Using Active Skincare When Your Skin is a Moody Judy

Hi, all! This week we're gonna talk about utilizing active ingredients when you've got sensitive skin! 

You may or may not know it, but botanical actives can really, really amp up a skincare concoction, and take it straight on to the next level - BUT - too much of an otherwise good thing can be big, bad news for sensitive skin.

So, what ARE active ingredients, anyway?

Actives in skincare present themselves as a few different things.
In natural products, they'll be your botanical extracts, fruit acids (AHA), willow bark extract (BHA), PHA's which are usually sodium phytate / phytic acid, hyaluronic acid, proteins such as keratin and oat protein, vitamins such as niacinamide (vit B3), enzymes, ceramides, and peptides.

Arguably, we could also include botanical infusions such as ashwaganda, licorice root, algae, moringa leaf, etc., as they are usually there to put in work.

If you're like me and you have sensitive skin, remember - and I can not stress this enough...

Less is Always More.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with utilizing the tremendous power of botanical actives in your skincare, but always practice moderation!

Try keeping to the following guidelines when shopping for skincare products that are enriched with actives:

  • introduce only one new product at a time.
  • shop products with just one or two actives in a single formula.
  • try to keep actives in your routine to a minimum, and do a bit of research prior to layering products to make sure none of the actives will interact poorly (like AHA/BHA exfoliants + retinol)

Doing this helps you to not only target specific complexion goals you have, but it also helps you hone in on ingredients that may end up as irritants for you.

Feel free to use this discernment across the board, too, with body lotions, sera, toners, facial moisturizers, creams, etc.

The bottom section of an ingredient list is where some of the most potent ingredients lie, so just give it a read before you spring for that awesome new product you're eyeballing. If it has an active ingredient team that's 8 strong, I'd skip it - but that's just me.

I encourage you to bear in mind, too, that actives do not necessarily make a good product, especially, when it comes to sophisticated formulas like lotions, moisturizers, and sera.

The entire formula counts - nose to toes.

A lotion can be made using literally just water, glycerin, emulsifying wax, dimethicone, and a preservative. That lotion is crap, even if it's got oat extract trailing off at the bottom of the ingredient list.

Look for nice humectants like propanediol or glycerin, plant oils and butters, conditioning fatty alcohols like cetyl / cetearyl / behenyl alcohol, and safe preservatives, THEN actives.

I'm going to put off the dive into preservatives and what ingredients to look for (or avoid) for other segments because those are both loaded topics that we really need to discuss in detail!

For now, I want to share with you my favorite current product that I'm loving for my face! A couple months ago I splurged on the Earth Harbor Celestine Serum and HO-LY-SMOKES, I'm in love.

My face is combo-dry, but when I use this serum, it quenches the thirst, and I rarely need a moisturizer layered with it.

I'm planning to hunt down a better cleanser than what I'm currently using, and I'd like to try black cumin seed oil to layer with the serum for extra-dry days, but that'll be it for my facial routine. I'm almost there, ha!

So, how are we feeling? Do you feel empowered to go out there and do a kick-ass job shopping for your skin's needs? I hope so!

Remember - ALWAYS do your homework, and ALWAYS demand transparency.

Next time, I think we'll start our dive into preservatives. Sound good?


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