The Ultimate Guide to Sensitive Skin

Sensitive Skin Blog Those of us who suffer from sensitive skin know the symptoms all too well. Redness, itching, flaking and discomfort are often just the tip of the iceberg. Thankfully, switching to gentle, natural products can make a huge difference. In this guide, we’ll cover the dos and don’ts of caring for sensitive skin, and share some of our favourite products.


What causes sensitive skin?

Genetics play a role in sensitive skin, as do hormones. Your skin might feel more sensitive around your period or when you’re going through the menopause, for example. But there are also external issues that make skin more sensitive, such as cosmetic ingredients. And, thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to help.


10 top tips for soothing sensitive skin


1.     Don’t overload it

While the current trend is for maximalist skincare, sensitive skin can only take so much. If your skin is showing more signs of sensitivity than normal, it might be time to pare your routine down, at least for a while.

2.     Go natural

Chemicals like sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) can be found in most high-street shower gels, shampoos and body washes, but they can really aggravate sensitive skin. So, look for gentle, natural products that won’t irritate your skin’s natural biome. (Scroll down for recommendations.)

3.     Moisturise

Dry skin can feel tight and sore, so use a calming, daily moisturiser for sensitive skin. Look for one that’s extra hydrating with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil and squalene. And try to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

4.     Avoid perfumed products

Artificial fragrances can really aggravate sensitive skin, so choose fragrance-free products or ones scented with natural essential oils such as rose. Be aware that some essential oils can irritate skin, however, including cinnamon, bay laurel and lemongrass. Most skin care products for sensitive skin have no added fragrances at all.

5.     Use a facial sunscreen

The sun’s rays can damage and irritate skin, even in the depths of winter, so sunscreen is essential all year around. However, it’s crucial to choose the right sunscreen – you need one that won’t block your pores or aggravate your skin. Green People’s Scent-Free Facial Sun Cream deserves a special mention, as it offers good protection against both UVA and UVB waves and has added hydrating ingredients, such as aloe vera juice and avocado oil.

6.     Go light

Thick foundations can cause irritation. Your skin will likely benefit from a switch to a tinted moisturiser or a mineral powder.

7.     Remove your makeup

We all know it’s important to remove makeup at night. But, a bit like flossing, stretching after exercise and not eating too much sugar, it’s all too easy to let things slip. You might find it easier to remove your makeup earlier in the evening, straight after dinner for example, rather than last thing at night. Choose a gentle cleanser with extra skincare ingredients, like a nourishing balm, and avoid ones with alcohol and other harsh ingredients.

8.     Let your skin breathe

Try to have a few days makeup-free each week.

9.     Cool down

Hot water can aggravate skin, so turn the temperature down a notch when you shower, cleanse with lukewarm water and avoid steam.

10.  Watch what you eat and drink

Salty and sugary foods can aggravate sensitive skin, as can food additives and even some spices. Your skin may also react to food that you have an allergy or intolerance to. It’s worth keeping a diary – noting down what you eat and drink, how much sleep you have, what products you’ve used and so on, to see whether there’s anything in particular triggering your sensitivity.


Natural products for sensitive skin

Most of the products we sell are suitable for sensitive skin. However, some are particularly beneficial. Here’s some of our customers’ favourites…


Best range of sensitive skin products

There are over 25 products in Attitude’s Sensitive Skin range, from baby skin care to sensitive laundry detergent, with some luxury natural skin care in the form of its Oceanly range too.

The Oatmeal Sensitive Natural Baby Care products are hypoallergenic and contain a calming oat extract to ‘naturally soothe your outer soul.’ They may be mild enough for baby but are great for adults too!

The Attitude Oceanly natural skin care range includes plastic-free cleansers, serums, face creams, masks, sunscreens and more - all suitable for sensitive skin.


Best natural skincare products for sensitive skin

If you’re looking for a moisturiser for sensitive skin, Weleda’s Almond range is perfect. Each product is made with gentle, nourishing ingredients that your skin will lap up. Think sweet almond oil, plum seed oil and squalene. As one customer said, “My skin is very sensitive and this is one of the few things that my face can always handle, very soothing.” Green People’s Scent-Free range is also super gentle and nourishing.

Balance Me Plump & Hydrate Hyaluronic Plumping Mist contains chamomile water to soothe skin and calm redness. Hyaluronic acid boosts hydration and pineapple extract helps to balance both oily and dry skin. Struggling with menopausal hot flushes? Keep this spray in the fridge for instant cooling relief.


Ideal products for sensitive oily skin

When you have oily, acne-prone skin, it’s tempting to use strong lotions and potions to remove the excess oil. But these are often quite harsh and can lead to sensitivity. Instead, try a gentle balancing toner, like Antipodes Resurrect Clarifying Facial Toner. Rather than battling against your skin, it’ll work with it to restore balance.


Effective deodorant for sensitive skin

It’s not just facial skin that’s prone to sensitivity, other areas can also suffer from it. Our armpits, for example, can be easily irritated by high-street deodorants, particularly those with strong fragrances. Symptoms include an itchy or sore rash. Not pleasant. Try switching to Lavera Basis Sensitiv Roll On Deodorant. It’s effective but aluminium-free, with added calendula and aloe vera to soothe skin.


Products for sore hands

Do you suffer from dry, sore, itchy hands? Switch to a liquid soap specifically designed for sensitive skin. Bio-D Sanitising Fragrance Free Hand Wash is a great choice. While it kills 99.9% of bacteria, it’s far kinder to skin than most anti-bacterial soaps. It’s attracted a tonne of five star reviews from customers, including this one, “I being MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity), don't have a problem with this product.”

Prefer bars of soap to liquid hand washes? These are all recommended for sensitive hands.

Use a nourishing hand balm at least once a day, rather than a highly perfumed lotion. We like Lavera Basis Sensitiv Hand Cream, which is packed with natural moisturisers, like aloe vera and organic shea butter.


Best body wash for sensitive skin

Solid soaps are also a great alternative to body washes. If you’d rather stick to a shower gel, you can’t go wrong with Dr. Bronner’s Baby Unscented Castille Liquid Soap. If you want a burst of fragrance to awaken your senses in the morning, try Fushi’s Bringer of Peace Body Wash. It has a subtle uplifting fragrance and is specially designed to soothe and calm sensitive skin.


Shampoo for an itchy scalp

An itchy scalp is often a sign of irritation. Switching to an SLS-free shampoo will likely help. Sea Magik’s Mineral Shampoo soothes irritation and can help with conditions like eczema and psoriasis. And these other shampoos are all suitable for people with a sensitive scalp.


When you’re shopping with Big Green Smile, you can choose to only show products that are suitable for sensitive skin. Just tick the ‘sensitive skin’ box under Skin Concern on the left-hand side of your search results.