Photo by Julia Stotz
Ask Jean: Best Sensitive-Skin Treatment?
Dear Jean, I have extremely sensitive skin, and I have trouble even with many clean products (I find most conventional ones very irritating). Dermatologists always recommend very basic “sensitive skin” products, but besides making my skin even more reactive (most are made with masking fragrances, parabens etc.), they never feel very luxurious or beautiful. I’ve tried everything. What might work for me? —Anita D.
Dear Anita, Clean or conventional, the ultimate sensitive skin line is from May Lindstrom. To look at her, you might think, "oh, gorgeous model" not "understanding the seriousness of my problem". But she’s actually a walking billboard for her stuff, having lived with extreme—as in reddening, itching, splotching, breaking out, flaring, cracking, even bleeding—sensitive skin all her life.
Her exquisite, supremely healing skin products are the result of years of trial and error (more on how she started the line here), and they not only feel soothing and fortifying, they work. I would start with The Blue Cocoon, a glacial-lake-blue balm that’s one of the most calming and moisturizing substances on earth.
Smooth it on and it literally melts into your skin (for that reason, I wouldn’t bring it in a travel bag to the tropics), leaving it glowy, smooth, plump, super-hydrated, and most of all, not itchy-red-irritated-blotchy. Many products are called “balms”, the Blue Cocoon IS, truly, a balm.
It smells faintly of chocolate (who knew that cacao was anti-inflammatory?) and it just feels like heaven. You know how a product stings a little and you know it’s working? This is the opposite: It touches your skin and instantly it feels better—you can feel it healing in real time.
The packaging is, of course, gorgeous, and the fabulous pale-blue of the balm (the color is from super-anti-inflammatory azulene of the blue tansy flower; it does not tint your skin) just adds to the glamor. Once you try it, you’ll be both obsessed and delighted by the fact that very little goes a long way—you’ll also be desperate to try the rest of her line, which I highly recommend. Anyone who breaks out will find The Problem Solver mask to be life-changing, and The Honey Mud is one of the world’s most delightful-to-use cleansers. But start with The Blue Cocoon: Your life will change.
May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoongoop, $160
This deeply luxurious, miracle-working pale-blue balm genuinely (and immediately) transforms irritated, sensitive, or delicate skin, and it feels incredible, no matter what your complexion. Intensely moisturizing, it melts into skin on contact and calms, nourishes, and softens with anti-inflammatory concoction of blue tansy, botanicals, and oils. Created by reactive-skin-sufferer/former model/gorgeous-skin-guru May Lindstrom, the glacial-blue formula is as gorgeous as it is effective.
The Making of…May Lindstrom’s The Blue Cocoon