The worst aspect about sensitive skin is that anyone can experience it. A positive, is that you don’t have to suffer with it.
Sensitive skin is not a skin type, and whether you have oily and acne-prone skin, or dry and mature skin, you can develop sensitivity at any time and for a multitude of reasons.
Various internal and external factors can trigger a reaction, ranging from common conditions like acne, hives, and dry skin, to more specific ailments like eczema, rosacea, psoriasis and dermatitis. All come with an array of unpleasant symptoms that often disturb our day-to-day activities, such as work, exercise and sleep, as well as our choice of skincare and cosmetics.
Whilst many home remedies will ease sensitivity symptoms, it’s better to get to the root of the problem if possible and make sure that your lifestyle, habits and routines aren’t causing or aggravating your condition.
Below, we are sharing the top 5 causes of sensitive skin, with prevention measures and treatment tips…
Allergies, Age and Acne
What we use and what we wear has an effect on our skin. If you have sensitive and allergy-prone skin, you will develop symptoms in response to certain triggers. These include ill-suited skincare products and make-up (including make-up brushes), fragrances from perfumes and plants, household items such as soaps (including shampoo), deodorants and detergents, and certain dyes and materials in your clothing and bedding.
What we eat also has a big impact. You need to be wary of any food intolerances you have or develop, such as dairy, sugar, spices, gluten, nuts, seafood and processed foods, as well as fresh produce sprayed with pesticides and not washed properly before eating. Medications we take orally or topically can also unsettle our epidermis.
Skin conditions like dermatitis are mainly caused by surface irritations, whilst eczema (atopic dermatitis) is caused by a combination of factors including immune system overactivity and genetics, as well as environmental triggers and stress.
A typical allergic reaction makes your skin feel itchy and tight, or you can get a stinging or burning sensation. If you have a full-blown allergy, you may need a pharmacy prescription like an antihistamine to clear it up, otherwise there are numerous sensitive skin products you can use to ease the symptoms and prevent further flare-ups.
Look for gentle moisturisers and products that replenish stressed skin, are dermatologically tested and free from known irritants such as alcohol, lanolin, fragrances and colourants. If your skin’s pH balance is out, your natural protective barrier is disrupted, leading to inflammation/irritation, dehydration and breakouts.
Our copper mineral infused Liquid Lift Mist and Copper Infuse Gel products are hypoallergenic blue potions that absorb instantly into the skin for an invisible shield against urban and environmental toxins. Oil free, they’re weightless and refreshing solutions strengthen and regenerate your sensitised dermal structure, collagen and vitamin activity.
As we age, our susceptibility to sensitivity changes too. Teenagers, pregnant women and menopausal women, in particular, can be struck down with spots due to hormonal fluxes in their bodies. Often embarrassed and worried about their appearance, they tend to resort to harsh and stringent supermarket scrubs that strip their skin of the good oils and protective micro-biome. Our acne range is all about being gentle and patient, providing high quality, scientifically backed exfoliators, face masks and serums for sensitive skin. Focussing on minimising the symptoms of breakouts while supporting the healing process.
Mature age skin loses its plumpness and elasticity, meaning the skin wrinkles and thins, while being more vulnerable to dehydration. And the older you are, the more susceptible your skin can be to scarring from injuries, operations, weight fluctuations, sun damage and general wear and tear over the years. Our Beauty Face Balm is a rich regeneration treatment that contains beeswax and jojoba to lock-in moisture and prevent external irritants penetrating, whilst our Renew Treatment Oil cares for the skin’s cells to repair dullness, brightening scars and stretch marks, age spots, freckles and sun spots.
The Seasons and The Sun
Speaking of the sun, Summer in particular can be a nightmare for sensitive skin sufferers. Exposure to the heat can cause rashes or hives, and itching is common when the air is hot. Skin becomes more reactive and can develop red lumps and bumps, rosacea (blushing and flushing), and even red dilated blood vessels. Rashes are uncomfortable, unsightly, and often stubborn to shift. Using a daily pH Cleansing Cream will calm and reset your skin’s barrier function, and it’s perfect for soothing heat related irritations and flare-ups in general.
At night, our bodies have a surge of histamine, but much lower levels of the anti-inflammatory hormone cortisol. This can heighten our skin’s sensitivity and result in not only a restless night’s sleep, but an allergic reaction too if there’s any dust or debris in the air. Choosing natural and breathable fabrics like linen and cotton, and changing your bedding regularly will help you avoid overheating too.
In Winter, the air is colder, wetter and windier, so you might notice peeling and flaking as a result of severely dry skin. Psoriasis (not to be mistaken for dandruff) is a common consequence, exacerbated by infections, colds and flus. Our dry skin range is extensive, to start, keep hydrated with our Rose Quartz Cream or Amethyst Cream for sensitive skin, packed with nourishing ingredients that are all aroma free.
During the Spring months, it’s best to stay indoors on days with a high pollen-count or strong winds. A humidifier / air purifier and a good quality moisturiser can help block an overload of airborne botanicals, and over-the-counter nasal sprays and eye drops are simple solutions too.
No matter what the weather, you should always protect your skin when you’re outside – even on cloudy days, and especially your face – so invest in a quality sunscreen. Since some ingredients in sunscreens can clog the skin or cause allergic reactions, look for ones that contain zinc oxide. Our 100mL daily SPF is light and non-greasy, and blocks both harmful UVA and UVB rays. And if you’re after one with an SPF of 30 or higher, People4Ocean’s range is perfect, with extra options like Sport and Vegan sunscreens and Gel Hydration solutions packed with botanicals for ultra-skin nourishment and repair.
For more products and information, browse our full sensitive skincare range.