In addition to being sunlight-averse, my skin is also incredibly temperamental, fluctuating between oily and dry with little or no warning. I used to be very aggressive with my skincare in my teens, using alcohol-based toners and Garnier scrubs. Come first year, my skin said enough is enough, and proceeded to burst into rashes and dry spots whenever I used harsh products.
And so began my search for more gentle, yet effective skincare products. I try and look for mildness in all the skin products I use, from makeup remover to hand cream, so that my sensitive skin has no excuse to breakout or burn.
This is a collection of my go-to products in my gentle skincare routine. If you cannot find these, or prefer to look for other options, make sure you’re picking products with limited amounts of alcohol (preferably none), ingredients that are as natural as possible and no colourants.
Lush 9 to 5 Cleansing Lotion 95g – R105.00
Makeup removers, especially the wipes, can be incredibly harsh, not the type of stuff you want anywhere near your face, not to mention your eyes. But ensuring you remove all the dirt and makeup from your face before bed is incredibly important, so look for a soft, kind-to-your-eyes cleanser, oil or makeup remover.
This is a multi-purpose wonder cleanser from Lush that triples as a makeup remover, cleanser and cream. It effectively removes even waterproof makeup and leaves your skin clean and hydrated. I use it on a cotton pad and then massage the remaining product in (once all makeup is off) if I don’t plan to do a full routine of face wash, serum and moisturiser.
The Body Shop Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash 125ml – R125.00
Next step, washing your face. This is where the greatest threat to your skin lies. Cleansers can be very drying to your skin, and can strip away oils that you actually need. If you have very sensitive or dry skin, I suggest a cream product like this one. While it may not lather as well as your old cleanser, I promise your skin will thank you. Cream washes still do the job, but leave your skin soft and cleansed, not squeaky-feeling and dry.
This is my all-time favourite one from my all-time favourite place, The Body Shop. It was politely gifted to me by my boyfriend after one too many weeks of flaky-dry cheeks. Imagining a giant rugby-playing bearded-man walking into The Body Shop and asking for a moisturising face wash always brings a smile to my face. This was the PERFECT thing to sort out my painfully dry face, while still removing the day’s oil.
Suki Suki Naturals Papaya Rose Hydrating Facial Mist 100ml – R220.00
Now for toners. Toners are evil… Well, traditional ones anyway. Rubbing alcohol on your face is surprisingly not good for dry and sensitive skin. Replace your harsh toner with a gentle, hydrating one, or a refreshing facial mist like this one, packed with natural, nourishing ingredients.
The Papaya Rose Hydrating facial mist from Suki Suki Naturals is something everyone who has read Perilously Pale before will know that I love, I’ve even written a first impression on it after I attended the launch of the range. It’s a heavenly-smelling, super fine spray that has really improved how dry my face was. I spray it on my face first thing out of the shower, and really feel like I can see results.
Eucerin Hand Cream
Your hands are on show all throughout the day. When you write, shake hands or pay for something, you’re using your hands to do so, looking after them is therefore so necessary. I try to make it a habit to put on hand cream every time I wash my hands, to soften my skin, moisturise my nails and prevent my cuticles from tearing.
This is my go-to hand cream, I put it on every night before bed because it can be slightly oily and creamy-feeling. I wake up with super smooth hands and no rips or tears in the skin around my nails. For during the day, I prefer a thinner, quick-absorbing cream. If you struggle to remember to put hand cream on, pop one in your car or next to your hand wash to remind yourself.
Skintopia Body Butter 250ml – R220.00
A thick, nourishing body butter is imperative for soft skin. I suffer from sensitive skin on my arms as well as my face, so I try to use body butters with natural ingredients like this one. It’s packed full of delicious oils to soothe and moisturise your skin. I also enjoy the she one from The Body Shop.
This particular one is from Dullstroom’s Skintopia, a great local store that has divine body butters made from all sorts of oils. This one has lasted me ages, and really helps me keep my skin soft during winter.
Eucerin Lip Balm 10ml – R73.95
Anyone who has dry skin knows that the first thing to start suffering is your lips. First they look ashy, then they go chapped, then the dreaded peeling starts. A good quality lip balm is something you should look at investing in if you struggle with dryness. It also improves the application and longevity of lipstick.
Yes, yes, yes. R74 for a lip balm is insane. But the tube lasts forever and was the first product I found that made my lips look and feel fine. It’s a thick gel-like consistency that doesn’t spread around your mouth. One weird thing to note is that I sort of feel like my lips become dependent on it, if it’s the only lip balm I use. They become chapped a lot more quickly if I forget to use it.
I’m always on the lookout for new products to help my dryness, and skincare that is compatible with sensitive, combination skin. If you guys have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Please come follow me on Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram, and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter.
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