What is sensitive skin?
Having sensitive skin is a common issue, in fact 50% of people in the industrialised world have sensitive skin. Essentially, sensitive skin is skin that is very reactive and prone to irritation. Symptoms of sensitive skin can include dryness, roughness, redness, tightness, breakouts, itching, stinging and burning, and even greasy skin can be sensitive.
What causes sensitive skin?
Sensitive skin may be inherited, or you may experience sensitive skin sensations in connection with UV light, pollution, cosmetic ingredients, temperature changes, stress, cold weather or wind. One of the main things associated with sensitive skin is an impaired skin barrier, which among other things can lead to increased sensory perceptions, and in turn, feelings of skin sensitivity and reactivity.
Signs that you may have sensitive skin
1. Your skin reacts to weather changes
When your skin is sensitive, cold weather or wind can immediately make your skin flare and cause dryness, redness and itchiness.
2. You experience burning, tight or itchy skin after cleansing
Many cleansers have sulfates and fragrances that sensitive skin doesn’t typically tolerate well.
3. Your skin stings and becomes red when using skin care or make-up
Skin care products should never sting or cause reactions, so if they do it’s quite possible that you have sensitive skin, or it might even be that you are using the wrong kind of products for your skin type.
4. You get breakouts
If you’re getting a lot of breakouts, don’t immediately assume that its due simply to having oily skin. Even without oily skin you can experience breakouts. Little bumps and patches may arise no matter your skin type, to indicate that you are experiencing some skin sensitivity
5. Your skin is rough and flaky
Since sensitive skin has an impaired skin barrier, moisture is lost from the skin causing it to become dry, rough, itchy and flaky.
So, how should we care for sensitive skin?
Sensitive skin can be quite unpredictable and your triggers can be very individual. However, we have some general tips for you sensitives out there that can calm your skin and help you avoid flare ups:
• Use lukewarm water instead of hot when cleansing, hot water can be too extreme when sudden temperature changes can be felt more readily. Also, using a cleanser for sensitive skin without sulfates and fragrance and with calming actives can really help.
• Be gentle when cleansing or applying products – pulling and scrubbing can irritate the skin.
• Keep the skin moisturised! All skin types need hydration, but sensitive skin types especially, since they typically have an impaired skin barrier that easily loses moisture.
• Consider using SPF and wear a hat if you’re in the sun, but opt for shade if you can. If you are out in the sun, we have you covered with a moisturiser for sensitive skin containing SPF .
• Avoid ingredients that are known to cause skin reactions like fragrance, alcohol and synthetic dyes.
• Steer clear of retinol and chemical exfoliants like salicylic and glycolic acid that can be a little too strong for sensitive skin. Instead of retinol, try our retinol-like active DermaLift that is gentle on the skin.