As the season shifts into fall, Aesop is ready to roll out a new product to prepare your skin for the coziest time of the year. Seeking Silence is a luxurious facial lotion designed specifically for alleviating sensitive skin from irritation and redness. Most of us are aware that skincare looks and feels different for everyone due to a variety of internal and external factors – sensitive skin is one of the more complicated conditions because the symptoms are so complex.

The key ingredients that make this process possible are squalane, ginger root, and bisabolol. Diving deeper into the formula, the protective properties of narcissus tazetta bulb extract build up the skin’s barrier system by decreasing the speed of cell proliferation and turnover which, in turn, strengthens the level of resistance from aggressors that cause flakiness and dryness. The antioxidants from the dunaliella salina extract, a microalgae, work to fight aggravation and redness, keeping the skin in a calm state. Add the subtle aroma of fresh herbs in the woods and it's basically bottled-up bliss, as your face stays hydrated all day long.

For those interested in accelerating their healing process, Aesop recommends pairing the lotion with their Gentle Facial Cleansing Milk—they're quite the dynamic duo! Seeking Silence is available now at Aesop for $60. Learn more about the science behind it all in our short interview with the brand's founding associate, Suzanne Santos.

Why was it important for Aesop to create a product specifically for people with sensitive skin?

Over the years, our scientific understanding of sensitive skin has deepened and we wanted to formulate a product that addressed both the visible signs and non-visible physical sensations of sensitive skin, utilizing the latest developments in scientifically-proven and botanical ingredients. Following three years of development, we have achieved this ambition with Seeking Silence Facial Hydrator – utilizing a unique blend of ingredients to soothe and hydrate, bringing a sense of calm comfort to sensitive skin.

What exactly does it mean to be someone with "sensitive" skin?

The precise causes of sensitivity are not well understood. That said, we do know that those with sensitive skin are more susceptible to environmental factors, and often experience pronounced reactions to certain substances, such as soap, cosmetics or sunscreens. This reactivity may also occur after contact with plants, animals or fabrics; in response to insect bites; or in particular climatic conditions. In fact, it is often reported to be aggravated by temperature extremes.

In terms of epidemiology, those with sensitive skin have been shown to have thinner stratum corneum, the uppermost layer of the skin, with greatly decreased corneocyte (skin cell) area. The consequence of this is overall compromise to the barrier function of the skin, which may lead to irritation and reactivity in this population.

What did you learn about sensitive skin during the research process? What are some of the top needs for this group?

There are many challenges in formulating products for sensitive skin, but what can present the greatest obstacle is the fact that even seemingly innocuous, non-irritating ingredients can elicit an irritant response in those with sensitive skin. When formulating products specifically for sensitive skin, we consider the multifaceted needs of this skin type and how the product will fit into our customer’s daily skin care rituals. Cleansing formulations must be incredibly gentle to avoid disrupting the skin’s protective barrier, toners should be mild and alcohol-free, and hydrating products will utilize a greater concentration of calming ingredients to soothe the skin and reduce the likelihood of reactivity. Aesop products undergo additional testing, overseen by a dermatologist, before they can be confidently recommended as being suitable for sensitive skin.

What is the purpose of Seeking Silence? How does this product work?

Seeking Silence Facial Hydrator has been formulated to address the visible and non-visible physical sensations associated with sensitive skin and skin prone to sensitivities; developed to quiet the discomforting sensations of sensitive skin. The lightweight, rapidly absorbed formulation utilizes a unique blend of scientifically-proven and botanical ingredients to soothe and hydrate sensitive skin and lessen the uncomfortable sensations and reactivity of this skin type, such as itching, burning, or stinging.

There are four key ways we address the needs of sensitive skin, and this has helped form the direction for this formulation:

Soothe – assuage the inherent reactivity or irritability of this skin type.

Calm – reduce the redness associated with sensitive skin. Note that not all of those with sensitive skin have associated redness, but a large proportion do. This often also helps reduce the sensorial aspects that go hand-in-hand with sensitive skin; the itching, burning, and tight sensations.

Fortify – improve skin barrier performance to reduce tendency to irritation and reactivity, and increase the skin’s robustness.

Hydrate – improve overall hydration level and nourish the skin.

How should consumers incorporate Seeking Silence into their pre-existing skincare routine?

Sensitive skin must be approached with caution and cared for at each step of your daily skincare routine. We advocate the use of gentle, non- or low-foaming cleansing formulations (with tepid water) to lift grime, sebum, and makeup without causing irritation or dryness. Gentle Facial Cleansing Milk or Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil are ideal for delicate skin.

When selecting a toner for sensitive skin, alcohol-free formulations are a gentler option, yet should still be astringent enough to balance and refresh skin following cleansing. We recommend B & Tea Balancing Toner or Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Toner for this step. Aesop offers a range of hydrating preparations for sensitive skin and selecting a product to suit your individual needs will depend on your underlying skin type, textural preferences, and environment. Where soothing reactive skin is of paramount importance, we recommend Seeking Silence Facial Hydrator for all skin types and climates.

In hot, humid climates, or where skin is particularly oily, Lightweight Facial Hydrating Serum provides an appealing alternative to heavier creams or lotions, with a soothing base of Aloe Vera and matte finish. In cold, wintry conditions or for very dry skin, Elemental Facial Barrier Cream provides nourishing hydration with a sustained finish. Keep Damascan Rose Facial Treatment to tailor hydration levels as needed. This product may be blended with our serums, lotions or creams to boost nourishment.

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