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Navigating the world with sensitive skin can feel like tiptoeing through a minefield of potential irritants. But fear not! With a holistic skincare regimen, caring for sensitive skin from the INSIDE OUT becomes less of a challenge and more of a delightful journey toward LESS irritation and BETTER health overall.

In this post, we’re diving into gentle, yet effective, skincare tailored specifically for sensitive skin types. From natural remedies to mindful lifestyle tweaks and even anti-inflammatory recipes for your weekly meal plan (yum!), I’ve gotcha covered.

This isn’t just about slapping on a serum and calling it a day—it’s about embracing a lifestyle that nurtures both your skin AND your soul. Get ready to pamper yourself from head to toe as we uncover the secrets to a holistic skincare regimen for long-term, whole-body benefits!

Are you a handmade skin care business owner? Read to the bottom of this post for helpful resources to share with your customers!

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This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links (at no cost to you). Please read the disclosure for more information.

What is Sensitive Skin?

Sensitive skin is a term used to describe skin that is more prone to reactions or irritation than ‘normal’ skin.

People with sensitive skin may experience:

  • Redness or flushing
  • Itching or burning sensations
  • Frequent allergic reactions and/or contact dermatitis
  • Increased sensitivity to sun exposure
  • Easily irritated by skincare products or environmental factors
Woman in bed with itchy sensitive skin

What Causes Sensitive Skin?

Common contributing factors that cause the list of symptoms above include:

Sensitive Skin Cause #1: Genetics

Genetics can affect key factors in the way skin behaves, such as structure, immune function, and nerve signaling pathways.

These factors can make certain individuals more prone to intense reactions, such as inflammation and nerve sensitivity.

Sensitive Skin Cause #2: Skin Conditions

Conditions like eczema and psoriasis cause sensitive skin by disrupting the skin barrier, leading to increased vulnerability to irritants and allergens.

These conditions often result in a constant cycle of inflammation and skin barrier dysfunction, making the skin more reactive to various triggers.

Sensitive Skin Cause #3: Environmental Factors

Harsh weather conditions, extreme temperatures, wind, UV radiation, certain chemicals, and pollution can exacerbate sensitivity.

Sensitive Skin Cause #4: Allergens, Chemicals, and Fragrances

Certain ingredients in skincare products, cosmetics, or detergents may trigger allergic reactions in individuals with sensitive skin.

These ingredients can be a wide variety of things, such as harsh chemicals, preservatives, additives, fragrances, and perfumes.

Fragrances in particular cause issues due to their complex chemical compositions, which may include allergens and irritants that can trigger inflammation or allergic responses upon contact with the skin.

These reactions occur when the skin’s natural barrier is already compromised, allowing fragrance molecules to penetrate deeper layers and provoke irritation or allergic reactions.

Sensitive Skin Cause #5: Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes (such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause) can cause sensitive skin by disrupting the skin’s natural balance, making it more prone to inflammation, redness, and other sensitivity symptoms.

Pregnant woman with belly showing

What is Holistic Skincare?

Welcome to a journey of skincare that goes BEYOND a topical product!

And, if you’re anything like me, get ready to be obsessed with thinking about how EVERYTHING we do impacts the skin we’re in!

Sensitive skin can be a signal from your body that it’s time to reevaluate your skincare routine and embrace a holistic approach to nourishing your skin.

The definition of ‘holistic’ is to think about the WHOLE person rather than just the symptom; holistic skincare considers every detail of the daily experience of an individual to benefit their skin’s health from the inside out.

This is all about understanding that everything in your body, mind, and environment is connected and impacts your overall health and wellness (which directly impacts the skin’s appearance).

When it comes to managing sensitive skin, holistic skincare can be particularly beneficial because it focuses on gentle, natural ingredients and lifestyle practices that work in harmony with the body’s natural processes:

  • Plant-based skincare products
  • Proper hydration
  • Regular exercise
  • A Whole Food diet
  • Deep sleep
  • Stress management
  • Mindfulness practice

We’ll cover many of these in this post, but if you’d like a PDF overview, be sure to download the super-approachable guide below (or bookmark the Holistic Skincare Guide blog post here):

Best Natural Ingredients for Sensitive Skin

Plant-based skin care products are best for overall wellness, as they are easy on the immune system and have a far lower risk of creating or exacerbating allergies.

If you are a DIY skin care maker (and even a handmade business owner), use the suggested ingredients below for amazing, chemical-free formulations for sensitive skin.

If you are not a maker, read the labels of the sensitive skin care products you are purchasing and aim for items that include many of the essential oils and carriers listed below.

Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum mobile) essential oil may help to counteract inflammation and support the healing process of irritated skin.

