This is your guide for sensitive skin. Bookmark it, screenshot it, or save it for later. Here’s everything you need to know if your skin is sensitive.
What is sensitive skin?
Skin sensitivity is a widespread problem that’s on the rise. More than half of people say they have sensitive skin, meaning that they can’t tolerate many skincare routines, products, or ingredients.
People who have a reaction to a specific product or ingredient in a product may have skin sensitivity. Most people have probably experienced a skin reaction at some point, but people with sensitive skin may react more frequently and severely.
Skin reactions occur from a variety of triggers, including the sun. If you have sensitive skin, you may experience issues more often than others. In most cases, skin irritation is temporary, but many people experience chronic problems.
As many as 50 percent of all adults reporting skin irritation. One in five people who have been diagnosed with allergies has also reported sensitivity that was not associated with other allergy symptoms.
People with sensitive skin are more vulnerable to common skin conditions like acne, rashes, and itchiness. Skin rashes can be caused by certain ingredients, heat, friction, or environmental conditions. While most people experience some type of reaction or issue every now and then, those that suffer from a persistent condition, or multiple conditions, will be classified as having sensitive skin.
How do you tell if you have sensitive or reactive skin?
If your skin reddens or tingles when you are exposed to certain substances, you most likely have sensitive or reactive skin.
If your skin reacts to the environment – for example, you get red and itchy patches or spots that appear without warning – then it is best described as environmentally sensitized and/or vaso-reactive. Someone with an easily-aggravated skin reacts badly to even normal external factors, such as heat or chemicals.
People with reactive skin are prone to poor skin conditions, such as dermatitis.
Use this checklist as a quick reference:
- Your skin is itchy and dry for no logical reason
- You feel tingles or a stinging sensation when you apply products
- Heat or friction feels like overstimulation of the skin
- You regularly have rashes or acne breakouts
How to Care for Sensitive Skin
Sensitivity is often the result of a hyperactive immune response. This causes nerve endings to react more strongly and with greater frequency to irritants. If you have sensitive skin, your nervous system perceives harmless substances as threatening, and this causes an overreaction from the immune system.
This hyperactive immune response is also often the result of an impaired barrier function in the skin. Considering the skin’s primary purpose is to be a barrier- you can understand how complicated it makes your skin’s reaction to certain factors and stimuli.
Whether your skin is adversely affected by heat, cold, chemical exfoliants, or an active ingredient in your facial cleanser, there is good news for you- there are ways you can make your sensitive skin feel and look its best.
Fortunately, there are inexpensive and relatively quick steps that can be followed to improve sensitive skin:
- When choosing skincare products, look for products that will support a healthy skin microbiome. We can support our skin’s barrier function with pH-balanced products that do not contain harsh preservatives. The skin’s barrier function is strengthened by healthy skin microbiomes and by avoiding harsh preservatives. If you use products that contain harsh preservatives, your skin will dry out and become more prone to irritation and breakouts.
- Certain vitamins and minerals are difficult to obtain through food alone, which is why it’s recommended to supplement your skincare routine with pre-and probiotics. Probiotic-rich products will help you maintain a balanced, healthy microbiome without disrupting it with harsh ingredients.
- Use a cream-based cleanser, but avoid foaming cleansers. Develop a skin care routine that suits your sensitive skin by avoiding cleansing your face in the morning and using a gentle cream or gel-based cleanser or face wash in the evenings. Face masks are a great addition to your skin care routine, but make sure they contain gentle natural ingredients.
- Natural fragrances are preferable to synthetic fragrances since natural fragrances are less likely to trigger an exaggerated immune response. Fragrances are often synthetic and possess an inner molecular structure similar to that of a number of toxins. Fragrances that aren’t natural will cause an exaggerated immune response in your body. So it’s best to opt for fragrance-free products or a product that has natural fragrance.
- When buying skincare, look for ingredients that are derived from natural sources. Ingredients that are derived from natural sources are far less likely to cause any adverse reactions. Sensitive skin types already have enough to deal with, so avoid a skincare routine that involves ingredients that your skin will have a hard time recognizing.
- Products containing alcohol and astringents should be avoided, as they can disrupt the skin’s microbiome.
- Although it is sometimes unavoidable, try to avoid exposing your skin to harsh environments such as extreme heat and other weather exposure that you already know is a trigger for your skin.
Skin care is a process
Managing your skin’s health is a multi-dimensional and holistic process. Consider incorporating a routine of managing your water intake, your diet, and your overall lifestyle. Skin health is impacted by many different factors, so look at your overall environment, lifestyle, diet, and water intake to get the best skin you can.
One of the best things you can do for your sensitive skin is to shop for products designed to treat your skin well. It is always a good idea to do a patch test if you know your skin is reactive- but to reduce the chances of having a failed patch test, and wasting money, invest in the right products from the start. All you need to do is head on over to our Canzon skin care products shop and start your journey towards taking care of your skin.