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What Is Sensitised Skin?

Up to 70 percent of women say that they have sensitive skin. Oftentimes, this is because their skin responds adversely to skincare products, this can be a newly introduced product or one that has been in rotation.

Itching, flaking, textural, tingling, burning, redness, swelling, breakouts, or dry skin are a few of these symptoms. This makes many people think that their skin is "sensitive" however, it may just be sensitised.

Skin may become more sensitive over time as a result of your diet, skincare routine, and lifestyle.

It might be difficult to tell the difference between skin that is sensitive and skin that is sensitised because they both exhibit similar symptoms.

Learn about sensitised skin by reading on!

What Is Sensitised Skin?

Sensitised skin, like sensitive skin, is characterised by a compromised skin barrier that causes redness, peeling, itching, and general irritation. It's different to a sensitive skin condition, whereby the skin itself is dysfunctioning at a cellular level often linked to a separate health issue or skin immune issue. They can be difficult to distinguish from one another due to similar presentations. This is why seeing someone with advanced education or experience is key.

Sensitised skin can be a side effect of using too many harsh topicals, hypersensitive skin may be inherited, or triggered by stress factors and inflammation (eczema, rosacea, or any allergies to chemicals).

Sensitised skin likely applies to you if you have a history of using advanced molecules like retinol, ascorbic acid derivatives or exfoliating acids (and don't have a history with any of the above chronic conditions).

One thing to keep in mind is that sensitised skin is a condition, rather than a type of skin, in which the acid mantle, or protective (lipid) barrier which resides on the most superficial layer of skin, has been destabilised. This can happen within days or over time gradually. Pollution, stress, smoking, and alcohol use are four of the main causes of skin sensitivity.

Catalyst's include:

  • overuse of actives, medications or substances (Retinol or other)
  • excessive peeling or exfoliating  (i.e. AHAs, BHAs, granular)
  • improper use of skincare products (application or incorrect concentration)
  • dehydration/dryness (water/lipid content) (stripping skincare, dietary or other)
  • an allergy risk

Most people have had symptoms for months or even years. It takes time and patience to nourish your skin back to proper function and balance.

Treating Sensitised Skin

First, you should streamline your regimen by using a gentle pH balanced cleanser without fragrance and along with a barrier supporting cream.

To determine where the sensitisation is coming from, we advise simply reducing the product applications in your regime. Isolate actives for a minimum of 2-4 weeks depending on sensitisation severity.  Patch-test your items in area's where sensitised responses are common for you. When no longer over-exposed to stimulating ingredients, skin will revert to normal.

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Ingredients to Avoid

One of the worst offenders is fragrance or essential oils. It can result in reactions including irritation and redness and is a main contributor in cosmetic contact dermatitis.

Pay attention to the ingredients list if you can't bear to part with your yummy-smelling skincare products. When you see the word "fragrance,"  it usually refers to artificial perfumes that irritate the skin. In regards to essential oils, citrus family oils can often cause irritation also like, lemon myrtle or bergamot. If you do like a little aroma, look for items that contain essential oils, such as sandalwood, lavender or rosemary, which naturally give a product its aroma and may be less stimulating to the skin and protective barrier destabilising.

Additionally, while retinol is adored for its capacity to increase cell turnover, promote the formation of collagen, and increase skin suppleness, sensitised skin may find this vitamin A derivatives to be too stimulating if overused or dehydrating if the concentration is incorrectly prescribed.

Use of retinoids during a flare-up might further weaken the skin's barrier and hinder the skin's ability to heal naturally, so avoid using it until your skin has recovered.

We advise staying away from exfoliating acids like glycolic acid, salicylic acid, mandelic acid, and lactic acid if your skin is hypersensitive. Although these acids can be excellent for removing dead skin cells, they may be too active when the skin barrier is damaged to allow for healthy healing and protective cellular activity.

Remember that vitamin C is technically an acid as well. Thus, we advise delaying this specific morning antioxidant serum or perhaps buffering its absorption by blending it into an appropriate treatment hydrator. An ideal solution for sensitive skin will contain B vitamins like niacinamide (B3) or Copper peptides/minerals. These ingredients assisting with regulating the inflammatory response in skin, reducing symptoms of discomfort.

Lastly, daily sunscreen application is essential for preventing UV damage to your skin, UV is an ageing and stressing environmental factor that occurs all year round. Just because you can't see the sun, doesn't mean the wavelengths it emits aren't penetrating your skin structures triggering inflammation responses and sensitisation and even exacerbate chronic sensitive skin conditions like rosacea. The UV filter in SPF is an extremely important consideration for sensitive skin, SPF with physical or mineral filters are ideal. 

Tips For Soothing Sensitised Skin

Everything may seem irritating if you have sensitised skin. But you might experience a dramatic improvement with just a few lifestyle and product adjustments.

You might benefit from the following tips:

  • shower for 5 to 10 minutes in warm, not hot, water, avoid the water directly hitting the face
  • avoid astringents and exfoliants in your skincare routine
  • use a mild, scent-free soap
  • use essential oils instead of synthetic fragrance
  • use a mild, scent-free washing detergent
  • use natural cleaning products and wear gloves
  • always pat yourself dry after a shower rather than rubbing
  • use a moisturiser after getting out of the shower
  • patch-test all new skincare products
  • seek professional advice from a dermal clinician or dermatologist

Skin sensitivity can be brought on by a wide range of ailments. Some patients need more thorough and serious care than others. You should think about scheduling a consultation with an allergist if you believe your skin issue is caused by an allergic reaction.

Skin sensitivity can typically be managed at home by the majority of people. Finding the source causing your skin to itch and finding a strategy to avoid it are usually the first steps in this process.

Care For Your Sensitised Skin

You may be suffering from sensitised skin if your skin feels tight, oily, irritated, red or has dry patches. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, don't fret! Use the aforementioned information to learn how to care for your skin and shop our sensitive skin collection today!

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