Three things to know about sensitive skin

You’re not the only one who feels like they have sensitive skin. About 60% of women in the world and 40% of men believe that their skin is sensitive. This number is growing.

Some people are born with skin conditions such as eczema or rosacea. For others, such as Natalie Butler, the founder of Biobod, an intuitive skincare brand, inflammation may be caused by something else.

Nat’s 12-step skincare regimen, which she followed in her 20s and promised results, did the opposite. The more active ingredients Nat used, the worse her skin looked.

Are your skin products causing sensitivity?

You may be familiar with common skin care methods, like avoiding fragrances and sulphates, if you have developed sensitivities in your later years. You may have even invested in expensive routines and serums that promise to improve your skin. It could be that the products you use are the ones causing your skin’s reaction.

We all fall into the trap of thinking that more is better. Who can blame us? Beauty industry tries to convince us that putting out fires is better than preventing them.

Nat believes that a more minimalist approach to skin care is the best way to go. She begins with three things that she believes everyone should know, as soon as possible, about sensitive skin.

1. The cause could be skin care layering

It turns out that the 12-step regimen we followed in our 20s didn’t do us any good, but this doesn’t mean that all actives are bad. Try to find products that contain Phytoactives, which soothe instead of irritate. Biobod’s oil is a good example. You can’t avoid the allure of anti-ageing products, but you should be careful not to double dip on the same active ingredient in multiple products.

2. Treatment of symptoms can feed the root causes

Your skin may be out of balance by the time you see a rash, blemish or other irregularity. Take a 360-degree approach to your health, starting with your mental well-being and incorporating a healthy diet into your skincare. These actions, taken together, will help you achieve healthy skin rather than just reacting to irritations on the surface.

3. Less is really more

#shelfies may be fun, but they’re not good for your skin or wallet. De-clutter your bathroom and get rid of what you don’t use. Are you unsure where to begin? Avoid products that contain plastic, preservatives or allergens. Instead, choose skin-loving products.

Nat’s skin became highly reactive after she spent the majority of her career in beauty companies. Nat didn’t have sensitive skin because she wasn’t born with it. The inflammation that developed was the result of her using high amounts of actives and other preservatives on her face throughout her 20s.

She tried to change her skin by using sensitive skin products from the pharmacy when it was reactive. But when she recovered, she would fall back into her old habits, only to find that she had the same symptoms of inflammation.

Nat began to search desperately for products that would work for her skin while also being enjoyable.

The journey began with a three-year collaboration with scientists in the field of skin care to develop a skincare line that works with your body, rather than against it.

She says, “My vision is to move beyond conventional approaches of treating symptoms such as acne and irritation and instead rebuilding the true foundations for skin health.”

“I wanted to make a line that would help with a healthy microbiome on the skin, a strong skin barrier, and also calm an inflammatory response.”

How do you feel about creating a brand?

The brand was created to meet a personal requirement. Its development and purpose were therefore linked to my own. I wanted to develop a line of products that were essential, sustainable and safe for my sensitive skin. I also wanted them to be something I would love using. This introspective approach to the products has changed completely since the launch of this range.

This is what I am driven by now. In the last few years we have seen a shift in fashion away from fast-fashion. I believe it is time to adopt this mentality within the beauty industry. Our mission is to create an intuitive, minimalist and sustainable self-care approach that can have profoundly beneficial effects on our skin and planet.

What three mistakes do people often make when it comes to skin care?

Excessive Use of Strong Actives. Most people think that more actives are better, but this is not true. In a multi-step regimen, you may be using actives in excess or combining actives which react poorly with each other. For example, Retinol combined with chemical exfoliants. This can lead to a damaged barrier, an imbalanced microbiome and long-term sensitivities.

Do not rely on Tik Tok for all your skincare needs. There are many great influencers in social media but you should be cautious and not always trust the hype.

Ignoring your skin When you feel your skin tingle, burn, or show signs of irritation, redness or sensitivity, your body may be in distress. This is not an indication that your product is working.

What has been your most valuable lesson in skin care?

What I’ve learned most is that it’s important to get back to the basics. Our skin is the only organ we don’t trust to perform its function. After working in the beauty industry and its surrounding areas for over 20 years, my bathroom cabinet was impressive. My skin has never felt or looked better. I use between three and four products every day to care for it. After a lifetime of stripping the skin’s natural defenses, we may need a 10-step routine to maintain its appearance. All the rest falls into place if we can fix our skin on a fundamental level.