Sensitive Skin Explained

When your skin is sensitive, even washing your face can be a painful chore.

Do I have sensitive skin?
Amazingly, 70% of women claim to have sensitive skin, though it is very important to remember that there are wildly different levels of sensitivity. There are so many daily stresses that can affect skin of all types: emotional strain, pollution, hormones, seasonal changes, and allergens can all play around with your skin’s moisture balance and susceptibility to irritations. This skin may be described as being sensitive, though it is actually just going through a period of heightened vulnerability known as sensitisation.

There are some people who have hypersensitive skin: skin that reacts in a more extreme way, becoming flaky, red, hot and very itchy. This is where sensitivity starts to shift from a skin complaint into a skin condition. Redness can be hard to dissipate and soothe once it has flared up. It can be caused by so many different factors that it is often better to focus upon alleviation rather than cure.

What to do when you’re sensitive
There are many different ways to ease redness and the symptoms of sensitivity once they have begun. Calm your skin with products that contain the natural healing properties of lavender and rose, rich in vitamins and nutrients that reduce redness and improve elasticity. Cleansers should be soap-free and, importantly, should not be removed with water. Instead, dampen a cotton pad with a gentle alcohol-free toner and smooth off gently. Especially sore areas will benefit from a soothing cream specifically formulated for very dry and sensitive skin.

It is best not to overload your skin with a lot of different products if it is sensitive for many different reasons. The main – and perhaps most obvious – point is that your skin reacts adversely to various different foreign substances. Despite this, there are very many unseen, airborne irritants that require you having to use something to protect your skin, but using too much can have an adverse affect too. Additionally, if you have a flare-up it would be very hard to pinpoint which product is the one to avoid if you use many on a daily basis!

Products with fragrance should ideally be avoided, as they can cause severe allergic reactions in those who are susceptible to irritations. Avoiding lanolin in creams is also advised as the sheep’s wool-based substance can aggravate the skin.