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This post will help you slowly get back on track after you went a little too hard with exfoliants, retinoids, etc.
You’ll know you’ve done THEE MOST when your skin feels sensitive even to products that you typically have no reaction to. Shoot, you might even wince when just putting water on your face.
Do the LEAST
First thing you want to do is keep your skincare routine SUPER SIMPLE. Take out every active (these are products like vitamin C, dark spot treatments, exfoliants, retinoids, etc) and keep your routine down to a super gentle cleanser and moisturizer (with sunscreen during the day). Only consider adding products that soothe and protect the skin.
Now be patient because depending on how badly impaired your skin is, you might have to stick to a super gentle and basic routine for a while.
If you start to see some improvement, you can SLOWLY add your actives back in. Keyword: SLOWLY. Start by using them only a few times a week until your skin gets acclimated.
Products to Try
Sometimes a good gentle cleanser and a swipe of petroleum jelly on slightly damp skin at night is enough, but of course we all aren’t the same and appreciate variety. Here are some products to try.
Avene Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream $42 (use code FLASH20 to receive 20% off the entire site thru 9/24/23)
This helps restore and promote an optimal environment for skin recovery. It’s a thick cream, but when used twice a day, it can help reduce a lot of skin discomfort within a few days.
But if you prefer something more lightweight…
Avene Cicalfate+ Hydrating Skin Recovery Emulsion $38 (use code FLASH20 to receive 20% off the entire site thru 9/24/23)
P.S. There’s also a hand and lip kit from the Avene Cicalfate+ line—use code FLASH20 to receive 20% off the entire site thru 9/24/23
Tolerance Extremely Gentle Cleanser $27 (use code FLASH20 to receive 20% off the entire site thru 9/24/23)
There’s also a Hypersensitive Skin Solutions kit that allows you to try a trio of skin-soothing products for $40 (use code FLASH20 to receive 20% off the entire site thru 9/24/23). Thanks to Avene for partnering with me for these links.
I’m also a fan of the Aveeno Calm + Restore line. I’ve used it after getting derm procedures that make my skin a little sensitive.
When it comes to sunscreen for sensitized or sensitive skin, many times the advice is to use a mineral sunscreen since zinc oxide, the active ingredient in many mineral sunscreens) has healing powers. But the thing is though, mineral sunscreens tend to suck on darker skin tones. I’ve compiled a list of those I’ve tried over the years that don’t give a ghastly white cast. You can check that out here. If you prefer an organic/chemical sunscreen, you can find recs here and reviews here on my Youtube channel.
See a Pro
Not everything should be DIY’d, y’all. If it seems no matter what you use, your skin remains angry, you need to see a skin of color pro. By that I mean a well-vetted skin professional who has RECEIPTS that they know what to do with skin of color.
Watch below for tips on how to find a skin of color pro near you.
Don’t Do It Again…
It’s very tempting to go HAM with skincare products anytime you see a problem, but I’m begging you to CHILL, bro.
ALWAYS patch test new products and SLOWLY add them into your routine. Simple is best when it comes to your skin—it’s okay to try new products, but do it mindfully AND SLOWLY.