How to relieve irritated skin
Pollution, cold, wind, UV rays, oxidative stress, etc. So many factors can threaten the balance of your skin, leading to redness, prickling sensations, tightness, itching, flaking, and skin that feels rough and dry. Read on and learn more about how to soothe irritations, so your skin can feel comfortable again.
What causes skin irritation?
Naturally sensitive skin
If you have dry, sensitive, or easily irritated, atopic skin, it means that your skin's barrier is fragile and unbalanced. Consequently, it can no longer fulfil its protective role. Your skin often feels tight, is prone to redness and flaking, and needs very rich, repairing skincare to restore calm and comfort. If your skin is naturally dry or sensitive, it's essential that you take extra special care of it! In order to prevent redness and irritation, you'll need to keep your skin protected against environmental aggressors.
Sensitizing factors and triggers
Certain lifestyle habits and environmental factors can contribute to skin irritations. These include pollution, sun exposure, smoking, alcohol, an unbalanced diet, and fatigue – all of which can upset the balance of your skin barrier. As a result, your skin becomes more sensitive and reactive.
Skin irritation can be caused by chronic skin conditions such as eczema. In this case, it's essential to identify the cause of the reaction and apply a topical treatment to problem areas. This could be a repairing cream or a treatment prescribed by a dermatologist. You should also make sure you use gentle cosmetic products rich in soothing active ingredients.
What's the best skincare routine for irritated skin?
Irritated skin needs lots of extra-gentle care. To rid it of impurities, look for gentle cleansers that are suitable for sensitive skin.
In the evening, use the double cleansing method, with two complementary products to gently and effectively cleanse your skin. Begin with an oil-based makeup remover such as Le Baume Céleste to lift away makeup, pollution and excess sebum. Rinse off, then follow with a water-based cleanser. Our La Crème Douce Démaquillante cleansing cream is perfect. You can use it with a Konjac sponge to remove any traces of dirt, dust and sweat, along with any lingering makeup.
In the morning, there's no need to use a cleansing product, or you'll risk drying out your skin. You can simply spray your face with a thermal water, floral water, toner, or a facial mist like La Brume Systémique, to wake it up. Packed with natural active ingredients, this certified-organic, bi-phase mist hydrates, soothes and regulates.
Irritated skin needs lots of protection, so it's the perfect candidate for the Japanese layering technique, which consists (you guessed it...) of applying several different layers of skincare. In the morning, a protective serum followed by a rich cream and a few drops of oil will give your skin the hydration, comfort and nourishment it needs for the day. In the evening, treat your skin to a regenerating mask, so it can soak up the benefits overnight. Try mixing 4-5 drops of the Addiction oil with our intense hydration mask, Le Masque Velours Repulpant, then massage into your skin for a few minutes. You'll wake up to skin that feels plumped, rehydrated and perfectly nourished.
To really drench your skin in hydration, look no further than Le Sérum Anti-Soif. Enriched with Aloe Vera gel and extracts of Alpine Skullcap and Elderberry Flower, this certified-organic, antioxidant, hydrating serum helps to regulate your skin and protect it from environmental aggressors. Apply to clean skin morning and evening, before your favorite moisturizing cream.
Look after your hands and lips
Your hands and lips can be particularly prone to irritation. The skin in these areas is fine and fragile, and needs specific protection.
If you struggle with chapped or flaking lips, make them feel better with Le Baume. This certified-organic balm is enriched with kind, caring ingredients such as skin-softening Calendula, nourishing Perilla oil, and antioxidant Marula oil. Together, they form a protective shield, soothe and repair. Ideal for the lips, this balm can also be used on any areas prone to dryness, such as the end of the nose, cheekbones, cuticles, etc.
Our top tips to help prevent skin irritation
Drink lots of water
While cosmetic products will hydrate the upper layers of the epidermis and help your skin hold in moisture, it's still very important to hydrate your skin from within. Drinking water helps to balance the skin's hydrolipidic film, and also has lots of health benefits that you're no doubt well aware of! Aim to drink at least 1.5 liters of water a day to limit the risk of skin dehydration and help your skin to flush out toxins. If you find it difficult to drink water during the day, there's an easy solution: drink herbal teas and infusions instead! They're naturally caffeine-free, can be drunk throughout the day, and – unlike traditional tea – don't prevent the absorption of iron. They're also a more eco-friendly alternative to regular tea, as the plants used to make them don't necessarily come from the other side of the planet! Look for organic herbal teas and infusions, and why not select a few different flavors, so you can always choose the right one for the right time? Lavender and Linden are perfect for soothing stress, Burdock can help with skin problems, Peppermint is good for easing digestion, Chamomile is known to promote sleep, etc. There's bound to be at least one – if not several – that will meet your needs, and keep you hydrated!
Stay away from products that can irritate the skin
Many products that we use every day, from toxic household cleaners to harsh cosmetic products, can be damaging to sensitive, easily irritated skin, and upset its balance. To limit the risks, always use eco-friendly household products and wear gloves when you're doing housework or manual chores. As for cosmetic products, remember to take a close look at the list of ingredients, and avoid cleansers that contain sulfates such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate. This is the cheapest and most widely used surfactant, but it is not readily biodegradable and can be very drying for the skin. In the world of organic beauty, you'll often find Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS) that are derived from plants and produced using green chemistry. Even though they're approved by organic certification bodies, we don't use them at Absolution. We prefer to use botanical cleansing bases formulated with Coconut and Cane Sugar instead. They're much gentler on your skin – and the planet!
Enjoy the sun... but not too much!
While the human body needs sunshine (to produce Vitamin D), too much sun exposure is not recommended, especially if you have sensitive skin that's prone to irritation. UV rays weaken skin cells, accelerate the skin-aging process, and can cause skin irritations, including an itchy red rash, often referred to as a sun allergy. To protect your skin, you should always wear sunscreen (minimum SPF 30) and avoid the sun between noon and 4 p.m.
Take showers, not baths
Tap water is often hard water, which is very drying for fragile skin. Taking a bath can weaken the hydrolipidic film, especially if the water is very hot and you stay in the bath for a long time! Opt for showers instead, which will be more gentle on your skin.
When it comes to cleaning your body, the best products to use are soaps or shower gels rich in moisturizing ingredients, so they'll care for your skin too. When you step out of the shower, pat your skin dry, rather than rubbing it. Dry your skin thoroughly, and don't forget skin folds (underarms, elbows, knees). Finish by applying a moisturizing body lotion or cream to deliver lipids to your skin and regulate the skin barrier. We have a range of certified-organic, unisex bodycare products to take care of your skin from head to toe. Find out more here!