The word ‘sensitive’ gets used quite a lot in the negative sense, doesn’t it? As in “you’re too sensitive” or “I’m only joking, stop being so sensitive”.
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But actually, we’d rather see the beauty in being sensitive. Sensitive people have more awareness and empathy towards the feelings of others and are often more responsive to the needs of others.
So, when it comes to sensitive skin, we celebrate that, too.
Because all skin is beautiful and we like to think of sensitive skin as skin that’s simply more attuned to what’s being put on it. A warning system if you like - harsh, chemical ingredients in a face cream? No thank you, here’s some redness, itching and irritation to tell you to never use that on me again.
Having sensitive skin can be a bit annoying though, despite its readiness to communicate with you. If you have a sensitive skin type, then you’ll know that you have to be super careful and aware of how you treat your skin, both from the outside and the inside.
You might have it completely sussed with the skincare products that you use at home. (With a little help from the Sönd range of alkalising skincare products specifically designed for contrary or stressed out skin of course!)
But what about if you fancy a pamper, or you’ve got a spa trip planned with your squad and you’re worried about how your skin will react to different products, the sensitive little soul that it is? Now that salons have opened back up, and things are slowly getting back to ‘normal’, you may feel like a treat for your skin is on the cards.
Depending on your skin type or issue, especially if you have sensitive skin, some treatments may be more beneficial than others. So let’s take a look at the types of treatments commonly available in salons and learn more about the pros and cons of some common skin treatments.
Let's begin with the salon staple - the facial. Before we get to cosmetic procedures and targeted skin treatments, the facial is the stalwart of salon treatments and has been around as long as salons have.
Long gone are the days of a one size fits all facial though. In years gone by, all facials at a particular salon would use the same products and have the same result - super clean skin, that’s been blissfully massaged and then moisturised, quite possibly with an oil based product that sits on the skin. Admittedly, our skin felt lovely, but going home or out for lunch afterwards with an oily, shiny face wasn’t always pleasurable.
And then, if we had skin that would react to new products and ingredients, the inevitable would happen - spots, breakouts, redness and irritation.
Also, salons would have a habit of sticking to one brand of skincare products that they’d deemed to be the best. We’d have no choice which brand was used on our skin. And whilst that’s still true to a certain degree, most salons now use a range of different skincare ranges so that all skin types are catered for.
So if you have sensitive skin and have had a bad experience in the past or you’re wary of treating yourself to a facial, fear not!
Do your homework, and look around for a salon that uses a skincare brand that you know is suited to your skin. Or look for one that makes a point of saying that they look after the needs of sensitive skin and will consult with you first to discover what your skin needs and likes.
If you’re in West London, and you love Sönd products, then we have just the salon treatment for you! The Sönd facial at Blush & Blow uses our skin loving, nourishing and hydrating skincare ingredients and will leave your skin feeling amazing (without the shine).
And if you’re not near London, or you’re not venturing out and about yet, we have an at home face mask that will do great work to detox and rejuvenate sensitive skin…
Other Types of Facial
For an advanced type of facial, look for Mesotherapy nanotechnology facials. These facials usually involve the use of a skin diagnostic machine to analyse the skin to work out exactly what it needs.
Your therapist will then use a mesotherapy machine to treat the skin at a cellular level, hydrating, restoring the pH balance and reducing redness.
Or, you could try an oxygen facial. An oxygen facial has a firming, plumping and lifting effect, and is ideal for anyone looking to give their skin an anti-ageing lift.
Both are suitable for sensitive skin, but like with anything, speak to your therapist and explain your skin and your concerns. A professional therapist will then be able to tailor your treatment to you.
Now for something a bit more targeted to specific skin concerns. Microdermabrasion is a type of skin therapy that targets acne and acne scarring and can be suitable for sensitive skin in the right hands.
Microdermabrasion is a non surgical and minimally invasive procedure that should only be carried out by a trained professional at a salon or skin clinic. It involves the use of a machine that’s either tipped with crystals or diamonds that gently exfoliates away dead skin cells and the top few layers of skin, sucking them away at the same time.
It’s like an intense exfoliation treatment that leaves the skin fresh, smooth and glowy.
Microdermabrasion can be used on sensitive skin, but speak to your therapist who may choose to perform a patch test on a small area first to see that your skin can withstand it.
Light therapy is another kind of targeted therapy, this time for rejuvenating dull, tired looking skin. Also referred to as LED or phototherapy, it helps to boost the complexion, leaving it looking and feeling full of vitality.
This kind of skin therapy uses light at different wavelengths to stimulate skin cell renewal, helping to accelerate skin regeneration and repair and stimulate collagen production. It can only be carried out by trained professionals in a salon or skin clinic environment.
Light therapies can generally be given at three different wavelengths of light - blue, red and near infrared. For sensitive skin, blue phototherapy is usually advised since it helps to calm the skin and doesn’t cause any irritation.
Incidentally, if you have red, irritated skin with areas of hyperpigmentation, then near infrared LED therapy could be beneficial for you.
Chemical peels might sound terrifying, but they’re another form of intense exfoliation that should only ever be attempted, especially on sensitive skin, by a trained professional with the right equipment.
They work by peeling away the top layers of skin to reveal the fresh new skin below. The benefits are multi-fold - reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reduced areas of hyperpigmentation and improved texture and tone.
Just because you have sensitive skin, it doesn’t mean that you don't want to, or can’t, also target other areas of concern like ageing, or any other skin concern for that matter.
But, as with it all, if you have sensitive skin, it's important to choose a salon and a therapist that listens to your skin concerns and analyses your skin to find out what type of chemical peel will suit you best. If you don't get the right vibe, then walk away and find another salon.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Finally, laser skin resurfacing targets collagen production, fine lines and wrinkles and skin cell regeneration. It works by removing the top layers of skin and is another type of intense exfoliation treatment.
Again, speaking to your therapist will help you decide if this treatment is for you. As a general rule, if your skin is sensitive and you’re experiencing broken or inflamed skin, then laser skin resurfacing will probably be too harsh for your skin.
Choosing Skin Treatments with Sensitive Skin
You may benefit more from any one of these exfoliation treatments, so it’s really important to speak to a skin therapist that's knowledgeable in sensitive skin to discover which one will address your concerns best whilst looking after the needs of your skin.
Exfoliating using skin machinery or chemical peels can be quite harsh on the skin, especially so if your skin is sensitive. This means it can aggravate the skin, causing it to become red, inflamed, itchy, irritated, hot or everything at once.
Sometimes, the benefits will outweigh the side effects, especially if the side effects are short lived. It’s entirely up to you if ultra sensitive skin is worth the price of a pamper or treatment session. It could be worth a try, as you never know how your skin might react.
But it might be best to avoid having a treatment in the days before a big social event in case you’d rather keep your skin under wraps for a while. And most definitely avoid direct sunlight for a few days after any resurfacing treatment as this can make skin sensitivities worse.
Getting the Best From Your Skin with Sönd
Whatever your skin concern, whatever treatments you decide to pamper yourself with, we’re here to support your sensitive skin. Our range of skincare products was developed to support the needs of skin just like yours, and our army of fans speak volumes. So check us out today (if you haven’t already)!
This article is not meant to treat or diagnose. Please visit your doctor for advice about any health concerns you may have.