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How to take the fear out of trying new skincare this Halloween

Forget ghosts, ghouls and dodgy cat costumes, when you're struggling with sensitive skin, there's little scarier than trying out a new skincare brand. Will it break me out in blemishes? What if it causes a red rash and irritation? Are the ingredients really as 'gentle' as they claim to be? Just the thought of diving into a new product can be terrifying.

Trust me, I've been there myself and I know exactly how you're feeling!

Here, I'm sharing my own sensitive skin journey along with my tips for selecting and introducing new products...

By Sarah London

My post-cancer sensitive skin

When I was diagnosed with life-threatening leukaemia in 2012, my complexion was the least of my worries. But soon, the cancer treatment's impact on my skin started to cause me physical pain. It left everywhere unbearably sore and fragile with even supposedly 'natural' skincare ranges irritating it.

I was horrified to discover many of these products contained hidden ingredients that caused my delicate skin to shed even further.

Seeing me suffer so much pain and stress prompted my sister Sarah to step in, researching and developing her very own blends – using her own extensive skin health knowledge – to soothe and repair my reactive complexion.

These plant-based formulations – that now make up our award-winning range – truly transformed my skin and today it's happy and healthy. But, since I'm still prone to sensitivity, I've become the ultimate 'litmus' test for our By Sarah London products. Any new ingredients or blends are extensively trialled on my own skin first to ensure they'll suit even the most sensitive types.

Yes, sharing my own story and putting my face up for the test is a bit of a bold move! But Sarah and I passionately believe in every single product we create and we love nothing more than hearing feedback from happy customers who have experienced the same transformational effects.

Look for ingredient transparency

Words like 'gentle' and 'natural' can often give a false impression since there's little legislation surrounding the use of these terms. For example, a 'natural' product could still contain essential oils or fragrance that's likely to trigger a reaction.

Instead? Study the ingredients list (also known as the INCI list) for yourself. At By Sarah London, we display this in its entirety on the front of our packaging so you won't get any hidden surprises like fragrance, essential oils or filler ingredients that might upset your skin.

By Sarah London Hero Facial Oil

Keep it simple

Sideline 15-step routines and countless potent active ingredients – the more products you use, the more likely you are to react to something. It can also be really hard to pinpoint what's causing any discomfort when you're using an abundance of different formulas.

Sarah and I know skin loves consistency and we advocate a simple routine with minimal, multi-tasking products that slot seamlessly together. Our Hero Facial Oil does the job of your serum, moisturiser and eye cream in one easy blend while our Balancer Oil-to-milk Cleanser negates the need for two different cleansing products.

By Sarah London Balancer oil-to-milk cleanser

Nourish your skin with plant-based ingredients

It's easy to fall for the hype of a new buzz ingredient or formulation. From retinol-loaded gels to salicylic acid-spiked foams, the world of skincare can often feel like one big science experiment. But to truly enjoy happy healthy skin, it's important to understand how the organ (yes, it is one!) actually works.

Remember, we have a barrier wall that keeps irritants out and moisture in. Similarly, our skin has its very own microbiome – like a bustling rainforest – filled with trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms. If either of these become out of whack – triggered by over-exfoliation or an overload of harsh active ingredients – our complexion reacts. Cue breakouts, rashes, dehydration and irritation.

Our By Sarah London mantra for calm, comfortable and radiant skin? Giving our biome and barrier plenty of TLC. Think nourishing ingredients that repair and replenish – like a big cocooning hug... and there's nothing scary about that, right?

Happy Halloween, all!

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Written by: Lauren, Co-Founder, By Sarah London

Join our Newsletter to receive our latest news, arrivals and skincare tips straight to your inbox every week. All content © BY SARAH LONDON. All rights reserved.

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