If you have sensitive skin, chances are you’ve spent a fair portion of your life experimenting with skincare products and protocols, chasing the dream of robust skin that’s never dry, itchy, red and painful. And it’s likely that moving to 100% natural skincare is on your agenda, because it’s a strategy that works for many sensitive skin owners.
But before you dive wallet-first into a whole new regime, there are some things to ask yourself, like…
Is your skin truly sensitive?
Think about how you acquired the ‘sensitive skin’ label. Did you diagnose yourself, because your skin over-reacts to certain skincare and household products by becoming itchy, red, dry and/or scaly? Or were you diagnosed by a doctor or dermatologist? The real symptoms of sensitive skin are:
- - Skin reactions, such as pustules and bumps
- - Very dry skin that’s painful to touch, because the skin isn’t protecting the nerve endings very well
- - A tendency towards flushing red easily
If you don’t have these symptoms, you might just have dry skin, which is often mistaken for sensitive skin. But whether your skin is sensitive or simply dry, trying a natural skincare regime has to be worth a shot.
Does skin sensitivity impact your life?
The appearance of sensitive skin can negatively affect your quality of life, in the same way that a face full of acne can. You might feel self-conscious, because of the way your skin looks. You might have to avoid some tasks, like washing the dishes and cleaning the shower, because it causes flare ups. And you might be spending a lot on doctor appointments, lotions, potions and medicines, in a bid to end your annoying skin problems. If you identify with any or all of these issues, finding a solution by switching to natural skincare could be life changing.
Is natural skincare a passing fad?
Consumers are increasingly interested in skincare products made with natural, organic ingredients. We know this because Google searches for natural skincare brands have increased dramatically in the last couple of years. According to Google Trends, searches for phrases like ‘best natural skincare products’ have tripled since January 2017; searches for ‘all natural skincare routine’ have jumped by 250%; and searches for ‘all natural skincare’ have shot up by 200%. There’s definitely something going on and it’s consistent, so it’s a trend rather than a passing fad. Another point in favour of giving natural skincare a go.
Why is sensitive skin on the increase?
Running parallel with increased consumer awareness of natural skincare products is the rise of sensitive skin. Respected USA dermatologist Arielle Nagler, M.D. says that over half her patients report having sensitive skin. While it’s hard to say exactly why skin sensitivity is on the way up, it’s possibly due to factors like air pollution, fragrances, preservatives and dyes. Food allergies can also impact skin, particularly gluten sensitivity. When you consider that both sensitive skin and the popularity of natural skincare are on the increase, it’s easy to see the interconnection.
Are all natural ingredients OK for sensitive skin?
Plant-based skincare ingredients can differ in potency and effectiveness, because they use different extraction processes and their raw materials come from different sources. You can’t be certain that a natural ingredient won’t cause problems for your skin. As with any new product, it will be important to do a patch test on the inside of your arm. Natural ingredients that are known to cause problems include some essential oils (jasmine, ylang ylang, rose, chamomile and neroli), some fruit acids, balsam of Peru (a natural fragrance), tea tree oil, propolis and lanolin.
A good way to judge a natural skincare range is to read the ingredients label. Look for things you could happily eat and definitely stay away from products that have a nice smell. Fragrance-free is very important for sensitive skin.
How much do you want to spend on your next skincare experiment?
There are some very luxurious ‘natural’ skincare brands out there. If you pick one of these, setting yourself up with the basics – cleanser, toner, moisturiser and night cream – could cost in excess of $300. But if you opt for a pure and simple brand like Okana, you can get six products for less than $100 with or Radiant Skin Gift Box. To date, we’ve had a very good track record with sensitive skin. Our products are fragrance-free and use minimal, but highly trusted, edible ingredients. More about making the switch to natural skincare.