By Clare O’Hanlon, Business Development Manager at Juliette Armand Skincare
In this month’s Back to Basics feature, we venture into the realms of moisturisers for sensitive skins.
What is a moisturiser?
A moisturiser can be a cream, gel or balm applied on the skin for protection against the environment and to prevent dryness. Many moisturisers have different benefits or added ingredients to give different results depending on what concerns the client has.
How can it be adapted for sensitive skins?
Sensitive skins will need an extra nourishing cream that is particularly gentle to the skin and protects it against further damage. In this case it is all about the correct ingredients within the cream to calm and soothe the skin.
What ingredients are beneficial for sensitive skin and which should be avoided?
When is come to sensitive skin, we need to choose a moisturiser with less ‘active’ ingredients such as retinol and anti-aging ingredients such as glycolic. Avoid alcohol, paraben based creams and ones containing fragrance. When skin is sensitive it has a tendency to be red, dry, easily irritated and itchy so ingredients to fight this include, Vitamin B, camomile, rose water, aloe, cucumber and white willow bark extract.
At what stage in your skin care routine should you add a moisturiser?
A moisturiser is left on the skin and only removed first thing in the morning and last thing at night but reapplied straight away. This product should be a daily part of your skin regime. A moisturiser may be placed on top of a serum for extra benefits and should dry into the skin accordingly. If the skin is very shiny after a few minutes then you may have applied too much product. A lot of SPF built in moisturisers should only be applied in the morning and alternate with a non SPF moisturiser for night time.
How do you know if a client requires this specific type of moisturiser?
It is very important to assess the skin on the day and talk with the client about their skin in general. A client may be in love with their highly fragranced cream but be suffering from redness so it is important for the therapist to educate the client. Has the client any broken capillaries? Is the clients skin touch sensitive? Do they blush easily? Do they experience hives or rashes when stressed? Also understanding the difference between sensitive and sensitized is a must. A client is born with sensitive skin and can help keep it under control but a client with sensitized skin was unknowingly causing their skin to develop this condition through products or diet.
Are there any dangers when using this product?
The only danger with ‘sensitive’ moisturisers is the company that sell them. There may be hidden cheap ingredients but can advertise itself as ‘calming’ ‘soothing’ ‘simple’. Clients have bought creams in the past that boast its calming results but there are no ingredients to back it up. Alcohol, mineral oil and ammonium lauryl sulphate are commonly used in creams and will irritate sensitive skin. Many good quality creams may sting a little on application but that isn’t the moisturisers fault, it may mean the client’s skin barrier function is lowered from using past products or too much exfoliation and the moisturiser goes into the skin too quickly.
How best can you retail these types of moisturisers to your clients?
Once your client understands that sensitised skin may be caused from their ‘sensitive’ moisturiser and are aware of the best ingredients to calm red irritated skin then the rest should be easy. During a facial with a sensitive client, you should deliver results where the skin looks calm and non-blotchy, then they will have more faith that the moisturiser does what it is supposed to do!