Grooming Editor

Coping With Sensitive Skin

If you suffer from itchy, red or easily irritated skin then don’t worry, you’re not alone. According to worldwide clinical studies, over 50% of people will report some kind of skin sensitivity in their lifetime. And though people with allergies, pale complexions and dry skin are particularly susceptible, any skin type can become sensitised if its protective lipid barrier is disrupted by dehydration, over-exfoliation, environmental pollution or drastic changes in humidity. Stress, poor diets and bad skincare regimes don’t help either, so if your skin is sensitive you’ll probably need to address all of these issues too.

Have I got Sensitive Skin?

Sensitive skin is sometimes known as ‘reactive skin’ as it may show signs of allergic reaction when it come into contact with chemicals, fragrance or preservatives in skincare products. This reaction can be mild, with just a slight dryness or stinging sensation, or severe, which includes inflammation, redness and skin peeling. Luckily reactions like this are rare. Sensitive skin can also also suffer from a reaction to certain foods, alcohol or medication. Some skin types also react to changes in temperature and to touch and this type of complexion is often prone to a red flushed appearance with broken capillaries and may even peel or chap.

How Do I Look After Skin That Is Prone To Redness?

Firstly, always wear a protective sun cream with an SPF of at least 15 in the summer (even on cloudy days) and use in the winter too if you work outside or play any kind of outdoor sport. It’s also worth using a face cream like Nickel Bonne Gueule (Anti-Redness Treatment) which is formulated especially for sensitive skin and is designed to help combat redness, encourage strengthening of the capillaries and instantly calm and soothe any sensitivity. As a final precaution, try avoiding the most common triggers for redness; red wine and spicy food. So if you like your Chianti or love a good curry – it might be time to cut back on both (but just think of the weight you’ll lose in the process!).

What Else Can I Do To Improve My Skin’s Reactions?

1. Always shave with the direction of the hair growth and use a shaving medium that gives really good lubrication. If gels and foams don’t work for you, switch to creams instead.

2. Exfoliate regularly. Use a facial scrub like Lab Series For Men Invigorating Face Scrub once or twice a week to remove dead cells and free up trapped hairs.

3. Use a moisturiser or an aftershave balm daily to keep skin soft and supple and encourage hairs to grow through without obstruction. Apply after shaving and again at night before hitting the sack. To see the full range of ingrown hair solutions available on Mankind, click here.

How Can I Look After Skin That Is Prone To Sensitivity?

1. Wash your face with warm rather than hot water, as the skin on your face isn’t as tolerant of high temperatures as the skin on the rest of your body is. A gentle facial wash, like the Menscience Daily Face Wash, is the best way to clean sensitive skin without causing irritation.

2. Steer clear of products containing alcohol, lanolin, mineral oil or added fragrances and colourants as all of these can irritate the skin.

3. Avoid abrasive facial scrubs (which can break down the skin’s natural barrier), and avoid scratching itchy areas. The less friction applied to sensitive skin the better.

4. Always use moisturisers designed especially for sensitive skin, like the Bulldog Sensitive Moisturiser, as these will ensure the most common allergens are removed and lessen your chance of a reaction. Also protect your skin at night by applying more moisturiser just before you go to bed.

5. Always test any new products on the back or your wrist, and then on your jaw-line 24 hours before using them on your whole face. This way an allergic reaction can be spotted in time.

We hope our tips on caring for sensitive skin have helped – don’t forget, you can shop an entire range of skincare on Mankind and tweet us @Mankindcouk if you have any questions!



Writer and expert

Creative storyteller. Believer in the power of natural ingredients and cruelty-free formulas. Always puts skincare first for a no-makeup look.