Have you ever felt like your skin reacts to just about anything? Sounds like you may have a case of what's commonly referred to as ‘sensitive skin’. It’s as if your skin acts like a bit of a diva - extremely high-maintenance and easily upset. But what exactly is sensitive skin, and why does it feel like it's always on the verge of a tantrum?
Well besties, today we’re exploring the whole world of sensitive ski;, its telltale signs, and the mysterious forces that trigger it. So, get ready to pamper your skin with a little extra TLC as we delve into the intricacies of skin sensitivity.
What is sensitive skin?
Think of it as your skin's protective shield going through a bit of a tough time. When that natural barrier gets weakened or compromised, it allows all sorts of irritants and allergens to enter your skin. These troublemakers can stroll right in, and that's when the show begins. A few symptoms you may experience could be: redness, itching, burning, and various other discomforts taking centre stage.
When it comes to inflammation of the skin, your immune system tends to go into overdrive in response to an irritant or allergen that comes into contact with the skin. Basically, your skin goes on high alert! Now, here's a fascinating twist: while some people are naturally born with sensitive skin, it's important to note that anyone, regardless of their skin type, can develop sensitivity when their skin encounters irritants or allergens that set off the inflammation alarm bells. So understanding how to properly care for sensitive skin is essential in soothing its sensitivity and restoring a radiant complexion.
Signs of sensitive skin
Sensitive skin can manifest itself in various ways, and its signs may include:
Persistent redness is one of the most common signs of sensitive skin. Your skin may appear flushed as if you've just stepped out of a sauna, and this redness can be exacerbated by various triggers such as harsh weather conditions, skincare products or allergies.
Itching and burning
Sensitive skin often comes with that annoying side of itching and even a burning sensation. This can lead to discomfort and skin irritation, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to scratch your skin more than usual - but please refrain, as this will just do more harm than good!
Dryness and tightness
When you have sensitive skin, your skin may often feel tight or uncomfortable, as if it lacks moisture. You may also notice your skin tends to be quite dry and flaky, or you may develop patches of dryness. That's why it's important to choose gentle, hydrating skincare products that can help soothe and replenish your skin's moisture barrier.
Rash or hives
In severe cases, sensitive skin can lead to the development of a rash or hives. These red, raised welts are usually quite itchy and uncomfortable and normally develop when the skin is exposed to allergens or irritants.
Stinging or burning sensation
Some people with sensitive skin may notice a stinging or burning sensation on their skin. This is extremely common when exposed to triggers like certain skincare products or environmental factors.
What causes skin sensitivity?
Now that we've been formally introduced to sensitive skin, let's uncover the reasons behind its high-maintenance nature.
Sometimes genetics play a significant role in determining whether you'll have sensitive skin. If your parents or siblings have it, there's a pretty good chance you'll also have sensitive skin too.
Certain skin conditions, like eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis, can make your skin more prone to sensitivity. These conditions compromise your skin's natural barrier, leaving it vulnerable to irritants.
We all want smooth, glowing skin, but over-exfoliation can do more harm than good. Scrubbing away too many dead skin cells or applying too many different active ingredients to your skin all at once can weaken your skin's protective barrier, leaving it vulnerable and irritated (sad reacts only).
For more information on over-exfoliating, read here.
Harsh skincare products
Using skincare products that are too harsh for your skin type can cause irritation and sensitivity. Common culprits include products with fragrances or certain preservatives.
Extreme weather conditions, whether it's the dry cold of winter or the scorching heat of summer, weather can take a toll on your skin. Environmental factors like wind, sun, and pollution can all irritate the skin and make it more sensitive.
Allergens and irritants
Sometimes, it's the things around us that really mess with our skin. Things like pollen, pet fur, or even certain foods can light the sensitivity fuse for our skin. Allergens in the environment or dietary choices can trigger reactions, making our skin feel all sensitive, red, and cranky.
As much as we love a steamy shower, hot water can actually strip your skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and sensitivity.
To read more on what temperature water you should be using, read here.
