WHAT IS SENSITIVE SKIN?
Understanding the difference between sensitive skin and reactive skin is step one to diagnosing your skin right. Just like our bodies reacting to the food we eat, our skin react to the skin care products we use, environment aggressors and other factors on a daily basis. However, skin reactions that include stinging, tightness, discomfort or even redness may not mean you have sensitive skin. Here’s the difference between sensitive and reactive skin:
Sensitive skin: people born with sensitive skin have thinner skin and their blood vessels are more easily inflamed - which can lead to redness under the skin. They may also experience broken capillaries - the blood vessels are thin and can burst when it expands too much, which is then visible due to their thin skin.
Reactive skin: skin changes due to skin care usage - some products contain active ingredients which can cause tingling or itchy sensations. This is a natural process of using the skin care products and it does not mean that you have sensitive skin, your skin is simply absorbing and reacting to the active ingredients you are feeding it.
WHAT CAUSES SENSITIVE SKIN?
Sensitive skin can result from underlying skin conditions: Eczema, Rosacea,Â Psoriasis and more.
Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) - affects your skin’s ability to protect itself from pollutants such as germs or chemicals. This can increase your skin sensitivity to products and cause rashes.
Rosacea - a common skin disease that affects the face, it causes extreme sensitivity and usage of some products may result in a burning and painful sensation. The first signs of rosacea include flushing easily.
Psoriasis - a common skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells which causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin
More often than not, however, sensitive skin is caused by dehydrated skin. Our bodies cannot function properly without sufficient water; our skin cannot protect itself if it lacks moisture and oil.
Excessively dry and dehydrated skin will result in itchy, flaky skin that can feel rough to the touch. It can also be more prone to redness and look dull. In addition, putting on skincare products may cause a tingly sensation - this is not a symptom of sensitive skin, but rather a cause of small, invisible cracks on your skin due to severe dryness. Keeping your skin hydrated is key to reducing sensitive skin - especially if you do not have an underlying skin condition that increases your skin’s sensitivity.
Good treatments for sensitive skin should focus on rehydrating the skin while treating underlying skin conditions that may cause increased sensitivity: strengthening the skin by improving microcirculation and protecting it.
SIGNS OF SENSITIVE SKIN
1. Redness - rash, flushing or bushing
2. Itchy and tight skin
3. Stinging sensation when applying skin care products
4. Prone to breakouts and bumpy skin
5. Extremely dry skin
OUR FAVOURITE INGREDIENTS FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
1. Lotus Extract
The Lotus flower contains high concentrations of potent antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenol and vitamins. These compounds give the Lotus Extract anti-ageing properties and protects the skin from free radical damage. This, in tandem with its anti-inflammatory properties, make the Lotus Flower a prime choice for sensitive skin as it soothes skin redness and irritation.
Rich in Vitamin A, it also helps to heal wounds and inflammation - deeply hydrating the skin and healing dry cracks that may cause stinging pain when the water is exposed to cold air and liquids.
2. Camomile Extract
Chamomile has a calming effect on our bodies - it treats digestive issues, relieves menstrual cramps, improve sleep quality and reduces stress. Similarly, it works wonder for sensitive skin. It contains azulene and treats dry skin, eczema and Psoriasis effectively as it is able to neutralise skin irritants and contains anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties.
Polyphenols and phytochemical in Chamomile speeds up cell regeneration and promotes skin healing. With its anti-irritating, non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic properties, it is a favourite ingredient in sensitive skin products.
Bisabolol comes in two forms: Alpha- and Beta-bisabolol. The first and most commonly found in food, Beta-bisabolol, is harvested from corn and cotton. The second, Alpha-bisabolol, is harvested from chamomile, New Caledonian trees and Cendeia trees. Alpha-bisabolol is used in skin care products as it increases the penetrative power of other ingredients and improves its efficacy.
A more potent form of the Chamomile Extract, it is a good source of panthenol, which is a form of vitamin B. This makes it a powerful moisturiser as it is a natural humectant - it draws water from the environment and keeps the skin hydrated. This, paired with its anti-inflammatory properties, make it a prime candidate in soothing skin redness, rashes, rosacea, Psoriasis, sunburn and other skin conditions.
Additionally, it has anti-microbial properties: it can kill microorganisms on the skin to reduce skin infections and contaminations. It is even great in deodorants as it kills the bacteria staphylococcus epidermidis and corynebacteria, which contributes to body odour.
4. Calendula Extract
Part of the Marigold family, Calendula has antibacterial properties to reduce acne outbreaks and clear blemishes. An effective source of hydration, this ingredient is perfect for those suffering from acne and dry skin.
Proven to be more effective than Aloe Vera for treating burns thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties, it also protects the skin from UV rays.
A phytochemical extracted from plants like sugar beet, comfrey, chamomile and wheat sprouts, it soothes overstressed skin and stimulate cell regeneration. This has a two-fold benefit - dead skin cells are eliminated to make way for brighter, fresh cells, and your skin is protected from external aggressors. An anti-irritant, it is often used in skin care products to hydrate the skin and prevent sensitivity.
Additionally, Allantoin is a known keratolytic - it can increase the water content of cells while encouraging cell renewal for smoother, brighter skin.
OUR TOP PICKS TO TREAT SENSITIVE SKIN
213 Gentle Soothing Cream
Thanks to a relaxing and calming composition, this cream reduces irritation and redness, thus restoring the balance of sensitive skin. Nutrient-rich cotton seed oil and vitamins A and E encourage cell regeneration - the skin is revitalised.
Lotus Extract and Calmosensine, a sensitive skin complex developed by Maria Galland, renews skin suppleness and tenderness so that the skin is not painful to the touch. Your skin feels well-rested and restored.
214 Gentle Soothing Infinity Serum
This highly effective serum is rapidly absorbed - providing moisture and calming sensitive, inflamed and irritated skin. It contains Lotus Extract and Calmosensine, a sensitive skin complex developed by Maria Galland to protect the skin against harsh environmental factors. The serum encourages cell regeneration for smoother and brighter skin while soothing sensitive, irritated skin.
D-730 Anti-Redness Cream
Specially formulated to reduce the symptoms of Couperose and skin redness, the D-730 Anti-Redness Cream contains Horse Chestnut Extract to activate microcirculation to build up the capillary walls for greater skin resistance. This ensures that redness is reduced effectively and lastingly.
Bisabolol, extracted from a complex of Soya Bean Extract, Pollen Extract, Olive Oil and Wheatgerm Oil, provides long-lasting moisture and strengthens cell cohesion. Sensitive skin is often weaker and more prone to skin damage - this cream promotes stronger skin for reduced sensitivity.
D-540 Anti-Dryness Serum
Formulated by dermatologists, the D-540 Anti-Dryness Serum is a rich serum containing soothing ingredients for dry, flaky and irritated skin. Narcissus Extract reduces uncomfortable feelings of tightness, itching and flaking. The hydrolipid barrier is brought back into balance and stabilised.
In addition, it contains Centella Asiatica and a complex of Papapya and Hyaluronic Acid to sooth and strengthen the skin.
More often than not, we know customers who are suffering from the Wrong Product Syndrome, rather than actual skin sensitivity. In that case, slowly switching out your products for gentler ones may be the answer. If not, always seek professional advice when you have sensitive skin. This helps prevent further sensitivity, redness and overall distress!