Who doesn’t want smooth, radiant, clear skin, right? When you have a sensitive complexion, however, not every acne treatment will work for you because a lot of formulas are too harsh, can create inflammation, and upset your skin’s delicate pH balance. The good news is that there are unique topical acne products that have been specially developed to address breakouts with sensitive skin.
A sensitive complexion is one that requires powerful yet gentle treatments. Even the way you wash your face matters. Having acne on top of sensitive skin can be challenging.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you should cleanse your skin twice daily, once in the A.M. and once in the P.M. Washing your face more than twice each day can cause irritation, so don’t overdo it unless you’re been working out and have a sweaty face.
Also, avoid using abrasive formulas containing parabens. Harsh, scrubbing brushes and/or formulas can upset your skin’s delicate mantle. Instead, wash your face with fragrance-free products that say for “sensitive skin.” The best face wash to look for features a light, foaming texture that removes makeup, dirt, oil, and unclogs the pores, and calms the complexion.
When addressing acne, you want a topical treatment that doesn’t cause a reaction to your sensitive complexion and further breakouts. Then, you’re back to square one.
Skincare experts recommend adding ingredients such as Kakadu plum extract that is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C to clear the complexion and add brightness. The extract is very helpful to sensitive skin in removing redness and irritation. Kakadu plum also helps to speed up wound healing so that acne scarring is avoided.
Salicylic acid products are also effective for sensitive complexions when not overused. This potent ingredient is able to penetrate deep into the pores to unclog them. The acid zeroes in on blackheads and whiteheads to zap them away.
Lactic acid as a topical treatment is another one designed for sensitive skin, and it has multiple benefits. For example, acid destroys bacteria of all kinds, including the irritating types found in acne.
Lactic acid also smooths the skin’s texture, helps it to hold moisture, thickens the skin, and is tolerable for sensitive complexions.
Some estheticians advise using a lactic acid product three times a week and then taking a break.
The Clay Factor
Clays are another topical to try on sensitive skin with acne, and there are some good options to consider. Clay, in general, contains natural, anti-inflammatory elements that are soothing for the complexion. In addition, clay reduces sebum production temporarily.
You can try clay facial masks or cleansers that contain clay as one of the ingredients. Your skin will take on a fresh, clean, purified feeling.
For sensitive skin, try Brazilian clay, a kaolin kind of clay that is found in the soil’s minerals in South America. This type of clay comes in several bright hues and is fine for all skin types because it doesn’t absorb as much liquid as other clays.
French green clay is another that gently exfoliates the skin and is kind to sensitive complexions. Try mixing the clay with rose water for an effective treatment.
Bentonite clay is also popular for fighting acne and is suitable for all skin types. The clay contains strong detoxifying properties and excels at thoroughly cleaning the pores and zapping blackheads and other common breakouts.
Even sensitive complexions can handle a retinoid for clear, smooth skin. The best kind for eradicating acne is known as retinyl palmitate, a retinol ester. It is considered the gentlest of all the retinoids (vitamin A derivatives) and is very good at speeding up skin cell turnover.
Here’s another plus to using retinyl palmitate. Some skincare pros say that it can be effective in boosting collagen fiber production for maintaining ageless skin.
Victoria Smith is a freelance writer who specialized in business and finance, with a passion for cooking and wellness. She lives in Austin, TX where she is currently working towards her MBA.