Board-certified cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Dendy Engelman, sits down with The RéView Editors to discuss sensitive skin and how to best address this concern using various methods.
Dr. Dendy Engelman on Sensitive Skin
Q: Please share a little about yourself.
A: I am a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and Moh’s surgeon at Shafer Clinic NYC, and have been practicing for over 14 years now. I really enjoy treating my patients, and I typically take a holistic approach to skin health, as our skin is our largest organ and our overall health shows up directly on it. It’s empirical to learn about all of my patients’ medical history.
Q: What do you consider to be sensitive skin?
A: My definition of sensitive skin is when someone’s moisture barrier function has been compromised. For instance, many people with sensitive skin suffer from Rosacea or Eczema, and, in such cases, they must be very careful to not over-strip their skin of its natural barrier. If there is truly a case of Rosacea or Eczema, I may need to prescribe a daily medicine in the form of either a lotion or cream to keep their irritation at bay.
Q: What can people do to take care of sensitive skin concerns?
A: First and foremost, to take care of sensitive skin, people must wash both their face and body in lukewarm water – never too hot or too cold. I recommend using a gentle cleanser that will not cause skin to react, and to always use an antioxidant serum and SPF in the morning. At night, the objective should always be to heal skin and use products that are more active. Therefore, for patients with sensitive skin, I would recommend slowly working into an anti-aging routine with either AHA’s or Retinoids that are combined with nourishing ingredients to balance and avoid a negative reaction. These ingredients can include ceramides, peptides and other extra moisturizing properties.
Q: What are your top tips to avoid flare ups?
A: Individuals should watch out for certain foods and drinks that can trigger flushing and inflammation, such as red wine, chocolate and fermented cheeses. A humidifier should be used all year round – and especially in the cold winter months to retain moisture in the skin. Finally, extreme cold or hot temperatures should be avoided, as they can lead to either very dry or oily skin, respectively.
Q: What other skincare tips do you have to keep skin calm, comfortable and glowing?
A: Those with sensitive skin types should be extra careful not to compromise the skin’s natural barrier in order to prevent infection, irritation, and redness. I recommend using actives that support the skin’s barrier rather than disturb it, such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and niacinamides. These calming, revitalizing actives will hydrate the skin and prevent moisture loss, leaving skin looking smooth and radiant. It is also significant to include SPF in your skincare routine each morning, and it’s important to note that a good gentle sunscreen should be fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and free of parabens and chemicals. I especially recommend using a physical sunscreen, as it protects from harmful UV rays without penetrating the skin.
A: Which products do you recommend?
Q; RéVive’s new Sensitif Repairing Night Cream is an excellent option for those with sensitive skin. Packed with bio-calming ingredients and various prebiotics, this luxe calming formula helps to reduce redness, improve the appearance of blemishes, and balance the skin’s microbiomes for a brighter and smoother complexion. Apply 1-2 pumps in the evening after cleansing to maximize the benefits of this powerful, soothing night cream.