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May 18, 2013

Sensitive Skin 101


Forget Hannah with her shortalls and Q-tips, my Girls crush is on Marnie, played by Allison Williams. Vulnerable, smart, sweet, talented as hell, and that skin! I definitely took note when she became the ambassador for Simple Skincare. Apparently Williams is a longtime devotee to Britain’s bestselling sensitive-skin line. Have you tried it? There must be something in the air for sensitive skin because on Friday Walgreen’s was kind enough to sponsor a Beauty Bets Twitter chat on the topic. I asked our resident esti, Hannah, to chime in as well. She informed us that a whopping 50 percent of  women in the US and 30 percent of men suffer from sensitive skin. Ayeyeye. Are you among them? Here’s what you missed from our discussion with some super-smart sensitive skin suffers:

  • Always avoid products with alcohol, dyes and artificial fragrance.
  • Take only brief, lukewarm baths or showers. I know! I could stand under a hot shower all day. But this means more time for hair + makeup! 
  • Never, EVER go to bed without washing your face. For the cleanser-challenged among you: Stock up on face wipes and keep them on your nightstand. I like Ponds Evening Soothe Cleansing Towelettes and have on my list to try Simple Radiance Cleansing Wipes.
  • Avoid touching your face. Dirt, germs and oil can only lead to all manner of irritation and breakouts. 
  • Limit sun exposure. Another excuse to buy a cute hat + new pair of sunnies!
  • Always use sunscreen of at least SPF 15. I’ve heard good things about Simple’s Protecting Light Moisturizer with SPF 15.
  • Skip the fancy, fragranced body washes and go for a gentle, unscented one. I am a Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash with NutriumMoisture devotee in this department.
  • Pat, don’t rub, skin dry after bathing. You want to maintain as much of your skin’s moisture as possible.
  • Maintain adequate hydration. This goes for everyone, but particularly sensitive types.
  • Try a humidifier by your bed at night to keep skin dewy—like when you’re on a tropical vaca and all of those fine lines seem to disappear . . .
  • If you wax your face, make sure the esthetician uses hard wax! Even better: try threading
  • Oatmeal is your friend. The natural saponins it contains deep cleanse dirt and oil while soothing irritation. Try St. Ives Naturally Soothing Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Lotion (you know I’m a sucker for shea).

What do you do to cope with sensitive skin? Any tips?


During the month of May, when you buy 2 Unilever sensitive skin products at Walgreens, you’ll receive 2,000 Balance Rewards points. Not a Balance Rewards member? Sign up for free here. When you’re in the store be sure to pick up the sensitive skin brochure with $4 worth of coupons inside. 

  • Elizabeth Dehn
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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