Beauty & Wellness

7 Things I Wish I Knew About Skincare Before I Suddenly Got Sensitive Skin In My 20s

Skincare for sensitive skin

Skincare was never my biggest priority growing up, and now that I’m in my 20s I’m paying the price for it. Though puberty is most well-known for being the biggest blow to anyone’s skin, issues can still arise later in life. When I ended up developing sensitive skin and embarrassing red splotches, I had no idea how to deal with it.

Learn from my mistakes – adopting a solid skincare routine well past your teen years shouldn’t be neglected. If you have skin that’s constantly threatening breakouts, the best way to counter it would be to know what skincare products work for you. So, here are some of the top tips I wish someone would have told me back in my awkward teen days:

1. Using more products can hurt rather than help

We’re all aware of the temptation to buy product after product after bingeing on YouTube beauty videos. Trust me, my bag full of half-used moisturisers, serums, and sunscreens exists to shame me every day.

It took me a few years but I eventually learnt that using certain products together can cause a harsh reaction as they have clashing ingredients – like retinol and alpha-hydroxy acids. Because both have exfoliating properties, it ends up causing more irritation. 

Especially for those with sensi skin, it’s better to use fewer products so you don’t end up double exfoliating or clogging your pores with clashing products.

2. Try double cleansing to get all makeup off

As a user of makeup, I can tell you it’s a vicious cycle. Sensitive skin means glaring red blemishes that need to be covered up with makeup, only to have that makeup lead to more irritated rashes. The struggle is real.

But with a good double cleansing, you can avoid having clogged pores after a particularly long day. Experts suggest first using an oil-based cleanser to clear off your makeup before wiping it down with a water-based cleanser. 

I’ve since adopted the use of micellar water to remove my foundation and copious amounts of concealer before giving it a second swipe to thoroughly cleanse my face. As it’s a water-based cleanser that acts like an oil-based cleanser, it’s really the best of both worlds.

3. Sunscreen is not just a “nice to have”

If I had a dollar for every time someone had told me to use sunscreen, I’d have enough to go for a facial treatment every week. But my stubborn teen years aside, I really wish I’d listened. With growing pigmentation around my nose and under eye area, I now realise the importance of protecting myself from those dreaded UV rays. 

Not only does the harsh sun cause flare ups, accentuating blemishes, it can also cause skin cancer and potentially irreversible pigmentation. Trust me, multiple estheticians have pointed out my sun damage. With this in mind, I finally understood why my mother always said, “the sun is my worst enemy.”

4. Change your pillowcases as often as possible

This is probably a no-brainer as it’s just down to hygiene, but changing your pillowcases weekly is very important for your skin. Leaving on dirty sheets can result in harsh breakouts around the cheek area.

Especially because pillowcases can absorb dirt from your skin, this results in a build up of dirt that eventually leads to more of those pesky breakouts. Plus, the dirty fabric doesn’t give your skin room to breathe. 

5. Pay attention to the ingredients list

As a member of the sensitive skin club, I’m sad to say that I now have to be extremely picky when it comes to my skincare products. I found that most brands of sunscreen leave my face in itchy red splotches that are nearly impossible to cover up without further irritation. 

This made me pay more attention to the kinds of products that I was putting on my face, starting with alcohol-free and fragrance-free formulas. The ingredients required to add a fragrance to facial products are often harsher on the skin and can cause allergic reactions.

6. Lukewarm water most effectively cleans your face

Before I really got into skincare, one of the number one rules I followed was to first wash your face with hot water to open your pores before rinsing it in cold water to close the pores. 

After being a little more well-versed in my personal skincare, I learnt that just using warm water is more than enough to get rid of the dirt from your pores. Although I still end my face-washing routine with a splash of cold water, avoiding hot water altogether has helped to lessen irritation.

7. Remove eye and face makeup with separate removers

Laziness is probably your skin’s worst enemy. After a long day out, the last thing I want is to go through a 10-step skincare routine which leads me to carelessly and roughly wipe away my makeup.

Eye makeup is generally more stubborn, so it’ll do your skin good if you use separate makeup removers targeted for your eyes and face. A tip is to soak a cotton pad in makeup remover before pressing it onto your eyes for about 20 to 30 seconds to let the makeup dissolve. Avoid aggressively rubbing your makeup off as this can cause microabrasions or darkened eye bags. 

Soothe your sensitive skin with Caring Skin@JCube

We were invited to their outlet at JCube which had an immaculately clean interior

If you’re like me and your sensitive skin has finally caught up to you, there are ways to make it a little more bearable. When my colleagues Isabelle, Josiah, and myself were given the chance to try out treatments for sensitive skin at Caring Skin, I thought this would be the perfect time to turn over a new leaf. 

