Thursday 22 February 2018

Red in the face - tips to help skin sensitivity

Irish skin is sensitive, says our expert, but these top products don't make a drama of it

Bioderma NodeDS+ shampoo
Bioderma NodeDS+ shampoo
Suu Balm
Skinceuticals Redness Neutralizer
Uriage Xemose Cream
Seavite Super Nutrient Radiance Skin Serum

Sarah Caden

We Irish can be very sensitive. Which is to say that our skin tends to be sensitive but we are also highly strung sorts who enjoy making a drama of it.

Classic Irish skin - pale, thin, reactive to heat and cold - has a tendency to redness and roughness - but keep calm, because it's often treatable. We suffer more than most from rosacea, effects of which include redness and even skin pustules.

We also have a tendency to psoriasis. Both can be embarrassing and aggravating, but are not to be confused with common sensitivity. See the previously discussed desire for drama. There are simple tips to help sensitivity: avoid hot water, use sunscreen religiously and choose products that calm and soothe as their key function. Lose your red face and redirect your drama.

Best Overall

Uriage Xemose Cream, €19.50, selected pharmacies nationwide

Uriage Xemose Cream

The French spa water in this cream is soothing all by itself, but it's not all about calming the problem. With patented ingredients to reduce inflammation and increase the fatty barriers to irritation, it is a product aimed at psoriasis sufferers but suitable for anyone with itchy or reactive skin. "This cream is a godsend," one panellist said. "My psoriasis flare-ups can be quite painful and this provided a welcome relief from the second I applied it"

Best Head Start

Bioderma NodeDS+ shampoo, €13.50, selected pharmacies nationwide

Bioderma NodeDS+ shampoo

This is an anti-dandruff shampoo that also works a treat on other scalp issues. They recommend that you use this stuff for treatment, and their Node Fluide shampoo (€10.50) for maintenance - our panellist concurs. It is effective but gentle and won't leave your hair like straw, and you wondering if a flaky scalp was preferable. "This is the first product I've ever tried that actually works for me," said one panellist. "I had the start of plaques of psoriasis that cleared in no time. And no coal-tar smelliness."

Best For Men

Skinceuticals Redness Neutralizer, €82, for stockists, see

Skinceuticals Redness Neutralizer

It is the presence of a rare South American plant that helps this product to tackle inflammation and redness, apparently. Eperua falcata, since you ask, which works on 'micro-inflammation'. We recommend this for men because while it functions as the correcting step in a multi-step skincare regime, it would also suit a bloke's desire to use one product for mending and moisturising. This works well at both. "My skin was noticeably less blotchy, I thought," said a panellist.

Best Ocean Action

Seavite Super Nutrient Radiance Skin Serum, €57.50, selected pharmacies nationwide, or see

Seavite Super Nutrient Radiance Skin Serum

Seaweed is at the heart of all of the Seavite skin products, which bear the names of skin experts Drs Katherine and Jane Mulrooney. Their marine biologist father founded the brand to cure the sisters' childhood eczema and the nutrient-rich seawood is now widely accepted as a cure-all. "I've used this after treatment for cancer and have never reacted to it," a panellist said. "Good on eczema, radiation damage and very dry skin."

Best For the Family

Suu Balm, €14.95, selected pharmacies nationwide

Suu Balm

An Irish doctor, John O'Shea, is one of the medical minds behind this balm, launched on to the Singapore market in 2015. It's concerned with itchiness, which it tackles with an instantly defusing menthol blend. Ceramides then boost the water content of the skin, but the balm does not claim to cure skin-itch issues. Suitable for children and adults, it's one to bear in mind for the summer. "The instant effect is amazing," one panellist said. "It's a true balm for any irritation."

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