What is meant by “Sensitive” Type skin?
Having a skin easily irritated and reddened is often caused through a build-up of chemicals in the body and on the skin. It may be associated with the skin being sun-damaged, it may be genetic or caused through using harsh, dehydrating products on the skin. It can affect all skin types and ages, is difficult to treat and more difficult to live with. The skin is always dehydrated and under a woods lamp is invariably inflamed. It is these which treatment should be focused on.
Sensitive skin can refer to anything from occasional redness to skin issues such as eczema or rosacea. At its most basic level, sensitive skin is a general, non-medical term for skin that easily breaks out into rashes or experiences blotchy, itchy or stinging reactions from the weather or skin care products.
Some common signs of sensitive skin are skin reactions such as bumps, pustules and skin erosion, extremely dry skin that is cracked and doesn’t fully protect nerve endings and a tendency towards blushing and flushing.
Sensitive skin isn’t a disease that a doctor can diagnose you with. It’s usually a symptom of another condition. You may not even know you have sensitive skin until you have a bad reaction to a cosmetic product, like soap, moisturiser, or makeup.
Conditions that cause sensitive skin are rarely serious. You can usually keep your symptoms under control with a few simple changes to your skin care routine.
How can I tell if I have Sensitive Skin?
Your skin has a natural, protective barrier that ensures it stays healthy by locking moisture in and keeping out harmful irritants, such as harsh ingredients and allergens. If the moisture barrier is compromised, your skin is vulnerable and more likely to become sensitive and reactive to external irritants.
Sensitive skin can appear anywhere on the face and body. While some people are predisposed to sensitive and reactive skin because of their genes or an existing skin condition, others are naturally affected by a weakened barrier that is vulnerable to external irritants such as pollution from car exhausts, harsh ingredients and changes in temperature. Anyone with sensitive skin may find its reactions unpredictable and difficult to manage.
- YOU CAN SEE RED PATCHES – If your skin is sensitive, you may be prone to rashes or red patches appearing. Skin may also look scaly or rough. This is because the cells in the outer layer of your skin have been compromised, leaving your skin vulnerable to moisture loss and irritants.
- YOU FEEL A BURNING SENSATION – It’s likely that sensitive skin will feel itchy and tight. You may also feel it burning or stinging.
- YOUR SKIN IS VERY DRY – Although it’s not always the case, many people who have very dry skin find that their skin can be more sensitive than those whose skin is less dry. This is because very dry skin is more susceptible to sensitivity triggers and more prone to reactions.
- SOME FOODS MAKE YOU FLUSH – You may find that you to react to certain foods you eat, which may lead to your face becoming flushed. This can be a sign of skin sensitivity. Try limiting your intake of alcohol, spicy foods and coffee.
The best way to work out if your skin is sensitive and reactive is to consult a skin specialist, who will assess your skin in person.
BASIC Skin Type Test
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and water. Use your hands to clean your face and avoid scrubbing too hard.
- Dry your face with a soft towel and leave your skin alone for one hour without applying any products or touching it.
- If after that one (1) hour;-
(i) your face feels rough and/or perhaps tight, you have dry skin
(ii) after blotting your skin with tissue paper, there’s oil on your T-zone (forehead, nose and chin), but not your cheeks, you have combination skin
(iii) you do the same tissue-paper test on your cheeks, and there’s an oily shine on your T-zone and cheeks, you have oily skin
(iv) however, if your skin looks blotchy and red and feels tingly, you have sensitive skin
If you are still uncertain as to your Skin Type, Book a Free Skin Consultation with our Skin Specialist.
Treat Your Skin Type
Not sure of your skin type or which treatment would be best?
Book a free consultation with our skin specialist to discuss your beauty plan.
Treating Sensitive Skin Type
Sensitive Skin types can be treated with both;-
- DAILY SKIN CARE regime using professional skin care products tailored to your exact condition, as well as
- SKIN TREATMENTS that target this specific skin type.
If you want to get your skin back on the right track, it’s critical to eliminate the parts of your routine that may be aggravating your skin and making redness worse.
AVOID or STOP USING the following;-
- bar soaps, cleansing scrubs and cleansers that leave skin feeling tight or dry.
- abrasive cleansing tools such as stiff brushes or rough loofahs.
- astringents, toners, clarifying lotions, or any skin care product that contains alcohol (listed as SD alcohol or alcohol denatured) or witch hazel.
- products containing fragrant plant oils or extracts, such as lavender, grapefruit, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, and rose.
- products that contain synthetic fragrances; these may simply be listed as parfum or fragrance on the ingredient list.
- products that contain any essential oil; essential oils are, essentially, just more fragrance.
Suitable Daily Skin Care Regime for Sensitive Skin Types should include;-
- CLEANSER – Gentle but effective water soluble cleanser. Lotion-based or gel-textured. The goal is for it to effectively remove impurities, debris, and makeup without leaving skin feeling tight or dry or greasy.
- TONER – Hydrating, soothing non-irritating toner – containing skin-replenishing ingredients and antioxidants. Nourishes dry skin and minimises oiliness.
- EXFOLIATOR – Gentle, non-abrasive, BHA exfoliator. A BHA exfoliant helps skin shed dead skin normally without abrasion, unclogs pores, lessens oily skin, and at the same time gently smooths rough, dry, flaky skin and revives a healthy glow.
- SPF BROAD SPECTRUM SUNSCREEN – Protect from sun damage. No skin type is exempt from the need of a broad spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater and applied 365 days a year. This is the one step that reduces the early signs of ageing now and into the future.
- MOISTURISER -with a gel, serum, or even a liquid texture. Should contain antioxidants, skin-replenishing ingredients, and skin-restoring ingredients. These are imperative to help calm skin, lessen excess oil on skin’s surface, and improve any dry areas, including around the eyes.