I have some of the most dry, sensitive skin I know. When I was little, I loved the idea of face masks and pamper sessions. I thought there was nothing more grown-up than a spa day. As anyone with sensitive skin can and will loudly tell you: sensitive skin doesn’t like things on it. Even diy face masks containing nothing but oats, milk, and honey would cause a reaction on my face.
It wasn’t until I turned twenty that I decided that I really really should start taking better care of my skin. We’ve only got one skin so might as well look after it.
A bit of background on my skin before I get into my fave products so you can see what I have to work with and why I’ve gotta take care of it:
My skin is super pale, super dry, and super sensitive. That leads to me being super prone to flakes, dry patches, rashes, sunburn, and premature wrinkles. Oh and there’s a history of skin cancer in my family so that’s another factor to take in.
And when I say super dry, I mean s u p e r d r y. The sahara desert ain’t got nothing on my skin. My sensitivity comes from a severe pollen allergy, so I have to avoid anything that boasts being “natural” and “chemical free”
looking at you, lush.
I don’t wash my face with water every day. Doing so would dry out my face more than it already is. When I shower (every other day), I used the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser *.
This is one of the only face washes that doesn’t break out my skin in rashes. It’s super gentle but also removes makeup if you were too lazy to remove it the night before (guilty!). My only complaint is that it kinda smells like soggy cucumbers but you get used to it after a while. Also I canNOT find it anywhere Germany so when my parents come visit I get them to bring a tube over.
On days when I don’t shower, I cleanse my face with the Body Shop’s Vitamin E Cream Cleanser.
All you do is squirt a glob onto your hands, massage it into your face, and then wipe off the excess with a cotton pad. Not using water to get rid of the cleanser is super great for my dryness. Plus you don’t have to get the entire upper half of your body wet when you try to rinse off the cleanser. If you want to remove the cleanser a lil extra you can use a toner on the cotton pad to help.
I have absolutely no idea what a toner is. I think they differ depending on your skin type / skin concerns. Who knows. Either way, I’m using the word toner to denote the less viscous liquid that I put on my face prior to moisturizers / creams / oils. This is where I switch it up between any of these four:
- The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Hydrating Toner
- this one is more oily but it works well to remove the cleanser
- The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid *
- this one is a bit more sticky and it can clump underneath certain moisturizers
- Hanskin’s Real Complexion Hyaluron Skin Essence *
- My friend didn’t like this one so she gave it to me and I really really like it
- my personal fave, the most moisturizing and best texture
- Muji’s Light Toning Water in High Moisture
- not much different from the Hanskin one tbh. I have the mini size so it is travel-appropriate
I just pour a lil dribble onto my fingers (clean!) and gently rub / pat it into my freshly-cleansed skin. I then take a hand fan (or sometimes I just use my hands) to dry them a little – not too much otherwise my skin will flake. Now the moisturisers / sun creams.
the daytime moisturizing
I cannot stress the importance of spf enough. E s p e c i a l l y if there is a history of skin cancer in your family. I do not leave the house without some form of spf on my face. Even if it is cloudy. My two preferred sunscreens are:
- The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Moisture-Protect Emulsion with SPF 30 PA+++
- Klairs’ Soft Airy UV Essence with SPF50+ PA++++
The Body Shop’s sunscreen can sting my face a littttttle bit if I apply it right after showering, but otherwise it’s alright for sensitive skin. Pretty much all sunscreens (yes even sunscreen for babies) make my face burn (not from the sun but from the sunscreen itself) so a sting is something I can deal with. This one is also a bit more greasy as it doesn’t absorb / dry out super quick but on dry days that is really nice. The Klairs sunscreen is much more suited for normal to dry skin, as it dries down quite quickly, but it doesn’t sting my face so I often mix it in with a bit of extra moisturizer to get a moisture and spf kick.
And now onto my non-spf moisturisers. I either mix these in with my sunscreen or use them in a combination with my oils at night. I have tried so many moisturisers and these were the ones that my face accepted:
- The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream for Dry Skin
- The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream for All Skin Types
- Fresh’s Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream *
In all honesty, they are all very similar. The Fresh one is a bit less moisturising but very nice during the hotter parts of the summer.
I like to use oils at night to really pack in some moisture. Unfortunately I sleep on my stomach so my pillow is usually more moisturized than my face. It’s the intent that counts I guess.
Sometimes I mix this with a regular moisturizer and wear it during the day. Also!! This one is dirt cheap in comparison to the others but equally as effective. This is a natural rosehip oil so if you’re like me and have pollen allergies, I’d suggest testing it out first. For some reason my skin agreed with this one.
This is technically a serum-in-oil, whatever that means. This one is my favourite to use at night because it sinks in the fastest and keeps ya moisturized all night long.
It’s a run of the mill oil but still very nice. The only thing is, it can sting a bit if I put it on right after the shower but if there’s a layer of something else on my skin beforehand it’s fine.
Super duper intense oil. However, it’s my least used one. It’s good and very moisturizing but soooo heavy. This can be beneficial in winter or when I’m ill. Or when I’m ill during the winter and my nose is so dry it’s about to fall off my face.
the face masks
I was never one for face masks. Mostly because I couldn’t use them and when I found one that didn’t irritate my skin it was usually completely useless. Until!! I found these masks that really moisturise my skin and make me feel like I’ve actually got my life together. The two key components of a face mask, tbh.
Man oh man I have never put something so moisturizing and so long-lasting on my face. I put it on at like 9pm and by 7am I still can feel moisture in my skin!! That never happens with other masks and moisturisers. I also like that this one is no-rinse. It’s basically just an intense moisturiser which my laziness loves.
This is my Sunday night pamper mask. It’s the first fancy mask that I’ve owned and I love it. It’s not as moisturising as the body shop one but it just feels so nice and soothing and it doesn’t dry out my skin once I rinse it away.
I have been using this for years and it is the only makeup remover powerful enough for waterproof mascara and gentle enough to not make me break out in hives. I would always find that after a little while when using other makeup remover products, my face would slowly start to break out in rashes which would then disappear once I used this again.
I hope you enjoyed this little insight into how I care for my skin! If you’d want to read about a proper routine at any point, let me know!
* = affiliate links. Read more about affiliate links here.