I spent most of 2015 battling terrible sensitive skin issues. It was my sixth case of conjunctivitis from dry eyelids that sent me on a journey to find skincare that my skin could tolerate, and I’d nearly sorted it when my lips became so chapped that I ended up with cheilitis. It took months to recover to a point where I could try new things to see if they irritated or not, so I’ve been able to spent this year testing both skincare and makeup. I’ve had to give away a lot of once-used products because they caused my skin to become annoyed, but I also found quite a few things that are great for sensitive skin. Here are my top discoveries of 2016.
On top being sensitive, my skin becomes dehydrated easily, so when I tried Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching Serum, £29, I found that it not only helped my sensitive skin to feel more comfortable, it also hydrated and made my skin look plumped and fresh. I try not to use skincare that contains fragrance, and while this one does have a light scent, it does not contain any of the twenty-six potential allergens outlined by the EU Cosmetics Directive. I can safely use it over my entire face, including my eyelids, with no bother at all.
As much as I love the cool, tingling feeling of menthol lip balms, I’m sad to report that they’re not good for sensitive lips. Menthol can be both drying and an irritant, so it’s best avoided if your lips become chapped easily. If you can do without any scent or flavour in your lip balm, Hurraw Unscented Lip Balm, £4.49, is a soothing and protective lip balm, even in cold, dry weather. Containing meadowfoam seed, coconut, and safflower oils with a generous helping of cocoa butter and vitamin e. It has a lovely, buttery texture that stays put – even overnight.
Sensitive skin and exfoliating acids do not mix well. I love AHAs because they work, but even weekly use leaves my skin slightly inflamed. Zelens PHA Pads, £65, used weekly, do not give me any irritation or inflammation – just clear, smooth, youthful-looking skin. They are pricy, though, but I’ve not found anything that works better. One pack contains 50 pads, so with weekly use, the cost isn’t too bad. At least that’s what I tell myself.
So I’m finishing 2016 with much healthier skin than I had when I started, and while I have a routine that works well for me, I know that skin changes as we get older. I’d love to know if you’ve discovered any great products in 2016.