After a record cold winter and a bumper snow season, spring in Australia is finally here! Whilst it’s my personal favourite time of the year, spring can come with its own set of challenges when it comes to the skin. Spring is the time when many of our skins are challenged with seasonal change and may be the worst time for many of hay-fever sufferers.
Most of us have experienced some sort of skin reaction and many of us think that our skin is just plain sensitive when it becomes reactive. In fact, it’s most likely to be “sensitised”. A sensitive skin type and a sensitised skin condition are different.
Are you sensitive or sensitised?
A sensitive skin type is genetic, meaning you are born with a genetic predisposition to sensitivity. People with a genetically sensitive skin have thinner, more delicate and more reactive skin. A genetically sensitive skin can also suffer from blushing, asthma and allergies. Sensitive skins generally have a less than optimal barrier lipid layer which means that allergens and irritants can penetrate and cause inflammatory reactions like eczema and atopic dermatitis.
A sensitised skin condition is different in that it can come and go according to what you put your skin through and is reflective of your environment and lifestyle. Some factors that can trigger a sensitised skin response are over exfoliation, medication, smoking, allergies, seasonal changes, pollution, the microclimate and cosmetic ingredients. Sensitisation can occur in any skin type. The good news is that with correct product choice and application along with eliminating the “trigger”, a sensitised skin condition can be improved.
Help is on its way!
Whilst it’s recommended to limit trigger factors that lead to sensitivity and sensitisation, sometimes that can prove difficult particularly if the environment like seasonal changes for example are the triggers, so the best remedy must have a focus on calming and soothing the skin. Targeting the inflammation and protecting the skins barrier layer are also critical for this type of condition. This can be achieved by using a combination of specific botanical extracts like Oat Kernel which has proven to reduce redness and is a natural anti-irritant. Red Hogweed Root Extract helps to target inflammation whilst Ginger Extract and a derivative from Chamomile called Bisabolol, work together to calm and soothe the skin. These key ingredients can be found in Dermalogica’s Ultracalming Complex™, which has been researched and developed by the International Dermal Institute.
To help restore the barrier layer of the skin, Dermalogica also include an essential fatty acid blend of Evening Primrose Oil, Borage Seed Oil and Sunflower Seed Extract into the formulation. These ingredients work together to provide the barrier layer with fatty acids, ceramides and plant sterols which are important components in a healthy functioning skin barrier.
To strengthen the integrity of the specialised Ultracalming ™range of products, it’s reassuring to know that they have been dermatologist tested for irritation by independent medical professionals. If that’s not enough, Dermalogica were one of the first skin care companies to understand skin irritants and all Dermalogica products are free from artificial fragrance, artificial colours, SD alcohol and lanolin.
What should I use…
For all skins that are reactive, irritated or sensitised, the Ultracalming range of products is perfect. This range of products can also be used on skins that have been recently resurfaced or for when your skin has flare ups.
Cleanse with Ultracalming™ Cleanser which is gentle PH balanced creamy gel like consistency that cleanses without stripping the skin. You can use the Precleanse Balm as your first cleanse but my suggestion is to omit the use of the cleansing mitt.
The Ultracalming™ cleanser can also be used without water for extremely sensitised skin or as an alternative cleanser when travelling.
Try the Ultracalming™ Mist which is perfect to protect and soothe your skin. Spray over face (with your eyes closed). This mist spray helps to prepare the skin for the third step of your serum or moisturiser.
This is the time to apply your Ultracalming™ Serum Concentrate if your skin is highly sensitised as it is super charged to provide the necessary concentrated ingredients like Sodium Hyaluronate to rehydrate and Tetrapeptides which work to relieve the discomfort and pain of a sensitised skin. For best results, use every day until the sensitisation settles.
Apply your moisturiser. There are a couple of options here, depending on the level of sensitisation, you can use your prescribed Dermalogica moisturiser or you have the option of Barrier Repair. This unique product is waterless and contains essential fatty acids to repair the barrier layer all in a silky silicone formulation to create a shield against the environment. This repairing moisturiser melts into the skin upon contact to instantly soothe, calm and protect.
If you want to reduce the redness look of your skin, then the Redness Relief Primer spf20 is perfect for you. This product counteracts redness by using botanical extracts that provide a sheer green colour to the skin and is great to use prior to make up. Apply after your moisturiser and before make up application.
Step eye care:
The eye area can also be subject to sensitivities. Ultrasmoothing Eye Serum is perfect as it provides a lightweight serum which soothes whilst reducing puffiness and inflammation with a blend of Algae and Chamomile. This product can be used on its own or applied before your Dermalogica eye cream.
Step masque it:
Whilst there is isn't a specific masque in the Ultracalming range of products it is possible to choose from Dermalogica's range of masques. Skin Hydrating Masque which is perfect for stressed skins and packed full of water loving ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid and plant extracts as well as Tomato Seed Oil which is rich in lipids to restore the barrier. The beauty of this masque is that you can apply it all over the face and neck. Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque is another favourite and was once referred to as an "ambulance in a tube" by Victoria Beckham! Its is rich in antioxidants and vitamins and is perfect to use when the skin needs a soothing remedy.
Step sun protection:
Sun protection is of utmost importance for all skins and sensitised skins are no different. Sensitised and sensitive skins can be irritated by the numerous chemicals in sunscreens and with this in mind, Dermalogica have formulated Super Sensitive Shield spf30 which is chemical free with active ingredients of Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide for sun protection. This mineral sunscreen shields the skin from the sun and has the added benefit of botanical extracts helps to hydrate, protect and guard against premature ageing.
Alternatively, choose the Ultra Sensitive Tint spf30 which uses Titanium Dioxide as the active ingredient and the UV smart booster technology which comprises of antioxidant vitamins. Natural Iron Oxides provide a natural tinted colour and the Ultracalming™ Complex calms and soothes the skin.
With such a choice of super soothing products within the Dermalogica range to choose from, your skin will be back on track in no time.
Need more personalised skin advice? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our professional skin therapists can answer any question you may have.
Have a happy spring!
Yours in skin,
The Prodermal Team X