Tap water, sensitive skin's arch enemy
All skin types hate tap water and harsh soaps. They can leave it feeling tight, dry or unbearably itchy. Or worse, if we shower twice a day. There's also another baddie on the block - dehydration! If we don't drink enough, our skin dries and dulls. Throw in sensitive skin and we can find ourselves in a right old lather...
Sensitive skin shower tips
Choosing a suitable shower gel or soap is essential. Go for creamy shower gels or milks that are gentle, hypoallergenic, pH neutral and dermatologically tested. They're designed to clean, moisturise and leave behind a protective layer that shields our skin. Go for products with few ingredients, as they're less likely to contain irritants or allergy-provoking compounds. And opt for soothing, hydrating active ingredients such as honey, cocoa butter, shea butter and sweet almond oil. Avoid 'classic' soaps, as they're too harsh for skin already bearing the brunt of limestone-rich tap water. Added tip: the more lather you get, the more likely your soap contains irritants.
Avoid the sensitive skin traps
First and foremost, lower the thermostat, as piping hot water strips away our skin's natural, protective barrier. Skin loses natural lipids (fatty acids and ceramides) when showering in hot water. Leaving sensitive skin particularly vulnerable. Stick to warm water so that your skin barrier stays in tact and limit showers/baths to 10 minutes max. You'll be helping your skin and the planet!
And once you step out of the shower?
Firstly, don't rub your skin dry. You'll unnecessarily irritate your skin and find yourself in Flare Up City! Better to pat your skin dry with a soft, fluffy towel. Or go naked (close your curtains!) and air dry. Immediately follow your shower by slathering on a moisturiser to soothe your fragile or itchy skin. Apply a milk, oil or balm to damp skin. It'll harness water on your skin and rehydrate your epidermis. And to keep your fabulously moisturised skin in good nick, remember to drink at least 1.5l of water a day and pile your plates with omega 3-rich foods (oily fish, oilseeds, linseed/rapeseed oil) that will pump your skin full of beauty boosting essential fatty acids.