How to Shop for Skincare When Your Skin is Sensitive

Hands up if sensitive skin care shopping is frustrating. You…you…you…yep, le struggle is real. I have 3 tips to help you.


Keep a skincare journal

In it record everything: the product name, ingredients list, whether it caused a reaction or not, how long or bad the reaction was etc. You will notice a similarity between the products that cause you a reaction and steer clear.

All this information will save you money and frustration the next time you go skincare shopping. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, a simple notebook would do.

I like to use a Google doc. This way, I can access it anytime, anywhere.


Keep it short

Buy a product with a (relatively) short ingredient list. The shorter the list, the better. It will be easier to pick the “traitor” among the ingredients if facial chaos erupts. Next time, you will avoid skincare with it anywhere on the ingredients list.

Before you buy a product, right there in the store, grab your phone and search for potential irritants on the Paula’s Choice ingredients dictionary.

Don’t take the store attendants word for it. I learned the hard way that most of them (at least in East Africa) have no idea why a certain product would work for your skin.


Avoid fragrance

At all costs. Whether it is synthetic (parfum) or natural (essential oil) it might make sensitive skin worse by triggering the nerve endings and causing irritation.

I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve had to wash off a product and apply anti inflammatory hydrocortisone almost immediately after using it. Don’t be me guys, do better. Avoid fragrance in products, it doesn’t help the skin anyway. It’s all olfactory.

What tips do you use when you go sensitive skin shopping? Abeg, share them!

Skin Care TipsClare Oparo