Get your sensitive skin back on track

ELIZA ASHE
Last updated 10:37 20/12/2012

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Makeup & Skincare

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Although sensitive skin is genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors such as stress, diet, heat, sun and wind, can cause usually balanced complexions to become sensitised (read: dry, inflamed, red and itchy).

Here are some easy-to-follow tips to help you get your skin back on track before the year is out.

Patch test

Before you even think about investing in a new face cream or cleanser, always do a patch test first. It's best to apply the product to an area where the skin is noticeably thinner such as the inside of the wrist and leave the product for 24 hours.

The elimination diet

It's possible that your skin can develop a reaction to a product over time so put your current routine on hold and make the switch to sensitive skin specific products. Then, once the irritation has settled you can start reintroducing each product one at a time to pinpoint which product it is that's causing the reaction. A dermatologist will also be able to analyse the ingredients list to tell you the artificial fragrances, colours and oils to avoid.

What to look for

Dry skin can trigger sensitivity so keeping the skin supple and hydrated is key to minimising inflammation, tightness and itching. When it comes to sensitive and sensitised skin, making the switch to non-foaming, hypoallergenic, alcohol and fragrance-free products is essential. Try QV Intensive Moisturising Cleanser, $13.90.

Switch off the hot tap

Ditch taking long, steamy hot showers as they only strip the skin of essential oils, leaving it feeling irritated and tight. For a gentle cleanse, try washing your face at the sink rather than in the shower and when it comes to towel drying, always pat dry - and never rub the skin, to minimise friction and to help lock in the moisturising benefits of your face and body wash.

Hot tip: So you're looking a little flushed, but not in the blushing-from-a-sweet-compliment kind of way? When it comes to covering redness in the skin, you can't go past a green-based concealer. Green sits directly opposite red on the colour wheel making it a must for neutralising blemishes and red spots.

- Daily Life

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