Tips for sensitive skin that work

No vague tips like “eating healthy”. Here are actual tips that work.

How many of us have experienced troubled skin?

When I was younger, I had blemish-free skin. Things changed after I started work. I narrowed it down to stress and exposure to alcoholic drinks.

I went from living a very healthy and regular lifestyle to drinking with friends and colleagues and dealing with an irregular schedule.

First skin nightmare

My first skin nightmare started when I was 22. I broke out into huge red spots on only one side of my face.

I went from living a very healthy and regular lifestyle to drinking with friends and colleagues and dealing with an irregular schedule.

I tried the usual remedies: cleaning up visible dust, changing pillow cases, chugging green tea, and avoiding dairy products.

For days, I avoided seeing my family without makeup.

One day, my father said to me gently to see a dermatologist. He’d pay for the visit.

So I visited a dermatologist from the National University Hospital Singapore. I paid about SGD100-200.

Sadly, my experience was terrible. I was diagnosed (wrongly) with adult acne.   

When I asked the doctor why I only had acne on one side of my face, he said, “Well, only God knows.” It was a very unscientific answer and I felt that he did not take my concerns seriously.

Over the past few years, I learned what works for me and what does not. Here are the tips which really worked for me and my sensitive skin.

1. Know if it’s acne or an allergy

The diagnosis I received from the dermatologist was inaccurate.

I was given a topical steroid to use on my face and a treatment called clindamycin gel.

I had an adverse reaction to the creams which included peeling and itching skin. It took a long time before I felt the irritation really subsided.

Take a look at these side effects of using topical steroids.

I felt my skin was really damaged for a while. Since I did not apply the cream to my entire face and only the areas with bumps, I could see that the patch of skin was affected adversely by the steroids. The skin quality felt different and was more sensitive. I felt the worst culprit was the clindamycin gel.

I eventually found out that I did not have acne. I noticed that my skin was not red and itchy in the morning, but was red and on the verge of breaking out in the evenings after work.

I realized it was the Dior Nude powder compact that was affecting my skin!

After I stopped using the powder compact, my “acne” disappeared.

My only advice here is to really make sure you are actually suffering from acne and to closely observe any adverse reactions from using cosmetic products or your diet.

If you get “acne”, examine your lifestyle (has there been any changes recently?) and other symptoms (are you feeling unwell in other areas of your body?).

Before you figure out your answers, don’t go to the derm.

woman girl beauty mask
Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

2. For sensitive skin, refrigerate skincare products

I still got bouts of pimples randomly, especially after drinking alcohol. They would be really deep cysts and my scars would not heal properly.

I also noticed that as I aged, my skin looked drier.

As my skin got drier, it also got more sensitive and breakouts started to occur.

Now, I think I know what works. First of all, Peter Thomas Roth products have been great for my sensitive skin and any acne marks.

The Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Gel Mask reviewed here has been really effective.

The trick I discovered was to refrigerate skincare products.

Excess heat is an enemy of sensitive skin and when I consume alcohol, my face heats up a little. This exacerbates the effects of drinking alcoholic drinks.

But by applying a cool gel, especially the rose stem cell mask, I was able to reduce the sensitivity and reactivity of my skin.

Some beauty gurus suggest massaging or tapping the product into your skin. Big mistake for people with sensitive skin – any massages, excess rubbing, and even the heat from my hands can flare up pimples and flaws.

If you REALLY need to touch your face, do it with cooled products or frozen spoons.

I noticed that when I travel to cool climates, such as Korea, I have no skin issues. I attribute it to the cool air decreasing the sensitivity of my skin to my cosmetics and reducing oil produced.

spilled bottle of yellow capsule pills
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

3. Random discovery: spamming fish oil pills

It was a totally unexpected discovery, but I noticed my skin quality increasing after taking fish oil pills: inflammation decreased, scars cleared up, and my skin looked like it was back in its early twenties!

There are tons of studies online that shows that omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation (when your body fights something harmful and may cause the affected area to be red and hot).

I also noticed that I had less mood swings, especially pre-period. I felt less tired. I assumed I was just happy or excited to get out of bed, but I realized it may be the fish oil pills.

I should have known that dry skin, brittle hair and nails, mood swings, and fatigue are all signs of lacking omega-3 fatty acids. The most telling sign is that I have extremely brittle nails.

I only made the connection to lacking fatty acids when I saw my skin clearing up after eating pills regularly.

If you’re suffering from the same symptoms I had, know that this worked for me. I strongly recommend Blackmores and any of their products containing marine omega-3 fatty acids.

Some brands of fish oil pills and vitamins give really unpleasant smelling belches and nausea, but I have not experienced any negative effects from Blackmores’, especially if they’re fresh pills and refrigerated.

I seem to sleep better as well.

If you have issues with your skin, try having the recommended amount of fish oil pills or less daily and green tea.

