Dry & Sensitive Skin? Here’s What I Did to Help Mine. Hope This S**t Helps…
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For years and years and years, I have dealt with dry, flaky, sensitive skin. I can remember times where I would bend the knee and pray to the eternal (and conniving) skin gods for oily skin because mine was so dry. Any relief was welcome. My bad face days were mounting and my overall tolerance for humankind was diminishing with each passing minute. Every mirror I looked in was disgusting. My foundation looked like one of those photos of a cracked desert landscape. You could actually see my skin peeling. And what I swear were actual canyons in my skin texture.
For reasons I still can’t explain, I didn’t go to a dermatologist for help. Something told me to first take a look at what I was using on my skin. At the time I was using Cetaphil, as I thought it was the best option for sensitive skin. Sensitive? Yes. Dry? Noooooooo!!!!! A thousand times no.
Getting a Handle on Annoying Dry & Sensitive Skin
So, have you heard of elimination diets? Basically, if you think you may have an allergy or intolerance to a certain food, you start out by removing that food from your diet, and after a certain amount of time you reintroduce it to see if you have a reaction. You then find your culprit. Since I was at my wits end with dry, sensitive skin – I decided to see if this method work. It did.
I started with my cleanser since that was the first product to touch my face. I removed the cleanser I had been using, Cetaphil, and replaced it with a new regimen. Doing some research, and taking into account the intensity of the dry skin on my face, I decided to try double cleansing (or, at least my version of it).
My Dry, FLAKY, Sensitive Skin Routine
To conquer and rid myself of dry flaky skin, I used the following method:
1. I started with a moisturizing oil to remove my makeup (all 1,000,000,000,007 layers of it). I chose to use an organic coconut oil. I like Trader Joe’s, but any organic coconut oil will do. I warm up in my hands first and massage onto my face. The oil immediately breaks down all of my makeup including my favorite waterproof mascara. You will now resemble an anime panda from all the mascara and eye makeup running down your face, but it’s okay. Panda goals are part of the experience.
Next, I tissue off the remainder and splash my face with water. And now, part 2 of the double cleanse - I cleanse my face with Dermalogica’s Ultracalming Cleanser. THIS ISN’T SPONSORED! They should, but it’s not. This is honestly the best cleanser for my deeply sensitive skin I have ever used! Applying a cleanser on clean, no makeup skin increases its effectiveness tenfold.
Pro Tip: For an even deeper clean and management of your dry sensitive skin, try using a Clairsonic or other cleansing brush with a soft brush head for sensitive skin types. This also helps the absorption of your skincare routine (and all that f*****g $$$$ you spent at Sephora/Ulta).
The way your skin will feel after double cleansing is simply amazing. The dry skin on my face feels lessened and the tightness I used to have was gone.
2. I then followed with what has turned out to be (God, I hate what I’m about to say…) my Holy Grail product – diluted Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV. You will want to use organic, raw-unfiltered ACV with "The Mother" noted. My fav is Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.
An exfoliating toner, essentially, is what this is. I have found that using acids, specifically Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) for exfoliating has done wonders for my dry skin. Dead skin cells (mmm, yummy) are swept away leaving smooth skin behind.
****** IMPORTANT ****** Before you use Apple Cider Vinegar, you MUST DILUTE IT WITH WATER !!!!
Unless you enjoy having your face burned off.
Remember that happy fun-time scene from Scream Queens, Season 1? You do not want to end up like Ms. Bean with the world's most terrifying at home chemical peel, ever !!!
To avoid this sexy look, just remember to use [3 parts water : 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar]. I keep my mixture in a glass jar (also a fun conversation piece to have on hand - you'll see what I mean when you mix it up) and apply with a cotton ball.
3. Occasionally, I may need a little extra exfoliation, usually only once a month (only if you feel you are extra dry - be careful not to over exfoliate, especially, if you use a cleansing brush). At which time I will also use one of the best cream-based exfoliators I have ever tried! Under $10! Found at Trader Joe's!!! It's their Blueberry & Acai Facial Scrub, and it is better than sex! And, better than that overpriced mascara we all know and love. Drugstore dupe here.
This scrub is also highly concentrated with AHA's due to the blueberry and acai berries. I also like to dilute this a bit too. I make sure my face and fingertips are damp when I apply. Depending on your individual skin type or what personality it is taking on that day, you may choose to dilute more or less. All up to you, babe. Just massage in a circular pattern and rinse off.
4. After exfoliating, I use a pH balancing toner to remove any left over anything. My fav toner is a Korean brand, Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner. I am a lover of K-Beauty. One of the best sites I've found for products and to learn more about the k-beauty routine is Soko Glam, along with their corresponding blog, The Klog. I highly recommend! I find this toner to be very soothing and brightening! In case you were wondering, nope - not sponsored.
5. After toning I move on to the part that every dry skin sufferer craves most - moisture. Moisture! Moisture! If a word could trigger a G-Spot reaction more, Moisture does it for me. Guess what, world? The word "Moist" doesn't gross me out. Not even a little. So there.
I first use a moisturizing essence, then a beauty oil, followed by a moisturizing cream. In that order. Below, I have listed these unsponsord products. Depending on your level of dryness and sensitivity this skincare combination may or may not work for you. It has proven to work wonders for me without any breakouts. I will say, not all beauty oils work for everyone. I recently tried using Sweet Almond Oil under my eyes and in the crow's feet area and found it did break me out a little, so I'm staying away from that from now on. Dr. Pimple Popper haunts my dreams.
Moisturizing Products Used:
Hanskin Hyaluron Skin Essence Treatment (just discovered this a few months ago and in love!)
Farsali Rose Gold Elixir (this is one of those products that received a ridiculous amount of Instahype. But, in all honesty, it is great! Farsali Unicorn Essence? Meh.)
Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance (a staple of mine for almost 10 years)
Well team, that is it. That is how I turned my skin around. I understand you can't just ditch everything you have been using and purchase all new products. So, I will tell you the one thing that made the most difference in the least amount of time was the ACV toner. Try that first. Please leave a comment below. I would to hear your thoughts!