Meet Dr Kim
“I’m a certified medical and cosmetic dermatologist with over a decade of experience treating a wide array of common and complex skin conditions, offering advice and recommendations on optimizing skin health for people of all ages and skin type.”
Sensitive skin is one of the most common complaints I encounter in my dermatology practice. Symptoms include stinging, burning, itching, pain or tightness of the skin. It is sometimes accompanied by dryness and redness but not always. Sensitive skin can occur at any age and in all skin types, and it can involve both the face and body.
What causes sensitive skin? How does it differ from the face to body?
The root cause of sensitive skin has yet to be discovered, but we suspect that impaired skin barrier function, hypersensitive nerve endings, and environmental factors may play a role. People with sensitive skin often notice that their skin flares up with triggers such as shifts in temperature, humidity, sunlight, and pollution; or internal factors such as illness, stress, and hormonal fluctuations. The face in particular is vulnerable because of its constant exposure to the elements.
How to care for sensitive skin
My goal is to guide people with sensitive skin to choose the right products that will reduce their symptoms of stinging and burning. Although you should look for products tailored for the face vs. the body, the basics of a proper skin care regime for sensitive skin remain the same: use a gentle cleanser followed by an effective moisturizer and build upon that with other products that are specific for sensitive skin types. Natural-origin ingredients like chamomile, aloe, almond milk, and honey are known for their soothing, anti-inflammatory benefits and are great for building a skin care regime for sensitive skin.
What are the benefits of our Almond Milk & Honey and Aloe ranges?
Sensitive skin can affect not just the face but also the body. Pamper your body’s sensitive skin with products that are specially made with ingredients to soothe and calm the skin. The Body Shop’s Almond Milk & Honey range for sensitive skin includes gentle pH- balanced cleansers and intensely hydrating moisturisers that are hypoallergenic and formulated without colourants. The anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties of almonds were discovered centuries ago to treat skin conditions and minor wounds. Honey has been used since ancient times for its anti- microbial properties and is also an excellent hydrator that attracts and retains moisture in the skin.
The Body Shop’s Aloe Body Butter is enriched with Community Fair Trade organic aloe vera and is luxuriously soothing and moisturizing whilst being free of fragrance, colourants, alcohol and preservatives – safe for even sensitive skin.
How should you cleanse sensitive skin?
Sensitive facial skin requires a cleansing regime that respects the skin’s ideal pH and cleanses effectively yet gently. The Body Shop’s Camomile and Aloe ranges are enriched with natural-origin ingredients known for their soothing, hydrating, and anti-inflammatory benefits. Start by removing make-up thoroughly with the Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter or Cleansing Makeup Remover Oil, using a delicate muslin cloth. Next, use either the Aloe Creamy Cleanser or Foaming Wash to gently sweep away any residual oil and makeup. Rinse your face with warm water to prevent stripping natural oils and moisture from your skin. Finally pat your face with a towel and leave it slightly damp before applying the Aloe Soothing Night Cream.
What are the benefits of the NEW Mediterranean Almond Milk & Oats Mask? And how often should you mask if you have sensitive skin?
The Body Shop’s Mediterranean Almond Milk With Oats Instant Soothing Mask is packed with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients to help soothe dry, sensitive skin. Made with Community Fair Trade organic almond milk from Spain and oatmeal from the UK, this mask swiftly relieves discomfort and restores the skin’s barrier while gently buffing away dead skin cells to achieve a smooth, hydrated complexion. Sensitive skin types can start comfort masking once a week and increase to twice weekly if desired.
• KEEP A DIARY: It seems obvious, but people with sensitive skin should avoid those cosmetic ingredients or environmental factors that exacerbate their symptoms. Not sure if your skin will react? Introduce one new product at a time, use it for three days, and record in a diary any sensations of stinging, burning, itching, redness, or tightness. Similarly, keep track of whether sunlight, wind, excessive heat, or certain foods cause your skin sensitivity. Over time, you will notice patterns and will be able to pinpoint certain ingredients or triggers that you can then avoid.
• BE KIND TO YOUR SKIN: Your best friend may be able to tolerate the latest anti-wrinkle cream or exfoliating treatment, but those with sensitive skin have to be careful not to disrupt their delicate skin barrier with overly harsh products or procedures.
• CLEAN OUT YOUR MAKE-UP DRAWERS: Discard old/ expired makeup and skin products on a regular basis to minimise irritation of sensitive skin and the risk of bacterial contamination or infection. Opt for makeup for sensitive skin like The Body Shop’s Fresh Nude Foundation and Colour Crush™ Lipstick.
• EXFOLIATE: Exfoliating is important, whatever your skin type. Moisturisers and oils can become less effective when dead skin cells remain on the skin’s surface, which can lead to tightness and dryness. Regularly exfoliate to gently scrub these away and reveal fresher, healthier-looking skin that feels softer and smoother.
• FORGET YOUR SUNSCREEN: It may be tricky to find a sunscreen that does not irritate sensitive skin, but that doesn’t mean you should skip it altogether. Try a physical sunscreen that contains either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Don’t forget that sunscreen is just one component of sun protection. Staying in the shade during peak hours of sunlight (10am-3pm) and wearing sun protective clothing are effective ways to protect sensitive skin from ultraviolet radiation.
• OVER- EXFOLIATE: Sensitive skin can benefit from regular exfoliation, but care should be taken not to overdo it. The Almond Milk and Honey scrub for the body delicately buffs away dead skin cells to leave skin feeling soft and smooth. Its creamy base is formulated to respect the skin’s natural moisture barrier and pH. Initially, try using the scrub on a weekly basis and only to thicker- skinned areas such as the heels, elbows, and knees-- -using gentle circular motions. The Mediterranean Almond Milk with Oats Instant Soothing Mask for the face uses oatmeal, nature’s most natural skin exfoliant, to gently refine skin texture without being too harsh. Try comfort masking once a week!
• SLEEP WITH YOUR MAKEUP ON: Sensitive skin can also be prone to acne blemishes, but often acne-fighting formulations may be too harsh to tolerate. The smart approach? Prevent blemishes as much as possible by committing to a thorough nighttime cleansing routine that leaves skin clean yet hydrated. Use the Camomile make-up remover, and complete the double cleanse with an Aloe- enriched cleanser afterward.
SAY HELLO TO OUR NEW MEDITERRANEAN ALMOND MILK & OATS MASK FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
Our new, gentle face mask is 100% vegan, helping care for dry, sensitive skin by restoring skin texture and barrier function, refining the appearance of pores and comforting irritated, dry skin. Blended with naturally exfoliating oatmeal and Community Fair Trade organic almond milk. Perfect for giving sensitive skin a comforting treat.