Helichrysum Essential Oil

Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) essential oil is skin nourishing and healing, commonly used to relieve allergies that manifest in the skin.

Myrrh Essential Oil

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) essential oil is useful on eczema and mature skin, useful for its regenerating potential and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Palmarosa Essential Oil

Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii var. motia) essential oil is useful for eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and inflamed skin due to its anti-inflammatory and cell regeneration properties.

Patchouli Essential Oil

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) essential oil moisturizes and cools the skin and is best used in blends for inflammation, eczema, and other skin disorders.

Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood (Santalum album) essential oil helps to alleviate dermatitis, eczema and maintains overall skin health.

Vetiver Essential Oil

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) essential oil is useful on all skin types and is used to treat eczema and acne alike.

Avocado Oil

Avocado Oil (Persea gratissima) is highly penetrating, deeply nourishing, and is useful for skin inflammation.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera) is an excellent carrier for itchy, irritated skin (though it is best used on the body rather than the face).

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis) is similar to the oil our skin naturally produces and is quickly absorbed. This is an anti-inflammatory oil that is safely used on the face.

Shea Butter

Shea Butter (Vitellaria paradox) is useful in most types of skincare for long-term epidermal health. It alleviates dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, and other skin conditions.

Trauma Oil

Trauma Oil (Herbally-infused oil blend that combines arnica, St. John’s wort, and calendula) has anti-inflammatory and healing actions, though it cannot be used on broken skin.

Plant-based skin care products in amber bottles

Holistic Skincare Regimen for Sensitive Skin: Best Foods (with Recipe Ideas)

Sensitive Skin Food #1: Fatty Fish

Fatty fish (tuna, trout, salmon, mackerel) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, helping to reduce inflammation and maintain the skin barrier function while addressing common concerns such as dryness, irritation, and rough skin.

Recipe Idea: Trout Recipe

Sensitive Skin Food #2: Avocado

Avocados are beneficial for sensitive skin due to their rich content of vitamins E and C, which help to nourish and soothe the skin while providing antioxidant protection against environmental stressors.

Recipe Idea: Hard Boiled Egg and Avocado Bowl

Sensitive Skin Food #3: Flax and/or Chia Seeds

Flax and chia seeds are beneficial for sensitive skin due to their abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, renowned for their anti-inflammatory properties that soothe skin irritation and diminish redness.

Recipe Idea: Flaxseed Pudding

Sensitive Skin Food #4: Walnuts

Walnuts contain vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that supports skin health by protecting against environmental stressors and promoting moisture retention.

Recipe Idea: Candied Walnuts

Sensitive Skin Food #5: Tomatoes

Tomatoes are beneficial for sensitive skin, as their natural acidity can help regulate the skin’s pH balance, soothing irritation and promoting a healthier complexion.

Recipe Idea: Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Sensitive Skin Food #6: Berries

Berries are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids, which help reduce inflammation; additionally, their natural acids can gently exfoliate, promoting smoother and more radiant skin without irritating.

Recipe Idea: Healthy Baked Berry Crisp

Sensitive Skin Food #7: Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are rich in vitamins A and C, which help to promote skin health by reducing inflammation and boosting collagen production; their high water content also helps to hydrate the skin, keeping it supple and reducing irritation.

Recipe Idea: Garlic and Parmesan Kale Chips

Sensitive Skin Food #8: Yogurt or Kefir

Yogurt and kefir contain probiotics, which help to balance the skin’s microbiome, reducing inflammation and promoting healthy skin function.

Recipe Idea: Yogurt Popsicles

Sensitive Skin Food #9: Green Tea

Green tea contains anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants like polyphenols, which can help soothe and protect sensitive skin from irritation and redness.

Its calming effects may help alleviate symptoms of skin conditions such as eczema or rosacea.

Recipe Idea: Sparkling Green Tea

Sensitive Skin Food #10: Oats

Oats contain compounds like beta-glucans and avenanthramides which have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, making them beneficial for sensitive skin.

Recipe Idea: Creamy Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Oats, berries, olive oil, leafy greens, and other best foods for sensitive skin.

