This time of year can play havoc with your skin. As we move from rooms heated artificially to the good old British wind and rain outside, the changes in temperature and air quality can result in dryness, sore patches and flare up certain skin conditions. When your skin is sensitive, this can be really bad news!
This week, we sat down with Emma Heathcote-James, founder of Little Soap Company, to discuss just how important it is to take care of our skin and how Little Soap Company can help.
Making pure, natural soap the norm, not the niche.
Emma started Little Soap Company back in 2008 when the soap shelves in supermarkets were incredibly dull and staid – she couldn’t understand why you couldn’t buy a pure, natural bar of soap amid the weekly shop. Fast forward to present day, Little Soap Company has paved the way to offering proper choice on the shelf and is now stocked in 10 of the UK major supermarkets. From their new functional bar soap Eco Warrior range to their best-selling Organic and Naturals ranges, Little Soap Company truly has a product for everyone whatever their skin type.
What causes sensitive skin?
Emma: Some of us will breeze through life with no skin issues at all, while others will seemingly react to every product they try. Sometimes you don’t realise you have sensitive skin until you try something new and then all of a sudden, your skin breaks out into a rash, you’re itchy and you feel like starting your entire skin collection again.
There are so many reasons why your skin might be sensitive, and most often it’s a case of slowly ruling things out in order to pinpoint the route cause. In short, sensitivity can occur when the skin’s protective barrier is compromised, and in turn, the skin becomes more vulnerable to irritants such as bacteria, chemical substances and allergens.
What are your tips for sensitive skin?
Emma: Our skin is often a reflection of what is going on in the inside, so of course a balanced diet is always key and the first place to start. Foods rich in antioxidants and fatty acids are good for sensitive skin.
My other key tips are:
Strip your skincare right back. Not only do you eliminate lots of unnecessary plastic bottles or tubs from your bathroom, but by using just one simple cleanser and moisturiser to keep clean and nourish your skin, you’re helping to protect the skin’s barrier function and get your skin back to normal.
Try to use cleansers with as few ingredients in them as possible. The less ingredients the better! Avoid any beauty products that contain alcohol, fragrance or SLS, as these will just irritate, dry or damage your skin more!
Lastly, don’t forget the sunscreen. Although it’s not particularly sunny at the moment, having a layer of SPF protection is still just as important when it comes to building up your skin’s barrier function!
What products do you recommend for sensitive skin?
Emma: Although I maybe a little biased, here at Little Soap we offer several unperfumed bar soap options that were designed specifically for those with super sensitive skin. Made with very simple plant-based ingredients, our bars not only avoid any irritants, but they also help replenish that “thinner-than-average” lipid barrier with humectant glycerine that draws moisture to the skin, and a layer of natural oils that complement the body’s own.
Not only are they gentle on the skin, every single one of the Little Soap Company products boasts the same ethos and claims: because we believe that what you rub into your skin is just as important as the diet we eat. Our products are all made in the UK, are leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free and Vegan accredited, meaning whatever need state or budget, we have done the thinking so every customer can have a clean conscience when they wash.
You can find more information about Emma's products at www.littlesoapcompany.co.uk.
Chemicals that irritate sensitive skin are not solely confined to soap and skincare products – they can be found in your clothes too! It’s also a good idea to choose clothes that are gentle on the skin, such as our very own range of super soft and comfortable undies for men and women. Everything is made from 100% GOTS Certified organic cotton, meaning that there are no traces of harmful pesticides and other chemicals in the clothes that cover some of the most sensitive parts of your body. We've also got a beautiful selection of re-usable face masks made from breathable organic cotton, which helps to reduce irritation to the chin area when wearing a mask.