9 Ingredients To Soothe Irritated And Sensitive Skin

aloe vera

When you have sensitive skin, it can be really hard to find gentle products that don’t irritate it. But everyone’s skin, regardless of how tough it is, can become irritated or inflamed at some point. You can have a negative reaction to a skincare product. Or stay in the sun too long and get burnt. Or suffer from acne or rosacea.

Whatever the reason, irritations and inflammations are never good. Here’s 9 ingredients you can try to soothe them:

1. Aloe Vera

This succulent plant is famous for its soothing properties. Although made mostly of water, it also contains glycoproteins that help speed up the healing process by reducing pain and inflammation, and polysaccharides that stimulate skin growth and repair. However, if not properly processed, the soothing properties of aloe vera can be greatly reduced. Because of this, always look for products that use aloe vera derived from the whole-leaf and that was then cold-processed.

2. Niacinamide

One of my favourite skincare ingredients, niacinamide (also called nicotinamide), is a stable form of Vitamin B3. In addition to treating acne and hyperpigmentation, and improving skin’s barrier function and elasticity, niacinamide also has anti-inflammatory properties and can relieve the symptoms of rosacea.

3. Avena sativa (oat) extract

Avena sativa, derived from oats, has soothing properties. A 2002 study has shown that it can reduce skin irritations caused by contact with a high dose of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Avena Rhealba, also tested in the same experiment, has a similar soothing effect as well.

4. Tea

Green and white tea contain epigallocatechin gallate, a powerful antioxidant that can stimulate collagen production. And, of course, it has anti-inflammatory properties too. Black tea also contains epigallocatechin gallate, but in a smaller, and thus less effective, concentration.

5. Vitamin C

vitamin c
Vitamin C, which is used in skincare in various forms has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. For instance, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, when used in 5% concentrations, reduces inflammation caused by acne. In addition, Vitamin C can also boost collagen production and treat hyperpigmentation.

6. Zinc Oxide

Zinc Oxide is my favourite sunscreen ingredient for its ability to protect, on its own, against the entire UV spectrum. Not only, unlike chemical filters, it doesn’t irritate skin, but it also acts as an anti-irritant. It can be used to treat various forms of skin irritation, including diaper rash.

7. Licorice extract

Licorice extract contains Licochalcone, which has been found by several studies, including one published in 2008 in the Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C., a journal of biosciences, to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

8. Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid is an exfoliant. It can slough off dead cells from the surface of the skin and get inside the pores to remove all the gunk that accumulates inside them, preventing breakouts. This makes it particularly suitable for those with oily skin. Because salicylic acid is a derivative of aspirin, it is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. It can reduce inflammation related to acne, rosacea and “other superficial inflammatory disorders”.

9. Chamomile extract

Chamomile has been known for centuries for its soothing properties. They are derived from one of its components, chamazulene. However, it can cause an adverse reaction in those allergic to chamomile and other plants in the daisy family.

How do you soothe irritated skin?

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    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Trisha, I’m sorry to hear that. Using fewer products is definitely a good idea, but one of these ingredients could help soothe your skin even faster. :)

  1. Janessa says

    All these ingredients I could use in my skincare! I used a Niacinamide sunblock and have tried it at least twenty times… I don’t even know. I give up on it because it breaks me out and I don’t think my current skincare products have niacinamide in them but I am just fine since I wouldn’t mix that with vitamin C during the day.
    If my skin gets irritated, I just put a good moisturizer on there, even if it’s fragranced because I frankly love scents!

    I ordered the Yule stuff from Haus of Gloi! I had to tell you! I tried the Snow Wolf (smells like pine forest and a bit more masculine and it’s not my preference used on its own), Wintervale (clean slightly cologne-like scent at first but then it smells really nice and even cold), Fancy Bread (lots of fake banana scent if you take a good whiff of it with some nuttiness to it but if used sparingly, it does smell like banana bread from at least a few centimeters away; I really like this though because I can mix it with my regular lotions!), Sweet Potato Treat (FAVORITE ONE! Even my two other friends smelled all of them and decided this was our favorite; it smells super sweet and buttery and although I’ve never tried baked sweet potatoes with marshmallow atop, they said it smells just like it), (got a sample of) Three Treasures (don’t really remember, sorry! but it’s more amber-ish and musky and it’s a good scent just not like WOW), and Plotter’s Breakfast (ooo I like this one for it’s sort of dirty-ish scent that works really well layered with the sweet stuff). I got the gingerbread, sugar plum, and silver fir butterbombs and THE BUTTERBOMBS are AMAZING. They leave the water soft and almost creamy and leave my skin soft and smell delicious. The gingerbread smells like ginger cookies and it’s great. I haven’t used the other two yet, but I love the scents.
    I got two lipbalms (one for me and one for a friend) in Gingerbread and Hot Toddy.
    Gingerbread smells very gingery and spicy like the actual cookie!
    Hot Toddy smells like really sweet toffee. The rum part comes in when you actually apply this lipbalm! It has an alcohol-ish taste to it which I found a bit weird and not preferable at first but I kind of like how neat it is that the scent and taste vary. I love the formulation but not the scent enough to reach for it often. I don’t drink if that helps. :]

    I am off to get Eggnog for sure! I really want to try that one and when I do order it, I am going to purchase one of every butter bomb because I love them that much. Good bye, LUSH!

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Janessa, I love your haul! Everything sounds amazing, but then this is Haus of Gloi, so it’s not surprising. :) From your description, I think I’d love Snow Wolf and Three Treasures the most, although you made me curious to try Sweet Potato Treat too. I usually don’t go for sweet scents, but if you all like it, it must be pretty good.

      And I must order some bath bombs too. I rarely buy these because they last so little, but from what you said, they must be awesome. I have yet to come across a bath bomb that leaves my skin soft, but hopefully these will. Let me know how you like the other flavours once you get them!

      I love the Gingerbread lip balm. It’s so moisturizing and the smell is yummy. Like you, I don’t drink, so I think I’d have your same reaction to Toddy. Although the texture really intrigues me.

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