Welcoming the Uninvited Guest: Sensitive Skin
SENSITIVE SKIN IS A SKIN CONDITION, NOT A SKIN TYPE
Let's be clear: sensitive skin is a condition, not a skin type. It's like that party guest who drinks all the punch and then complains about the hangover. It's caused by a bunch of factors, from the weather to your genes, and even the skincare products you've been using.
Breaking Down Barriers: Anyone Can Be Sensitive
Where You Live CAN AFFECT YOUR SKIN
The 3 Phases Of Sensitive Skin
Phase 1: The Repair Stage
Classic Symptoms of Broken Barrier
Here are five tell-tale signs that your skin barrier might be compromised and begging for a “skincare diet”:
Increased Sensitivity: If your skin starts reacting to products it used to tolerate well, it's a clear sign something's up. You might notice redness, irritation, or even a stinging sensation after applying your usual skincare products. Sometimes, even water burns your skin.
Dryness and Dehydration: Your skin barrier is crucial for retaining moisture. If it's damaged, your skin might feel unusually dry or tight, despite your best moisturizing efforts.
Redness and Inflammation: If your skin looks constantly flushed or feels warm to the touch, it could be a sign of inflammation caused by a disrupted skin barrier.
Rough Texture: Healthy skin should feel smooth to the touch. If it's rough or flaky, it's likely your skin barrier needs some TLC.
Breakouts: A compromised skin barrier can lead to an imbalance in your skin's microbiome, leading to more frequent breakouts. If you're noticing more pimples than usual, it might be time for a skincare diet.
LIFESTYLE CHOICES THAT LAND YOU IN THE REPAIR PHASE
Not sure if you're in the “Repair Phase?”
Here are five scenarios that could land you in The Repair Phase:
Overzealous Exfoliation: If you've gotten a bit too enthusiastic with your exfoliating routine and your skin is feeling raw and irritated, you're a prime candidate for the Repair phase. Time to put away the exfoliation tools and let your skin recuperate.
Post-Procedural Care: If you've recently undergone a cosmetic procedure like a chemical peel or laser treatment, your skin will be delicate and in need of some extra care. The Repair phase is a perfect opportunity to give it the attention it needs.
Harsh Product Reaction: Sometimes, our skin doesn't react well to certain products. If you've tried something new and your skin has responded with redness, dryness, or inflammation, it's time to simplify your routine and enter the Repair phase.
Extreme Weather Conditions: Both winters and scorching summers can wreak havoc on our skin, causing it to become dry, red, and sensitive. If you've recently been exposed to harsh weather conditions, your skin might be crying out for some repair phase love.
Over-cleansing: Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too clean when it comes to your skin. Over-cleansing can strip your skin of its natural oils and disrupt the skin barrier, leaving it sensitive and vulnerable. If you've been a bit washing your face like you clean your kitchen, your skin might need to check into the Repair phase for a bit.
HOW LONG DO I NEED TO BE IN THE REPAIR PHASE?
The length of The Repair Phase can vary significantly depending on the extent of the skin barrier damage and your individual skin's healing rate.
As a general guideline, you should expect to stay in this stage for about 30 to 90 days. I have put severe clients in the repair phase for about 6 months. It really depends.
Remember, skin rejuvenation is not a sprint, it's a marathon. It's crucial to be patient with your skin during this phase and give it the time it needs to properly heal and rejuvenate.
However, everyone's skin is different, and some may see improvements sooner rather than later than this timeframe.
If you don't notice any improvements after a few weeks, or if your skin continues to worsen, it may be beneficial to seek advice from a dermatologist as you may have something else going on you may not be considering.
Phase 2: The Maintenance Phase
After successfully navigating the repair stage, you're ready to embark on The Maintenance Phase.
Think of it as a beautifully restored piece of art. You've painstakingly repaired the damage, and now it's all about preserving that masterpiece.
HOW LONG IS THE MAINTENANCE PHASE?
The Maintenance Phase's duration can vary greatly and largely depends on your skin's individual needs and how it responds to your gentle skincare routine.
Some people may find that they need to stay in this phase for a few months, while others might need to remain in this phase indefinitely, especially if they have conditions like rosacea or eczema. (I personally live in this phase 60% of the year, as I suffer from rosacea.)
The key here is to listen to your skin. If it's showing signs of improved health and resilience, you might be ready to introduce a few more active ingredients and move towards the third phase, the Glow phase.
However, if your skin is still showing signs of sensitivity, it's best to stick with a gentle, nourishing routine of the maintenance phase for a few months.
Remember, healthy skin is a journey, not a destination. It's all about finding what works best for your unique skin and maintaining its health and balance over the long term.
PHASE 3: THE GLOW PHASE
Cue the confetti because we've made it to the Glow phase! Your skin is feeling healthier than ever, radiating confidence, and ready to step into the skincare limelight.
This is the time to really show your skin some love.
Start introducing products that cater to aging concerns, and yes, you can even tolorate some lightly fragranced products if your skin agrees. Consider this your skincare graduation party!
However, just like the life of any party knows, moderation is the secret sauce to a good time. So, even though your skin is living its best life, remember not to go overboard. Always listen to your skin and adjust your routine as needed.
YOUR GLOW PHASE IS HIGHLY PERSONAL
The Glow phase is like the grand finale in your sensitive skin journey.
Keep in mind, though, just like every epic journey, the route and the destination can look different for everyone.
Here are a few general indicators that your skin may be ready to party in the Glow phase:
Skin Resilience: Your skin is no longer overly reactive or easily irritated by new products or environmental factors.
Improved Texture: Your skin has a smooth, soft texture, and any previous roughness or dry patches are things of the past.
Consistent Hydration: Your skin maintains a healthy level of hydration and rarely feels tight or parched.
Decreased Redness: Redness, inflammation, or any other signs of irritation have significantly reduced or completely disappeared.
Tolerance to Active Ingredients: You can use products with active ingredients, like exfoliants and retinol, without experiencing many negative reactions.
Healthy Radiance: Above all, your skin has a natural, healthy glow to it, showing that it's in its happy place.
HOW LONG WILL I BE IN THE GLOW PHASE?
The Glow phase can last as long as your skin feels healthy and resilient, but it's important to remember that this phase can vary for everyone.
As a result, it's key to adapt your Sonia Roselli skincare routine according to the phase your skin is currently in at any given moment.
Sensitive skin can be a bit of a chameleon, frequently transitioning between the Repair, Maintenance, and Glow phases.
One day you're basking in the Glow phase, and the next, you might find yourself back in the Repair phase.
But here's the comforting news: this is perfectly normal. Factors like seasonal changes, stress, diet, and environmental conditions can all influence your skin's state.
The golden rule? Adapt your skincare routine to your skin's needs each day. Don't mimic someone else's skin care routine based on their skin type. Instead, personalize your skincare routine to match your skin's daily demands.
You might find that your skin needs a few days or weeks in the Repair phase to calm down, and then you might spend a few weeks in the Maintenance phase before returning to the Glow phase.
This transition between stages is not just acceptable—it's beneficial.
The real secret to healthy skin lies in treating it differently each day with products your skin knows and loves.
Remember, your skincare routine should be as unique as you are, not what everyone on social media tells you to do.
With this simple framework, you'll be better at getting the skin you've always dreamed of.
I hope this helps you on your journey of healthy skin.
Esthetician & Professional Makeup Artist