Symptoms of skin hypersensitivity
So, you might be thinking, "aren't skin hypersensitivity and sensitive skin basically the same thing?" That’s a good question! While they may sound a bit alike, these two skin situations are actually quite different. Let's break it down for you.
As we mentioned earlier, sensitive skin refers to a skin type that is prone to reactions, such as redness, itching, or irritation, when exposed to certain triggers like skincare products or weather changes.
On the other hand, skin hypersensitivity is an extreme form of sensitivity which represents an exaggerated and severe response to various triggers. It’s more about how your skin processes physical sensations, and it can be connected to medical or even nerve-related issues.
People with hypersensitive skin often experience intense and immediate reactions. Here are some of the common reactions you may experience:
Increased pain sensation
People with hypersensitive skin may experience heightened pain sensations in response to even gentle pressure or touch. Things as simple as your clothes brushing against your skin or a light touch can turn into uncomfortable or even painful experiences.
Redness and inflammation
Hypersensitive skin often reacts intensely and severely to various triggers, and redness and inflammation are common responses.
Burning or stinging
Hypersensitive skin can lead to persistent sensations of burning or stinging. It can make you feel like your skin's on fire or getting stung by bees, and sometimes there's no clear reason for it.
Prickling or itching
Sometimes skin hypersensitivity can make your skin feel prickly or itchy, and these sensations are often triggered by factors like temperature changes, stress, or even certain fabrics.
Increased sensitivity to temperature
If you have skin hypersensitivity, you may be more sensitive to temperature changes and experience some level of discomfort in hot or cold environments.
How to take care of sensitive skin
Now that we know what sensitive skin is and the symptoms of it, it's time to learn how to take care of it! Here are some tips and tricks to help you keep your delicate skin happy:
Before lathering on a new product all over your face, remember to do a patch test first. Apply a small amount to a discreet area (like your inner arm) and check to make sure you haven’t had any adverse reactions.
Take cold showers
If you have sensitive skin, we recommend keeping your showers short and having a shower with lukewarm water instead of hot water to prevent skin dehydration.
Manage your stress levels
Practice stress-reduction techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to help keep stress-related inflammation at bay.
Create a skincare routine for sensitive skin
When it comes to creating a routine for sensitive skin, less is often more. We recommend keeping it simple and using gentle products in your routine to manage your sensitive skin.
Step 1: Cleanse
We recommend opting for a cleanser that is formulated specifically for sensitive skin. Our gentle cleanser is suitable for sensitive skin and cleanses your skin without stripping it, leaving your skin feeling hydrated and smooth. Make sure to avoid using hot water or harsh exfoliants and instead opt for lukewarm water and use your hands to gently massage the cleanser into your skin.
To learn more on how to properly cleanse your skin, read here.
Step 2: Apply serums
If you’re experiencing sensitive skin, it’s a good idea to introduce a hydrating serum that can help strengthen your skin barrier. Our rebound serum is a barrier support serum that calms damaged, angry skin and hydrates and smoothes skin texture. It has key ingredients included at the right concentration all in the one serum so you don't have to buy 5 different bottles to reach your hydration and barrier support needs.
Step 3: Moisturise
Moisturiser is crucial for sensitive skin, so we recommend applying a lightweight, fragrance-free moisturiser to hydrate and soothe the skin. We strongly suggest our thirst trap moisturiser which is a simple daily moisturiser that hydrates with glycerin, pentavitin, sodium PCA and genencare. It also provides barrier support with pentavitin, amino acids, squalane, apricot kernel oil, jojoba esters, olive oil and vitamin E.
Step 4: SPF
UV rays can be extremely brutal on sensitive skin, so it is vital to use sun protection daily. Opt for a lightweight option that is oil free and non-greasy, like our skin shady SPF50+. It’s a super lightweight SPF that protects against UVA and UVB. It also sits super well underneath makeup and nourishes and moisturises your skin with glycerin and vitamin E!
So besties, if you find yourself having sensitive skin, don’t stress! While sensitive skin can be quite challenging to manage, it's totally doable with the right care and attention. By using suitable products, maintaining a consistent routine, and understanding potential triggers, you can effectively nurture your sensitive skin and keep it looking healthy and flawsome. You've got this!