How to calm sensitive skin

Irritated skin types should look out for these ingredients.
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With the number of people suffering from sensitive skin conditions on the rise, including menopause-related sensitivity, so is the trend for skincare that calms as much as it smooths, plumps and brightens. Here’s what to look out for…

WATCH: Sensitive skin hacks. Article continues after video.

Wash & protect

In calming irritated skin, you need to look for products that are kind to your skin to minimise further damage. This gentle wash lotion from MoliCare contains panthenol and almond oil to nourish and protect the skin’s barrier.

Molicare Skin Wash Lotion, $10.66

Molicare Skin Wash Lotion, $10.66 at Incontinence Products


Ceramide technology

Ceramides are the skin’s own protective lipids, allowing it to exist in a calm state of self-repair. But their production slows with age as they get stripped by pollution and stress. Sensitive skin particularly lacks in ceramides, often forcing it to combat flare-ups instead of generating fresh skin cells.

CeraVe Moisturising Body Lotion (Credit: Chemist Warehouse)

CeraVe Moisturising Body Lotion, $20.99 at Chemist Warehouse


Breakthrough actives

Fresh collagen stimulation is the holy grail for all anti-ageing products, but many ingredients that make it happen can risk aggravating skin. Opt for formulas that use advances in peptide technology to help sensitive skin battle ageing. Peptides are messenger molecules that ‘switch on’ certain skin functions and are a popular option for reactive skin as they cause very little trouble.

Skinstitut Rejuvenating 15 Serum (Credit: Skinstitut)

Skinstitut Rejuvenating 15 Serum, $59 at Adore Beauty


Vitamin C without the sting

Ascorbic acid is the most active form of brightening, wrinkle-fighting vitamin C, but it can really tingle, making it unsuitable for reactive skin. Luckily, new vitamin C formulas offer the benefits in a slow and steady way, without flushed red cheeks.

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F (Credit: Adore Beauty)

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F, $31.20 at Adore Beauty


Brighteners that won’t bite

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are revered for their smoothing action, but can cause stinging. Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) are equally good at exfoliating, with far fewer drawbacks. PHAs dampen inflammation and create a humectant (water trapping) layer on the skin.

The Inkey List PHA Gentle Exfoliating Toner (Credit: Sephora)

The Inkey List PHA Gentle Exfoliating Toner, $21 at Sephora


Brighteners that won’t bite

Pigmentation-fighting actives are tough on sensitive skin. The ones considered most effective tend to bite. An exception is azelaic acid. It has anti-inflammatory properties alongside being anti-bacterial and brightening. That’s why it’s a standby for treating acne, rosacea and ageing pigment spots.

REN Clean Skincare Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic (Credit: Mecca)

REN Clean Skincare Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic, $53 at Mecca


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