A couple of years ago, ‘sensitive’ skin care products represented a quarter of new US skin care launches, according to Mintel. I’m sure I read somewhere that many people think they have sensitive skin when in fact, they haven’t, and they’re just playing ‘safe’. Although there is no hard and fast dermatological definition for sensitive skin, it can be defined as over-reactive skin that behaves differently according to physical, environmental and lifestyle factors. It can manifest in many ways, but mainly skin can feel itchy, dry and burn or look blotchy and irritated when something stresses it. Opting for ‘hypoallergenic’ products isn’t necessarily the best option because all that simply means is that a product is less likely to cause a reaction but it’s not a well regulated term and is widely regarded amongst skin experts as meaningless.
REN’s new Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask treats key symptoms of sensitive skin, but also break the stress cycle so that skin can begin to repair rapidly. REN are claiming a connection between mind and sensitive skin. It’s not quite the psychodermatology arena but more a blocking of pain and irritation signals from the skin to the brain. Wow – this is amazing! All from mushrooms as well. I am the biggest, biggest cynic when it comes to skincare claims – I know how to dissemble a press release to separate fact from wishful thinking and what I think REN are saying is that the feeling of skin soothing makes the brain think all is well so it doesn’t send signals to react. So, it’s not quite a miracle, but a simple process advanced by the correct ingredients.
Speaking of, key players are white mushroom extract (albatrellus ovinus), magnesium carboxymethyl beta glucan (found in baker’s yeast) and arnica. The white mushroom is a natural pain killer that blocks mediators for pain and itching and also gives an analgesic effect. The yeast compound is antihistamine and antibacterial and we all know that arnica is a hero for soothing and reducing inflammation.
I’m not normally this interested in skin care – much of it is so swamped in hype I genuinely can’t pull fact from fiction – but my gut feeling is that REN Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask is set to be awesome. I don’t have sensitive skin so I’ll say from the get-go that I haven’t tried it – it’s a pointless exercise if there is nothing to calm. I’m looking forward to reading reviews though from bloggers with sensitivities when it’s released in January. A definite ‘watch this space’.
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I was very excited to come across REN products. I can’t speak about this particular product but their sensitive skin products did not agree with me in the least. I had a horrible reaction. Personally, I do believe in sensitive, reactive skin- but that’s just me. I wanted to share my experience with the REN products that are geared towards sensitive skin and let people who like me who believe in sensitivity issues that REN may not be the best choice for them.
As a side note, I’m in the US & recently came across Darphin in looking for products to help with redness. I got samples from a new store that actually carries the line in my town. I was so excited. I did spot testing on a small area. I had no issues with the INTRAL serum. So, feeling like I may be onto something I tried the INTRAL moisturizer & it made my skin itch like I’ve never felt before. It was an immediate, long lasting, extremely unpleasant experience. It was the only new product I used that night. When I’m trying new products I only use the bare minimum instead of using all my products.
If anyone can give me some advice about good lines to try for those of us in the US that are okay for sensitive skin & help with redness I’d be extended grateful.
Thank you in advance.
You raise a good point that everyone’s sensitivities are different and it’s important to get to know a brand before you commit. So many people say they are allergic to Clinique for example, and yet it’s geared towards sensitive skin. Sensitivities are so individual – my daughter has very reactive skin and she uses Avene with no difficulty but it’s one of very few she can use. I don’t have sensitive skin at all but am allergic to Dr Perricone.
I tend to get a bit of redness with my skin, so this sounds like it might address that. Perfect for my next spa night! I’d love to try out this brand – I always hear great things about it.
Blush & Pearls by Angela
I always recommend the Body Shop Aloe Vera range – I use a few products from it and they all feel very soothing on my skin which is dry and easily irritated. And no fragrance!
Heavily scented products, citrus and lots of essential oils tend to upset my skin. But more than anything I apply topically, it’s my general wellbeing which dictates how my skin looks and feels. Clever REN for tapping into this.
I would proceed with caution here. Like the commenter above, sensitive skin products I have tried from this brand have either been ineffective (their exfoliating mask) or irritating.