaction, you won't be able to tell if it's one or the other (it's a no-duh kind of tip but sometimes when you're in the spirit of experimenting you can get carried away, or maybe that's just me.)
3) Change-up the products on a daily basis if you can
I find that by alternating the products that I use, my skin is more responsive to the benefits of the product. You wouldn't feed your body with the same stuff everyday so why feed your skin that way?
4) Also change your routine with the seasons
This might be a no-brainer to most people. But I tend to stick with products that work no matter what season. But in the end, the creams that work in the winter just don't work the same in the summer.
5) Always spot-test
For those with sensitive skin, this is a must. Always test it in a spot that is the most reactive and even though you might have a red itchy spot for a day at least your whole face won't be bright red and itchy. My favorite spots are under my jaw or if I'm testing for breakouts, I'll try my chin or cheeks.
Stay tuned for a post on the products that I currently use on my problematic skin (and I'm thinking of talking a little bit more about skin care and cosmetics since I'm always curious to know what other girls use and why. I've already started asking some of my friends what their favorite beauty products are).