If you count yourself as someone with sensitive and/or sensitised skin, you’re not alone. It’s not a big secret that in recent years, dermatologists and other trained skincare experts are reporting that they’re seeing an increasing number of patients coming in with inflamed skin.
One factor lies in FOMO; the voracious consumption of new skincare products and strong actives (think retinol, vitamin C, glycolic acid peels) has never been easier with social media and the explosion of self-proclaimed skincare influencers.
Compound that with mandated mask-wearing (read: maskne) and people carelessly experimenting with skincare during lockdown and what you have on your hands is a time bomb waiting to go off.
The fact is your skin barrier generally likes a stable routine – throwing too many strong actives or trying many new products too quickly (read: one product at a time is the golden rule) is a recipe for disaster, especially if you’re someone who already has sensitive skin to begin with.
In a post for her eponymous blog, dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting stated that when you’ve overdone things (symptoms usually include redness, dry patches, tightness and itchiness), it’s imperative to pare back (read: cut down on actives) and go for simple, even bland staples that are truly free of fragrance (both synthetic and “natural” a.k.a essential oils) as well as other common irritants such as alcohol.
Below, we’ve put together a list of trusty (all fragrance-free) staples we rely on whenever we experience any of the above symptoms – or even when we’re not.