Caring Skin is the only facial spa to use VISIA to conduct a comprehensive skin analysis that reveals your skin’s age, and exact concerns that your skin is facing or will face.

Before we began our treatments, we each went through a thorough consultation. This included a questionnaire for the consultants to understand our daily routine, and the brand of skincare products we used. After the scan, we went through our skin issues, from pigmentation and pores, to blackheads and sensitivity which wouldn’t have been possible through naked eyes only.

They then decided which treatment would be best for us. While Josiah was directed to the Oxy-Vital treatment for damaged skin, Isabelle and I were recommended the Sensivital treatment for sensitive skin.

Treatments at Caring Skin

All our treatments had essential steps like double-cleansing, extraction, and the ever-relaxing back and shoulder massage for a full facial experience. It also started off with a sort of aromatherapy face massage that had us feeling like royalty. 

Plant-extract is used to improve microcirculation for healing and to soothe the skin

Our faces were prepped with a shiok foaming mask before we were treated to their signature painless blackhead extraction. As someone with a low pain tolerance, I was surprised to find that the process was pretty painless with little to no discomfort. The esthetician then began an interesting procedure to disinfect our skin – a high frequency vibration to disinfect the skin. 

The disinfection process made crackling sounds, but felt pretty soothing.

Following the standard procedure, here are the highlights from the treatments we tried: 

Sensi-Vital Treatment Plus ($250 not inclusive of GST) – For sensitive skin

For me, a mask was layered onto my face and over my eyes to increase the breathability of my skin and was left to sit for about 15 minutes. This is meant to be beneficial for those with sensitive skin by soothing and hydrating the skin to prevent harsh reactions in the future.

Other than the relaxing experience of the treatment, I also found that my skin felt a lot smoother, even after a week following the treatment. Not to mention, my nightly red splotches have yet to make an appearance.

Oxy-Vital Treatment ($318.86) $298, excluding GST – For damaged skin

The Oxy-Vital treatment basically repairs skin that’s been damaged by the sun or laser treatments so it uses key ingredients like aloe vera and azulene. Josiah seemed pretty impressed with the treatment, especially the use of the dry sheet mask on skin which left him with glowing, brightened skin.

With the dry sheet mask over his face, the esthetician proceeded to dab at it with alkaline water as it slowly soaked the solution to turn into a translucent blue. This mask uses ingredients with anti-inflammatory benefits to soothe and diffuse redness, revitalising damaged skin.

Sensi-Vital Treatment ($250 not inclusive of GST) – For sensitive skin

The LED treatment was really relaxing and left her skin brighter and smoother

When my colleagues and I reconvened, the common consensus was that this Sensivital treatment probably had the most interesting component. It utilised LED therapy to soothe acne by reducing bacteria and regulating sebum. It’s definitely a unique facial treatment that is also great for skin issues like acne, rosacea and psoriasis.

Though it looks a little daunting, my colleague did mention that the whole treatment was extremely relaxing – a little like a tanning bed.

Get your fix for sensitive skin at Caring Skin

The three of us left with our skins feeling softer and brighter than ever before. Though the highlight was definitely the treatment itself – with a plus from the painless extraction process – the personalised service was definitely an added bonus. Not to mention the cosy ambience of the spa and the sweet smell that hit the moment you walked in.

For those looking for quick, reliable treatments, Caring Skin is a holistic skincare solution that offers 50% off treatments for all first timers in case you’re not ready to settle for a package. These include a range of treatments tailored specifically for different types of sensitive skin problems that may arise from dried skin or overexposure to the sun.

Other than their 50% off promotions, using the code ‘TSL21’, you can get complimentary soothing Hydra Masks – 1 piece with every first trial purchase, and 3 pieces with every facial programme.

Their JCube outlet has an abundance of rooms for you and your friends to come down and get pampered

Whether you’re just looking for a treatment to pamper yourself with, or you’re like me and can’t seem to tackle a sensitive skin issue, there’s no harm in trying treatments personalised for your skin type. So, if you too are starting to see regular breakouts and itchy, red skin, you can rest assured that you will find respite at Caring Skin with their holistic skincare solutions.

Caring Skin (JCube)
Address: 2 Jurong East Central 1, #02-18, Singapore 609731
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 11AM-9PM | Sat – Sun 10AM-8PM
Telephone: 6737 7797

All of Caring Skin locations

Book your next treatment at Caring Skin

This post was brought to you by Caring Skin.
Photography by Pichan Cruz.

Charlotte Joy Lee

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