One of the most common complaints about skin is feeling sensitive.
A true sensitive skin is quite rare. You will always have had it and be of a fair
complexion (aka peaches and cream) and your cheeks will feel like they burn from the inside.
If you don’t fit this description (trust me, most won’t) you have sensitized skin,
or a perhaps even a completely different skin condition such as eczema, rosacea or psoriasis. All of which are also different in how they present and what causes them.
Let me break it down.
This type of skin is the skin type we were born with, skin that is written in our genes to be sensitive, to respond outlandishly to even the slightest stimulation. Delicate, red skin that burns from your cheeks. You would have always had this type of skin and sadly not much changes it.
Sensitised skin, on the other hand, could come about suddenly in adulthood due to environmental aggressors, things like medication, persistent improper cleansing, the use of harsh or damaging products, stress, as well as other lifestyle factors. This skin is considered more delicate. If your skin is sensitised it means you suddenly have a reaction to products you have never experienced before. More often than not this will be like a chemical overload that has finally compromised your skins delicate barrier through product use. Ditching traditional chemical cosmetics and switching to natural and organic products are your first step.
The other cause for sensitised skin could be an internal condition. Often if there is an imbalance in digestion, or an underlying auto immune condition and it will show up on the skin as a rash. This compromises the skins barrier function making it weak and sensitive to external application of products.
Photo by William Randles
This is when your skin goes red to the touch, flushes with the heat or during and
after a workout. Reactive does not mean sensitive. Some people naturally flush
easier but does not mean you are sensitive. If you can still exfoliate without discomfort (except for the redness) then you are just reactive and it’s not a sensitive condition. Touted for its anti-inflammatory and calming effects, we recommend Damask Rose Hydrating Mist, which is popular with models back stage at Fashion Week. There's no wrong time to mist - get the low down on why VOGUE recommends this Face Mist here.
MANAGING SENSTIVE SKIN
For sensitive skin, it's simply best to keep using extremely gentle, non-irritating products. I know that this limits our choices somewhat, but look for antioxidant-rich, skin-similar ingredients, one's that nourish and repair rather than dry or pull away sebum.
Combating sensitive skin conditions requires the right products with a balance of active and soothing ingredients to improve the skin’s barrier function. We recommend Face Essentials Pack for Oily / Combination Skin.
MANAGING SENSITISED SKIN
In order to improve sensitised skin, the trigger has to be determined and eliminated. For those sensitised from other products being used on the skin, we recommend minimising usage either by using less product each night or by using the product fewer times per week until the skin can build up a tolerance. Incorporating hydrating ingredients can also help the skin become less sensitised, we suggest Face Essentials Pack for Dry / Mature Skin.
So there you go, these tips, along with eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and managing stress well can help restore hydration and comfort to your skin. Don’t jump to conclusions the next time you have a redness flareup or irritation. It could be an easy fix!
Still confused? We're here to help, email your (burning!) skin question to email@example.com
Love Jacqueline xo