Some days we love our skin, some days, we don’t. One thing is for sure — sensitive skin is hard to ignore. Now, we’re not talking about the kind of sensitivity that happens because you had your hands in a bleachy bucket of hot water all day. Anyone in that situation would end up red and irritated.

We’re talking about skin that stays so extremely dry that the nerve endings are left unprotected. Skin that blushes, flushes and is plagued by pustules or bumps is no fun for anyone. Let’s look at a few things you can do to soothe and protect your sensitive skin.

Say goodbye to harsh cleansers

Deodorant soap is a no-go because of its strong detergents. You’ll have to watch out for foaming cleansers too since they tend to strip the skin of beneficial oils. Keep skin clean with a mild soap-free cleanser made for sensitive skin. Mild cleansers tend to have fewer ingredients.

Moisturize with care

Many of the buzz words associated with moisturizers equate them to a modern day fountain of youth. Unfortunately for sensitive types, retinoids, alpha-hydroxy, and vitamin C can do more harm than good. Unscented, chemical free moisturizers are the way to go, just be sure to spot test anything new. Better safe than sorry.

Protect with SPF

Not all sunscreen is created equal. Avobenzene is a common ingredient you’ll want to avoid. You are better off choosing a mineral based sunscreen with either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Both of these ingredients protect from sun damage and are also anti-inflammatory. Win-win!

Avoid artificial fragrances when possible

If possible, find a good cleanser and moisturizer that is fragrance free. Again, fewer ingredients tend to be better, but it’s not just skincare products that affect us. Even though invigorating laundry detergent smells glorious, it can be brutal to sensitive skin. Luckily, there are lots of free and clear laundry detergents out there.

Be savvy about your makeup

Less is still better, so go with a simple mineral make-up that naturally has less chemicals. Make sure you do not use waterproof cosmetics. The special soaps needed to remove the waterproof make-up can be bad news. No matter what, remove makeup before bed so you wake less irritated.

Less is more for those of us with sensitive skin. Learn which ingredients your skin dislikes and keep your eye out when you purchase new products. With proper care, it is possible to love the skin you’re in!