There was no way I could have eaten that much omega-3 fatty acids in my natural diet. Realistically, it’s costly to have fish every day. Moreover, it’s difficult to cook and prepare food as I am working. When I’m working, I also find it difficult to eat enough healthy food due to a lack of time. Therefore, supplements are a really good investment.

Hopefully, these tips help you live a healthier life!

Estetica Beauty’s ést.lab Skincare Products vs Klairs and Peter Thomas Roth

Sensitive skin makes the search for suitable beauty products more difficult.

I’m back from a short break in Korea!

Before I go into this review, here are some beliefs I hold about skin care. They may be unique to me, but I believe this applies to many people.

Personally, the quality of my skin is directly affected by these three factors: sleep, diet, and exercise. My skincare has a lot less impact on my skin. For instance, I could use the most suitable products for my skin and still look like death after only three hours of sleep.

I don’t expect my skincare products to be a miracle cure. I think products ideally should just maintain my skin as I’m in aircon all the time. So as long as I wake up and my skin looks rested and plump, I’m good.

Sometimes it’s all about the experience. Between two products that maintain my skin reasonably well, I’d go for the product that feels more luxurious.

Review time! 💄

estetica-klairs

Klairs and Estetica products

Recently, I was gifted some Estetica Beauty products (read all about the experience here).

My skin woes: Sensitive skin, itchy scar area on right cheek from an old wound, pimple scarring.

The products recommended by Estetica Beauty are for sensitive skin users like me.

1. Serum

estetica-vs-klairs

Background: I’ve been using Klairs for some time. My friends gave Klair’s Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop raving reviews so I thought I would give that a go. But after applying about 85 percent of the bottle, my skin started itching slightly and turning a little patchy and red after each application.

I switched to Klairs’ soothing moist serum this time. The first few applications went kind of well, but the serum dried quickly and also left me with dry itching skin. Still, mixed with my usual moisturizer, it worked fine.

With ést.lab’s Ultra Hyalusol Serum, I can worry a little less about the itching.

The consistency of this serum feels like any watery and hydrating serum, but it spreads super easily on my face. Overall? I would repurchase it.

Niacinamide lovers, gather!

est-lab-ultra-hyalusol-serum-ingredients
The ingredients

I was happy to know that ést.lab’s serum and cream both contain an ingredient called niacinamide, which treats complexion issues.

Years ago, I used a product with niacinamide from Ponds and my skin was really nice. I never found a good replacement so I was quite happy when I read the ingredients list!

2. Cream

I fell in love the first time I saw Peter Thomas Roth in Sephora – it gives the feeling of sheer luxury, from the appearance of the jar to the texture and smell of the cream.

Peter-thomas-roth-faves
Here are my favorite skincare products from Peter Thomas Roth.

Overall, my Peter Thomas Roth creams did a lot to improve my skin.

The Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer did brighten and moisturize my skin without any itching. It’s a reliable pick-me-up. Still, I was probably overzealous in applying the cream, which would make my skin slightly oily the next day.

The rose stem cell bio-repair gel mask is another winner. The first time I applied it, I felt tingling on my face that was not unpleasant. My skin did not react to the gel which was great.

When I woke up the next day after using this gel mask overnight, my complexion was clear and felt “translucent”. I was really excited and exclaimed, “Where are my pores?”

Instructions were to use the mask two to three times a week. The texture of this gel mask is also more suitable for masking than applying as a day and night cream.

Overall, I recommend Peter Thomas Roth very much.

Search for an all-purpose cream for sensitive skin

Nonetheless, a moisturizing cream for simple day-to-day use is quite elusive – it shouldn’t react with further treatments like the gel mask by Peter Thomas Roth, and it should be good enough as a standalone moisturizer.

Previous creams I’ve enjoyed are from La Roche Posay, which is another helpful brand for sensitive skin. Yet, I never felt like I received any bang for my buck. La Roche Posay doesn’t plump up my skin.

est-lab-cream

Can this Anti-Stress Hydra Cream be better than my creams from Peter Thomas Roth?

At least with ést.lab’s sensitive skin line, I know there’s niacinamide, so it’s not only moisturizing and maintaining.

est-lab-anti-stress-hydra-cream-ingredients

ést.lab’s Anti-Stress Hydra Cream also comes in a fairly attractive package.

After a few weeks of using it, my verdict is that it’s a great, basic cream that suits all types of weather. I used it in both Korea and Singapore.

The only con: as it is creamy, unlike the cooling serum, I have to rub the moisturizer in a bit which generates heat and makes my skin redder.

Would I repurchase this? I think the serum is actually really suitable for my skin, but the cream is more basic. I’d encourage people to give the cream a go for sensitive skin. Otherwise, I’d keep going for ést.lab’s Ultra Hyalusol Serum and top it off with more Peter Thomas Roth products.