x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

The Beauty Spy: On sensitive skin care

Whether ordinary acne or folliculitis, conquer your blotches.

I have spots. Not any spots but folliculitis, a term that makes me shiver. These spots aren't your run-of-the mill pimples, but angry, blotchy, rashes thanks to an aversion to a facial treatment. Little did I know that my skin would react unhappily to certain chemicals, but it has thrown its toys out of the pram in a rage of irritable skin syndrome. For the next few days I am ticking the sensitive and dry box as my skin goes berserk when I put anything on it. I have two choices; shut up shop and hide, or search for products that don't irritate but calm and soothe.

Those with sensitive skins must be careful when choosing skin care. The harsh ingredients of some (synthetic fragrance, colouring, and chemical SPF) can feel like paint stripper on the skin and do more harm than good. Look for ranges with no chemicals such as Liz Earle and Dr. Hauschka or more recently, Dermalogica and Avène.

Luckily, Biodermahas also just launched its latest skincare range for atopic and sensitive skin. And when it comes to unfortunate flare-ups, Bioderma takes a no-prisoners approach. Suitable for those with even the most reactive complexions, its Nourishing Cream and Anti-Recurrence Emollient Balm help to balance the skin's flora and make it more resistant. When I gently applied the cream, my skin didn't sting or itch but the cooling formula, true to its word, left my razor-burn complexion soothed and less red.

Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser should be a bathroom staple. It provides protection for skin aggravated by pollution, stress, hormonal changes or irritating cosmetics. Use twice a day, safe in the knowledge that this will not upset your skin.

I don't know what made me turn to Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Exfoliating Cleanser - if anything, an exfoliator could make things worse - but I am glad that I did. Ten minutes later, Aveeno's mild formula with microbeads that gently sloughs off dead cells had calmed my skin down significantly. Half an hour later it was soft, less bumpy and rash-like.

For creams that offer a beacon of shining light, opt for Elemis S.O.S. Emergency Cream and Avène's Skin Recovery Cream. Like a warm comforting blanket, both do an excellent job of relieving skin blotchiness, leaving complexions calm and composed. Hiding or wide-brimmed hats will no longer be required.


3 of the best

Perfect for balmy spring weather, try these pink-tinted lip balms

NEAL'S YARD REMEDIES LIP GLOSS IN ROSEHIP, DH80 Don't be fooled by its make-up persona, this therapeutic formula is in fact a balm with a lovely light colour. Soil Association certified, it contains all organic oils.

BOBBI BROWN TREATMENT LIPSHINE SPF15 IN DESERT ROSE, DH130 A light-weight, soft-shine lipstick that doubles as a moisturising treatment. It contains cocoa and shea butters, so licking your lips is guaranteed.

KORRES MANDARIN LIPSTICKS WITH SPF 15 IN ROSE, DH41 Drench your lips in this lip butter to instantly hydrate and soften. A pretty, easy-to-wear shade that doesn't jump ship onto forks and glasses.


M loves

DOUBLE DUTY Occasionally, you can have the worst of two worlds: signs of ageing and sun damage. Clever Clinique has come up trumps with its new SPF20 eye cream, which has both skin-smoothing properties and good sun protection. Lightweight with a sheer luminous tint to brighten tired, stressed eyes, this is the perfect spring tonic to pop into your handbag.

Clinique Superdefense SPF20 Age Defense Eye Cream, Dh212, available at all Clinique counters across the UAE