Holistic Skincare Regimen for Sensitive Skin: Daily Routine

  • Cleanser (Oil-Based)
    • In the morning and the evening, use an oil-based cleanser to gently wash away any impurities and dead skin cells.
  • Toner
    • Spray a gentle toner over a cleansed face two times a day.
    • Calendula Hydrosol is a recommended toner for sensitive skin.
  • Hypoallergenic Moisturizers
    • A plant-based, 100% oil facial serum is recommended in place of water-based creams.
    • Always apply face serum at night, and in the morning if possible with your ‘get out the door’ routine (it needs a bit to soak in before applying makeup).
    • If you are a DIY skin care maker, check out this sensitive skin face serum recipe that is easy enough for beginners (yet produces amazing results!)
    • For an all-over body moisturizer, there is nothing better than plain jojoba oil.
  • Hydrate
    • Men: 13 cups (~3 liters) of water a day
    • Women: 9 cups (~2+ liters) a day
  • Exercise
    • The amount of exercise recommended varies widely based on age and health conditions.
    • The average adult (ages 18-64) needs 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (this is just to provide a frame of reference to start with). Visit the World Health Organization here for more info.
  • Anti-inflammatory Diet
    • Eating for wellness also impacts the health and appearance of the skin greatly. Try adding one new recipe a week that is specific to sensitive skin (see recommendations in the above section).
  • Mindfulness Practice
    • The goal of mindfulness is to achieve focused relaxation while paying attention to thoughts and sensations and being fully present.
    • This can be achieved through meditation, gratitude practice, belly breathing, mindful walking, body scans, and more.
  • Get Fresh Air
    • Fresh outside air has tons of positive impacts on overall health (and most individuals aren’t getting close to enough of it).
    • Breathing fresh air increases oxygen in the blood, increases energy, improves digestion, cleans the lungs, relieves stress and anxiety, improves cell function, and improves cognitive abilities…to name just a few benefits (and all of these impact the skin’s glow)!
  • Makeup Remover
    • If you’re washing your face with an oil-based cleanser as mentioned in the first step, you don’t need another product – this should do the trick for most makeup.
    • For some waterproof makeup that is a bit more stubborn, grab some reusable makeup remover pads.
  • Under-Eye Salve
  • No Screen Time Before Bed
    • Sleep experts recommend cutting off screen time an hour before bed (or two hours for the best benefits…time to bust out that library card!)
  • 8+ Hours of Sleep
    • It’s called ‘beauty sleep’ for a reason, as deep sleep (slow-wave sleep) stimulates cell turnover and collagen production.
    • Deep sleep reduces inflammation and combats issues, such as eczema and acne, and is essential for memory, mood regulation, brain health, and immune function.

Holistic Skincare Regimen for Sensitive Skin: More Lifestyle Tips

Sensitive Skin Tip #1: Clothing and Fabrics

Choose soft, breathable fabrics like cotton and linen to minimize irritation.

Wash new clothes (see below) before wearing them to remove irritants or chemicals.

Sensitive Skin Tip #2: Laundry Soap

Use fragrance-free, hypoallergenic laundry detergent to wash clothes and bedding. Double-rinse laundry to ensure all detergent is thoroughly washed out.

Skip fabric softeners to reduce chemical exposure (use these wool dryer balls instead).

Sensitive Skin Tip #3: Skincare Routine

Use hypoallergenic, fragrance-free skincare products, and patch-test new products on a small area before applying them to the face or body.

Use gentle, pH-balanced cleansers to avoid stripping the skin of natural oils. Opt for products with minimal ingredients to reduce the risk of irritation.

Sensitive Skin Tip #4: Cleaning Products

Use mild, hypoallergenic cleaning products for household chores. Consider natural alternatives like vinegar and baking soda for cleaning.

Wear skin-friendly cleaning gloves to protect your hands against chemicals.

Sensitive Skin Tip #5: Bedding

Choose hypoallergenic pillows and hypoallergenic mattress covers to reduce exposure to allergens. Opt for natural, breathable bedding materials.

Wash bedding regularly in hot water to eliminate dust mites and allergens.

Sensitive Skin Tip #6: Allergen Management

Identify and minimize exposure to common allergens such as pet dander, dust mites, and pollen.

Consider using air purifiers to reduce airborne allergens in your home and office.

Air purifier to clean allergens, pollen, and mites from air for individuals with sensitive skin.

Holistic Skincare Education for Handmade Business Owners

Great news for my fellow skin care business owners!

We both know that our customers can benefit HUGELY from this information because I can tell you right now, that this holistic approach to sensitive skin is not being discussed in a typical doctor’s office (yet…but WE are the change-makers!).

Here at DIY Skin Care Business, my goal is for us as educated business owners to be the bridge between skin care *just* being skin care, to it being a SHIFT in our audiences’ overall health and wellness.

I’ve made it INCREDIBLY easy for you to share all of the information above in a completely editable template that you can tweak to your liking (or simply just pop in your business name, URL, and you’re done)!

Include the sensitive skincare 101 in customer shipments, on your website, sell it as a printable, or hand it out at markets…however it makes sense for you and your brand.

Click below for more information on the template and start spreading the news about holistic skincare benefits for total mind and body wellness!

Grow Your Skin Care Business!

Browse through the resources below to boost your handmade business visibility and profitability!

Holistic Skincare Regimen for Sensitive Skin Pin

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