There are many different skin types out there – from oily to dry to combination to one of the most common skin type – sensitive. Whether you have mildly sensitive skin or hyper sensitive skin, it can be difficult to keep it under control, glowing and healthy looking (why do dry patches and redness always show up on date night?). We spoke to two skin care experts, Dr. Paul Cohen from the Rosedale Dermatology centre in Toronto, and Todd Hewitt from the Four Seasons Toronto spa, for their never-fail skin care tricks and tips to soothe sensitive skin so you can finally say goodbye to red, irritated,
dry and itchy skin.

1. Moisture is key

The best way to combat dry skin (which is often more sensitive than other types of skin conditions) is to pump it full of moisture. To do that, Dr. Cohen recommends bumping up the moisturizer in your skin care routine a bit. “Be sure to moisturize at least once or twice, everyday,” he suggests to keep this skin type smooth and hydrated.


2. Drink plenty of water

Moisturizer will hydrate your skin from the outside in, water will hydrate from the inside out and is essential in keeping sensitive skin (and just about any other skin type) calm and nourished. Hewitt advises you to “Maintain normal body levels of hydration as sensitive skin can dry out easily.” Up your intake with lemon and cucumber water, herbal teas and smoothies.

3. The moisturizing secret

Slathering on moisturizer is key, yes, but it also comes down to how and when you apply moisturizer to make sure you see the most skin care benefits – especially for
sensitive skin. “Always moisturize when your skin is still moist, after bathing or showering, as this helps to lock in the moisture,” explains Dr. Cohen.

4. Nix harsh soaps

Sensitive skin can be easily irritated by many of today’s fragrances and additives to a lot of skin care lines. “Be sure to avoid harsh soaps with heavy fragrance, which will irritate sensitive skin,” advises Dr. Cohen who recommends using Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser. Hewitt agrees, “Do use products that are as pure as possible. Try to purchase ones that are preservative-free.”

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5. Pass on the hot showers

Think there’s nothing quite like a steaming hot shower (Especially in the chilly winter months?). While it may seem soothing while you’re in the shower, that scalding hot water can leave your skin super dry once you step out. “Don’t take long, hot showers, as they will dry out your skin,” advises Dr. Cohen. Opt for luke warm water and you’ll be saving your skin and the environment.

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6. Think room temperature

As with hot showers, when cleansing your face, don’t stay on the hot or cold side when it comes to water. “Wash your face with room temperature water,” says Hewitt. “Avoid extremely cold or warm water temperatures,” as this can dry out skin even more.

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7. Know your skin type

Even with sensitive skin, different areas may need specific types of products. “Make sure you are using products that are appropriate for your skin type and the part of your skin you are treating,” suggests Dr. Cohen. “For example, a
gentle cleanser for sensitive skin, or a hand-specific cream for sensitive, dry skin on the hands.”

8. Mind your SPF

The last thing anyone with sensitive skin wants or needs is a sunburn. Sensitive skin can be more prone to the sun’s rays so Hewitt suggests “Using skin care products with an SPF (minimum 15),” to maintain a healthy glow.

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9. Stick to what works

“Don’t try out new skincare products on the same day as a big event or hot date,” explains Hewitt. “Your skin may react at the most inopportune time.” A sudden breakout or irritated rash on the first date? No, thanks.

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10. Exfoliate regularly

“Just because your skin is sensitive, doesn’t mean that you can’t exfoliate,” explains Hewitt. It’s more about finding the right exfoliator for sensitive skin. “Be sure to pick out a gentle exfoliant and use only a couple of times per week.”

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