If you have sensitive skin and you are over 50, you know finding good anti-aging skincare can be tricky. Many of today’s top anti-aging performance ingredients are just too active for your sensitive skin. This can cause reactions and irritation which are counter productive for your skin’s longevity goals.
The most successful long range Longevity skincare plans include high performance active ingredients like – Retinols, Vitamin C, exfoliating acids, growth factors, peptides, antioxidants, moisturizing creams and sunscreen. But if your skin is super-sensitive the trial and error phase can be expensive, painful, and sometimes unsightly as sensitized skin can become itchy, stingy, red, and inflamed. How do you avoid these unwanted outcomes?
Remember: Inflammation is pro-aging so we want to avoid it. Another name for this process is called inflammaging. In short: Inflammation + aging = inflammaging. Inflammaging is a term used to describe aging induced by chronic, persistent, underlying inflammation that ultimately exhausts the skin’s defense system. This weakens skin structures, results in the degradation of collagen and elastin and impairs the skin’s barrier function. One of the most impactful things one can do to slow the effects of aging is to find ways to get off the hamster wheel of inflammaging.
Usually, the threat subsides and the alarm shuts off. However, if the threat is persistent, the alarm is triggered over and over until eventually it just stays on. This leaves the skin in a constant state of low-grade inflammation that continues to damage skin cells.
HOW TO CHOOSE LONGEVITY PRODUCTS FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
LESS IS MORE when it comes to sensitive skincare; especially rosacea. If you choose to use some of the products I’m recommending you may find you need to skip or modify those top anti-aging actives, substituting with milder options.
ONE AT A TIME The products I will be recommending are great options, but don’t start everything all at once. You may need to wait several days in between starting each new product. If you go with everything at once and you have a reaction it will be very difficult to figure out which product is the culprit. And when having a major flare-up of rosacea, you need to go back to the bare minimum which is a gentle cleanser, an alcohol free toner and a simple moisturizer. Gradually adding products to build your routine.
CHOOSE CREAMY formulations especially if you have dry skin.
Sensitive skin often means a damaged skin barrier (the lipids on the skin’s surface and between the stratum corneum surface cells that protect you from environmental irritants). Sudsy cleansers usually contain surfactants which are detergents that strip your skin of it’s natural barrier protection.
AVOID FRAGRANCES as fragrances can spur irritation. Look for unscented or fragrance-free products. Essential oils may be “natural” but you are more likely to react to them. So check your labels.
STAY AWAY FROM CITRUS BASED PRODUCTS as they can be irritants to some of us with sensitive skin. I am speaking from personal experience here.
LOOK FOR HYDRATING INGREDIENTS. Hyaluronic acids are good because they attract water to the skin. Glycerin, hyaluronic acid and ceramides deliver an extra boost of moisture while aloe vera and soy can feel soothing.
WATCH THE ANTI-AGERS. Wait! What? I know, this is a post about anti-aging skincare products however, some acids can be too harsh for sensitive skin. Ingredients like glycolic and lactic acids can strip our already dry skin of the oil it needs.
BUILD A BETTER BARRIER. Sensitive skin usually means you have a compromised barrier. Aside from using gentler products you need to add barrier building serums and a good night cream that contains skin fortifying lipids.
So without further ado here are the products you should consider when adding to your Longevity skincare routine:
BEST CLEANSERS FOR SENSITIVE SKIN:
Cleansers can often be drying and irritating for your sensitive skin. Choose one that is non-foaming. Your skin should feel comfortable after cleansing. It should not feel tight or irritated. While double cleansing can be great for makeup removal a single cleans is your best bet in the morning. If you need to double cleans at night you might want to stick with the same cleanser, just use it twice.
Calming Chamomile Cleanser is a very soothing option for dry/sensitive skin. Chamomile has been used for decades to calm redness, sooth and hydrate. Although rare, there are clients who are sensitive to chamomile, you should just be mindful of this if you are one of those clients.
Aloeclens is super popular cleanser for combination/oily sensitive skins. It smooths, hydrates and calms sensitive skin. That is why it's such a popular ingredient for sunburned skin. The best aloe products are made from cold processed aloe - meaning the aloe is never heated during formulation. Heat kills the beneficial ingredients found in aloe.
BEST TONERS FOR SENSITIVE SKIN:
Toners can be useful for sensitive skin. They not only remove the left over cleanser that can cause a reactions when left sitting on your skin but have ingredients that sooth and hydrate your skin. A good non-alcoholic toner will also remove drying minerals from your the tap water that you used to wash your face. Minerals (like sodium, chlorine and fluoride) that can weaken an already impaired barrier.
