Pro skin tips for sensitive skin from qualified Skin Therapist and Dermalogica Expert, Mel Sunshine

Sensitivity in skin can be due to many things such as your daily environment (working in extreme temperatures like a hot steamy kitchen or the in the cold such as a groundsperson). It could be due to your genetic makeup that you’ve inherited, a reaction to products or medication or just general neglect ie not keeping your skin hydrated!

The one thing all these causes have in common is that the skin’s natural barrier is impaired, leaving it more vulnerable to irritants. 

Hydrating and protecting the skin is key to keeping the skin calm and soothing irritation.

Clients are often amazed that a simple regular skincare regime can leave skin far less sensitised and reactive and I’ve seen evidence of this on many clients that are introduced to the correct products.

So here are my pro tips for healthy, irritation-free skin.

Starting off with the Dermalogica double cleanse, Precleanse Balm is perfect for sensitive skin. The balm to oil formula melts away dirt, oil, make-up and environmental pollution which we know increases irritation on sensitive skin. The natural biolipid complex locks in hydration and reinforces the skins barrier which protects it from irritants.

Follow with non-foaming Ultra Calming Cleanser to calm and cool reactive skin. It rinses off or wipes away easily too so is ideal for sensitive skin. 

Both Precleanse Balm and Ultra Calming Cleanser can also be used as eye make-up remover without irritation and the cleanser is great for contact lens wearers.

I often find a client with sensitive skin is reluctant to exfoliate for fear of making the skin condition worse, but Daily Microfoliant foamed up with plenty of warm water and a brush will be gentle enough to polish the skin without irritation. Also, for those of you looking for a deeper exfoliation or concerned with ageing, Rapid Reveal Peel is an option. It has an oil-like lipid formula, so although more powerful and active than DM it can be used with care, left on for just a few minutes for the first few applications until the skin acclimatises.

Skin Hydrating masque 2 x weekly is perfect for sensitive skin. It’s cooling gel formula is hydrating and soothing and will relieve any tightness often associated with sensitivity.

To hydrate the skin before moisturising we have 2 options. Ultra Calming Mist, quickly absorbs to help support the skin’s barrier with oats and botanicals to soothe and calm the skin, or there’s Redness Relief Essence which is lightweight like a toner but concentrated like a serum. RRE visibly reduces redness and sensitivity. Simply give the bottle a shake, dispense about half teaspoon onto the hands and spread over the face. It feels really cool and soothing, perfect for sensitive cheeks and rosacea sufferers.

Next moisturising and protection. Calm Water Gel is a cool water-gel moisturiser that hydrates dry sensitive skin. Hyaluronic Acid locks in moisture and Cactus Pear Extract soothes sensitivity.  Follow with Invisible Physical Defense SPF30 for UV protection against sun damage and hyperpigmentation. This physical sunscreen with Zinc Oxide  bounces  UV rays away from the skin making it more suitable for sensitive skins than a chemical sunscreen. The addition of a bioactive mushroom complex helps reduce UV induced redness and dryness.

Finally, Apply Barrier Repair over the top to seal in moisture and act like an overcoat against harsh winter winds.

If you need advice about your sensitive skin, please email me at

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