Sensitivity, dehydration and rosacea leaving you red in the face?

Conditions such as these are on the rise - so what can you do to help prevent, soothe and correct your skin?

When people experience increased skin sensitivity, rosacea and even dehydration, the first thought that comes to mind is that ‘I have sensitive skin, so I must need a routine or product that focuses just on that’. From my perspective - this isn’t always the best approach.

I believe that the idea of skin-type as defined by the skincare industry doesn’t actually exist. Although some people are definitely more genetically predisposed to having sensitivity and reactive, flushing skin - how your skin ends-up is more related to how we look after it; what we expose it to environmentally and how we live our lives.

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So what are some of the common triggers of sensitivity, dehydration and rosacea?

Most people would assume that these issues would be more prevalent and triggered by the conditions associated with summer - think excessive heat, sun exposure and potentially the few extra glasses of wine that we all indulge in when the weathers warm.

Now although all three of these factors do contribute to sensitivity, dehydration and rosacea, the role of winter is greatly underestimated and in fact is worse for flare-ups (especially for rosacea). To understand the reason, we’ll need a little science lesson.

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When the humidity drops - the water/moisture evaporates from our skin through the scientific process of osmosis. Your skin starts feeling tighter, dryer and itchier and It looks dry, flakey and blotchy. As winter progresses it continues to suck moisture out of the skin, weakening the barrier.

The solution is either integrating new products to your routine, or changing it to ensure your skin is nourished with the correct concentrations of active ingredients all year round.

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What products should I be integrating into my routine?

Developing a routine in winter that addresses the season’s conditions is the best way to prevent your skin from increased dryness, sensitivity and rosacea. Ensuring that you have a gentle soothing cleanser is a fantastic way to start - however you’ll need added nutrients in serums as well as stepping up your moisture levels with a heavy duty hydrating cream.

My top three tips for this winter would be.

1. Humectants (water binding ingredients):

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! The right combination of humectants will lock much needed moisture into your skin whilst reinforcing the skin’s epidermal barrier. Look for ingredients such as medical grade lanolin, shea butter and glycerin (See the Concentrated Hydration+). The right hydrating moisturiser should integrate into the skin without feeling too occlusive and keep you hydrated for long periods, protecting you from heating, aircon and the winter elements.
2. Vitamin B3:
Vitamin B3 is one of the most powerful multi-tasking ingredients you can get your hands on, and should be in everyone’s routine. Often misunderstood as only having benefits for regulating sebum production and acne, vitamin B3 has benefits for rosacea and sensitivity as it reinforces the skin’s epidermal barrier. As the body absorbs vitamin B3 it is broken down into the fuel that reboots and repairs your skin's cellular energy – repairing DNA, reversing sun damage and calming pigmentation
3. Cleanse without stripping:

Firstly, avoid all foaming products for the face and body - say no to soap. The importance of using the correct cleanser for the face and body cannot be overstated (for body think oil based).

If you’ve read my blog before you’ll now that I always recommend avoiding micro beads, detergents and cleansers that foam. Some gel washes and cleansers claim to be soap free however If they foam when mixed with water then the product has surfactants in it, which are basically the same as soap.

The reasoning behind this is that all of the above ingredients either strip your skin completely of it’s essential oils (leaving it dry and tight) or create sensitivity through the physical abrasion. If your skin is already compromised by your environment, the last thing you want to is over cleanse with the wrong ingredient (dry skin + the wrong cleanser = Sensitivity, dehydration, rosacea and acne). Look for a cleanser that is not only boosted by vitamins in the correct concentrations but also incorporates soothing botanicals and a moisturising agent like glycerin.

(See the Concentrated Cleanser).

Discovering the Dr Natasha Cook Range.

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Integrating new products into your regime can be an overly complicated process that ends up leaving your skin confused. My range of concentrated clinical strength skincare has been formulated to cut out the BS, and deliver results without confusion. It has not only been developed to treat sensitivity, rosacea and dehydration - but also tackles acne, ageing, pigmentation and sun damage.

For anyone new to the range with conditions like sensitivity, rosacea or dehydration I would recommend the following. Start with the Concentrated Cleanser (B3 and soothing botanicals), Concentrated Illuminator (10% B3, 10% C, Peptides and HA) and Concentrated Hydration+ (5% B3, medical grade lanolin, shea butter and glycerin).

Using these three products in an evening routine allows you to reset, restore and replenish overnight, while locking in hydration for the day to come. You can also use this routine in the morning, keeping it simple. Don’t forget your SPF even though its winter we are STILL getting UV damage!

Like I said earlier, I don’t believe in skin type as your skin is constantly changing with the seasons and your environment. I believe in the fundamentals of the skin’s physiology and preventing and treating common skin problems with a simple regimen. You need a skin care regime that can work with you and your environment, all year round.

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