Skin Care for Sensitive Skin
Skin problems pose an extra difficulty for those of us with sensitive skin, because the more typical aggressive treatments just cause more problems! So, what to do?
My Skin Regimen
The key, which took me years to accept, was to go as simple as possible. Here is the skin regimen that I have found works best for me:
In the morning I generally only let water run over my face in the shower. No cleanser or moisturizer, though I have a homeopathic gem essence spray for vibrance that I have been using and I do find that my skin is softer on the days when I use that. The exception is if I’ve gotten sweaty and oily overnight [such as can happen during the Summer], in which case I use cleanser, then my homeopathic spray, and finally hazelnut oil.
I do wear sunscreen if I’ll be in the sun. [The best sunscreen I have found for sensitive skin is a daily moisturizer with SPF 15 by La Roche – Posay. La Roche Posay also makes some ultra-light sunscreens in higher SPF–I think I read that their Anthelios SX Mexoryl sunscreen was best of sensitive skin.]
Before bed, I cleanse, spray my homeopathic vibrance spray, and moisturize.
The homeopathic gem essence spray is one that I make myself. [If you are a client of mine and are interested in the spray, let me know …]
Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser — made with all natural ingredients and a truly non-irritating exfoliating ingredient, I am finally able to exfoliate my face without getting it angry! I have learned, though, that even with the Tata Harper, I must be gentle with my skin — not too much cleanser, and gently swirling, gliding it around on my skin, no rubbing or scrubbing. It is expensive, but it substitutes for a whole lot of products for me, and I only use a dime-sized amount each day so it lasts for several months. I have not been able to figure out a DIY substitute, so I indulge in this for my face–it actually saves money over repeatedly trying products that didn’t work, too. Hear hear!
I currently make myself a moisturizer by combining 2 oils–rose hip oil and hazelnut oils, 1:1. Hazelnut oil has astringent qualities, and rose hip oil is known for hydrating and repairing while both absorb quickly into the skin. They make a nice combination of fatty acids, too: Hazelnut oil is high in oleic acid and rose hip oil is high in linoleic and linolenic acids.
I have found that only Aura Cacia rose hip oil works for my skin, and I am not sure why … I use Mountain Rose Herbs hazelnut oil in combination with the rose hip oil. If your skin is a little drier, you might be able to use just the rose hip oil [or maybe just in Winter], and if your face is a little oilier, you might opt for just the Hazelnut Oil [or perhaps only in Summer]. In the Pacific Northwest’s rather moderate climate, I’ve ended up using the 50-50 rose hip-hazelnut year ’round.
The pump that comes with the Aura Cacia oils dispenses only a small amount, which also is brilliant–I use 1-1.5 pumps for my neck and face [including upper and lower eyelids]. I rub the oil between my clean hands, gently apply it to my neck [the driest part], then cheeks [next driest], and finally I pat it onto my eyes then forehead and temples. My forehead and temples barely get any oil–those are my biggest trouble spots.
I am more generous with my décolletage and my back shoulders.
I should add that a lot of natural moisturizers and natural moisturizer recipes include a carrier oil such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, or sunflower oil. I have found that all of these carrier oils cause problems for my skin. I can only use the pure rose hip and hazelnut oils because of their unique qualities.
I also use only natural make-up, and I use it sparingly, as though it is concealer [under eyes, little spots].
I also use only white washcloths, and I use a fresh one each night; the washcloths get washed in natural free & clear detergent with hot water and no fabric softener or dryer sheets. I also have to avoid touching my face for long periods [e.g., resting my head on the palms of my hands]. I used to freak-out about consequences to my skin if my husband held my face, rubbed his face on mine, etc. Although it still might cause a break-out, I’ve decided it’s worth it!
As you likely know already, skin also needs plenty of clean water, healthy foods and fats, rest, and so on. Skin shows your stress too — it is one place we might manifest ailments that we have ignored on the emotional, mental, or spiritual level. Constitutional homeopathy can help with a myriad of skin issues [more on those in future blog posts], because it addresses body-mind-spirit.