Stress Recovery Toning Mist is our go to toner for red, inflamed skin. It’s particularly effective for sensitive skin prone to breakouts. It helps decongest dilated capillaries to reduce redness and irritation. The Guta Kola, Matte and Guarana extracts used inhibit the signs of sensitivity and help heal skin, via improved circulation.
Rainwater Moisture Mist is an extremely gentle hydrating toner which is particularly effective for sensitive, mature, dry skin. Rainwater Moisture Mist contains a cocktail of skin friendly moisture magnates. These ingredients have a high affinity for skin structures and are able to grab onto moisture droplets and carry them to the deeper layers of the skin.
BEST SUNSCREEN FOR SENSITIVE SKIN:
Gentle Screen is a mineral based sunscreen that focuses on micro-milled zinc oxide. This mineral stays closer to the skin’s surface to deflect the sun’s rays. Because it is less absorbed by the skin it is less likely to cause a reaction. It does not hold onto heat in the skin as other sunscreens can, therefore your skin gets less red and feels more comfortable.
BEST MOISTURIZERS FOR SENSITIVE SKIN:
Seawhip Soothing Lotion is a super popular, super lightweight soothing moisturizer for sensitive skin. This deeply moisturizing fluid supports the repair of protective bio-lipids that protect and calm sensitive skin. Sea Whip is a sea plant that provides the most potent soothing and anti-inflammatory action that we know of to date.
The Pink Cream is an Elizabeth Renee classic that suits most normal to dry sensitive skins. This is a fairly bland formula of super hydrating ingredients. Bland is good for sensitive skin. That means, although it’s super hydrating and soothing it doesn’t contain aggressive actives that may sensitize your delicate skin.
BEST VITAMIN C ALTERNATIVE:
Sunrise Solution provides polyphenol antioxidants to your skin. These antioxidants are the most calming antioxidants to protect your skin from environmental aggressors that damage and contribute to premature aging. Polyphenols are great for calming the skin while increasing the efficacy of your sunscreen.
BEST RETINOID ALTERNATIVE FOR SENSITIVE SKIN:
Retinol Resurfacing Treatment is a gentler form of retinol based on a unique liposomal delivery system that infuses slowly released retinol to avoid irritation. Retinol has receptors in the skin, make it very effective. As it filters down through skin it stimulates new cell production and regeneration of collagen and elastin.
BEST EXFOLIATING ACID (AHA) ALTERNATIVE:
Sensitive skin isn’t always thinner skin. If the surface of your skin is dull and dry some gentle exfoliation might be necessary. However, acids can be too strong for your sensitive skin and scrubs can be hash. Try instead, exfoliating enzymes to dissolve old worn out cells and reveal newer, fresher skin.
BEST SENSITIVE SKIN HYDRATORS:
Hydraessence is an oil free hydrating serum based on hyaluronic acid. This is not an exfoliating acid but a serum containing the top moisture holding humectant - hyaluronic acid. Our formula combines hyaluronic acid with cold processed aloe vera to calm, hydrate and cushion sensitive skin.
Stem Stim is a hydrating serum using hyaluronic acid but also contains growth factors. STEM STIM's cocktail of repair factors stimulate stronger skin by reducing inflammation, re-energizing sleepy stem cells and providing enzymes necessary to enhance regeneration of healthy skin cells. Our top Longevity inducing formula.
BEST BARRIER REPAIR:
Environmental Protection is a life saver for sensitive, parched, dry skin. You will love this effective skin smoothing facial oil. It has a unique silicone matrix that settles into skin’s natural valleys, evening its surface texture. Skin-fortifying lipids sink into damaged areas between cells, creating a healthier and smoother complexion.
BEST MASK FOR SENSITIVE SKIN:
This is not your typical masque. Azulene Soothing Masque is a non-drying, calming gel masque based on azulene to instantly calm, soothe and take the red out of your skin. It’s my go to product for sunburns or post reactive incidences. Try it cold from the fridge.
Hope this was helpful in your journey toward stronger, healthier, more resilient skin.
Elizabeth believes in "Longevity Skincare", the idea that beautiful skin can endure throughout one's lifetime when utilizing the best that science and nature has to offer. LONGEVITY is a science-based skincare line that appreciates skin of all ages. LONGEVITY by Elizabeth Renee provides hydration, nutrition and protection from environmental aging. Your skin will receive high performance ingredients to help energize and repair its cells, resulting in a healthy skin with an enduring, vital glow.