If you have sensitive skin, these 4 tips will help improve your summer.

Thanks to our brand partner, NIVEA

You know what’s worse than sensitive skin? Sensitive skin in summer.

The itch.

The inflammation.

A face that looks more tomato than human (when you haven’t even been out in the sun). It’s not much fun.

But you’re not suffering alone. There’s a huge proportion of the population who seek out sensitive skin products to avoid reactions to fragrances or even weather conditions.

Fortunately, us sensitive-skinned girls (and guys) don’t need to suffer at the hands of redness and reactivity.

To help with your sensitive skin issues this summer, we’ve called in a professional to find out more – NIVEA skincare expert Robyn Hutch.

Robyn Hutch knows sun protection. Image: supplied.

1. Keep your barrier happy and hydrated.

Dehydration is enemy number one for sensitive skin, Robyn tells Mamamia.

“Dry skin can lead to sensitised skin because the barrier function is compromised,” Robyn says. “Your skin barrier is located in the uppermost layer of the skin. Its job is to protect you from all the damaging stuff being thrown up every day. When our barrier cops a beating, from say, UV rays and the summer heat, it’s not able to do its job quite as well, which can lead to sensitive, sore, inflamed skin.

“The best way to prevent this from happening is by keeping on top of your moisturising routine. With sensitised skin, making sure skin is nourished and hydrated can help skin be less reactive to triggers and environmental changes.”

2. Choose your products carefully.

Any sensitive skin sufferer will have experienced their fair share of super-fun reactions to the wrong type of skincare product.

Robyn recommends choosing gentle, hydrating products for sensitive skin. “Look for products that are specifically formulated for your skin type to ensure they provide you with soothing and nourishing care while keeping irritation at bay,” Robyn advises.

Avoid fragrance and stick with a simple regime, as the less products you’re putting on your face, the less chance you have of a reaction occurring.

3. Know your most common triggers.

We can’t all live a life of avoiding foods with any hint of spice or never taking a chance on that sheet mask that promises to be suitable for reactive skin types.


What we can do is try and stay on top of the most common triggers for sensitivity and head them off at the pass. Surprise, surprise, UV exposure is one of the main triggers for sensitive skin.

“Sensitive skin is particularly prone to sun damage because it has a weaker structure and is less resilient to the sun,” says Robyn. “Essentially the barrier function is compromised and UV is able to penetrate skin more easily, causing more damage.”

Sun protection is especially important for us sensitive souls, and while it can be scary (we’ve all had a stingy sunscreen experience), dermatologically approved products like NIVEA SUN Sensitive Protect SPF50 are specifically formulated with sensitive skin in mind. The NIVEA SUN Sensitive Protect range contains soothing ingredients like Aloe Vera and Chamomile to calm reactive skin, and Vitamin E to protect and repair and is completely free of fragrance and colour.

nivea sun
NIVEA SUN Sensitive Protect SPF50 offers UVA and UVB broad-spectrum protection. Image: Mamamia.

“If you have sensitive skin and are nervous about trying a new sunscreen or any new product for the first time, then I would definitely recommend a patch test,” adds Robyn. “Simply apply to a small area of skin like the inner forearm and wait. If your skin doesn’t react then it can be used across your face and body.”

4. Create an ‘in case of emergency’ kit.

Sometimes, even when you’re doing all the right things, your skin will react. Creating an emergency kit to manage a flare-up can make all the difference to both your comfort levels and how quickly the sensitisation lasts.

Specific skin concerns, like eczema, may have prescribed ointments and lotions, but for generally sensitive skin, you may want to include an antihistamine, a gentle, cream-based cleanser, a face cloth and/or small ice pack and products that cool and soothe skin on contact.

If your skin sensitivity seems to be getting worse or is becoming problematic, a visit to your GP is a good idea. They can assess whether what you’re dealing with is general sensitivity or whether you may need something more specific to help manage your skin.

What do you find works for sensitive skin in summer?

Feature image: Getty.

Always read the label. Follow the directions of use. Sunscreens are only one part of sun protection. Avoid prolonged high-risk sun exposure. Reapply frequently.


Launched in 1911, NIVEA is one of the world's largest and most successful skin care brands. Over 100 years ago, we invented modern skin care with NIVEA Creme. Today, millions of people all over the world, all with different types of skin, rely on the NIVEA brand. That is why our researchers work extensively with different skin types and the different care requirements brought about by culture, gender and age. Thanks to this approach, we have developed numerous innovative skin care products over the past few decades to cleanse, nourish and protect all skin types. The brand includes several specialist ranges, including Bath Care, Body Care, Deodorant, Face Care, Lip Balm, NIVEA Creme, NIVEA SOFT and Sunscreen.